On the Couch with Chris van Tuinen

Chris van Tuinen Arts Review On the CouchWHO IS CHRIS VAN TUINEN?
I’m a musician (conductor, pianist), chorus director, artistic director, programmer, producer and arts manager. I work for Musica Viva, WASO, Lost & Found Opera, UWACS, FCO and a range of other arts companies.

WHAT WOULD YOU DO DIFFERENTLY TO WHAT YOU DO NOW?
I like to think that I want more time to practice. But then I’m pretty sure I’d just fill that up with books and TV.

WHO INSPIRES YOU AND WHY?
People who use their skill, knowledge and ego in service of the music. So that we hear things we might not have heard before. Also all those people who work in the arts to make it all happen, front, back, under and over the stage.

WHAT WOULD YOU DO TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE IN THE WORLD?
Music education is the thing for me. I’m the product of a great school music program and I’ve seen throughout the difference it makes on all aspects of a person’s life. Mozart was appreciated in Prague (and not in Vienna) because the audience had all had music training at school. That’s 250 years ago, get with it people!

FAVOURITE HOLIDAY DESTINATION AND WHY?
I love a car trip. Also new cultures. Preferably somewhere without western classical music so I don’t feel guilty in sitting by the pool.

WHEN FRIENDS COME TO TOWN, WHAT ATTRACTION WOULD YOU TAKE THEM TO, AND WHY?
Parts of WA that might be new to where they’re from. The beach, Fremantle, Kings Park, Margaret River – wine and food here is amazing so that’s always an option.

WHAT ARE YOU CURRENTLY READING?
A biography of Philip Glass, The girl who takes an eye for an eye by David Lagercrantz and Winter Journey by Ian Bostridge.

WHAT ARE YOU CURRENTLY LISTENING TO?
News radio or silence in the car because I find music too distracting. At home I’m a magpie, I find out what my much cooler contemporary music programming mates are listening to and check that out.

HAPPINESS IS?
Leaving a concert or rehearsal and feeling like everyone was on board, committed to it and had a new experience. There’s an energy in that which can’t be faked.

WHAT DOES THE FUTURE HOLD FOR YOU?
Messiaen’s Visions de l’Amen for Fremantle Festival, Mozart with FCO, Brahms with WASO, and much more. Hopefully more gigs with great people and good music. There’s lots of both out there!

Chris has curated A Single Day – a promenade of 1-hour concerts that traces a single day from darkest midnight, through the gentle dawn and midday sun, to conclude at dusk – presented as part of the 2017 Fremantle Festival from Friday 3 to Saturday 4 November. For more information, visit: www.fremantlefestival.com.au for details.

Image: Chris van Tuinen (supplied)

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