Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment

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Liz Kenny: Speed Interview

Fri Oct 31 2014

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Here are Matt Truscott (violin) and Cecelia Bruggemeyer (double bass) at our intimate Meet The Band event… twitter.com/i/web/status/1…


Our co-principal theorbo Liz Kenny is the creative mastermind behind our upcoming concerts at the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse. A couple of years ago she sat through our speed interview. So by now she’s probably finished The Wire, but possibly not that Charpentier biography… 

How did you get into music?

I got into trouble at primary school, messing about because I was bored, so my parents bought me a guitar to keep me occupied…

When did you realize you wanted to make music your career?

Quite late:  I didn’t have the courage to go for music college at 18, but by the time I’d finished university I thought I’d regret it if I didn’t give it my best shot.

What do you fear the most? 

Cliché but true: my childrens’ unhappiness.

Which mobile number do you call the most?

Very few, I’m bad at using my mobile as most of my friends and colleagues know!

When you’re not busy practicing/performing, what do you like to do in your spare time?

Catch up on great TV with box sets or iPlayer: currently working my way through The Wire which I missed first time around, but has me mesmerised.

Do you have any pre-concert rituals?

Unsurprisingly for a lute player, tuning:  if I can do it when all is calm, I’m happy and good to go.  If I leave it too late and there’s lots of noise I feel jumpy for the first part of the concert til I know it’s all settled.

If you could choose to work in a different profession, what would it be and why?

I had a fantasy about being a doctor but was far too lazy and untalented at science; the straightforward purpose of making other people well would be great.

What are you reading at the moment?

A prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving.  And a little bit of Catherine Cessac’s great biography of Charpentier, but the eccentric 1950s drama keeps winning…

Who’s your favourite musician/band at the moment? (doesn’t have to be classical!)

My seven year old has got me re-obssessed with Michael Jacksons’Thriller which I last inhabited as a teenager.  Eddie Van Halen’s guitar solo in Beat It makes me happy every single time I hear it.

If you had one piece of advice to give to aspiring artists, what would it be?

Give yourself 24 hours to mourn a duff performance, then let it go!

What’s the best thing about working with the OAE?

It’s never the same so it never goes stale: venues go from pubs to giant halls, lineups from small group collaboration to epic opera, and the audiences are always one step ahead.

We perform Charpentier’s music from Le Malade imaginaire on 3 & 9 November 2014. More info/buy tickets.


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