On the Couch with Anna Sandstrom

Anna-Sandstrom-photo-by-Nick-GilbertWho is Anna Sandstrom?
I am a musician and educator and Mum. I predominantly sing early music, with a particular love for Monteverdi, Gesualdo and Purcell. I conduct choirs, and teach musicianship and singing from ages 8 to adult. It is a great mix having concurrent careers as a singer and a teacher of such varied ages.

What would you do differently from what you do now?
I have always wanted to be a musician, I don’t think I can escape the music. When I was choosing what else to do I was looking at Medicine, so I would have studied to be a paediatric specialist so that I was still working with kids.

Who inspires you and why?
Hildegarde Von Bingen inspires me both musically and spiritually. She was able to be a feminist and healer in the 12th century which is pretty remarkable. And if you sing her chant with abandon it is excellent as a mindfulness exercise.

What would you do to make a difference in the world?
I wish I could own my own performance space so that we could support artists at the beginning of their careers and make money for charities without the huge fees demanded by Sydney venues.

Favourite holiday destination and why?
Heidelberg. I love the castle, the food and beer, especially the Wienachtsmarkt in the snow. I can’t wait to visit my friends there again.

When friends come to town, what attraction would you take them to, and why?
There is a special aboriginal carving near where we live at Berry Island (it is connected to the Wollstonecraft headland) so we take friends on a walk through the bush land along the water and have picnics in the park.

What are you currently reading?
I don’t really get time to read, but I fall asleep within a few seconds to audio books every night. I am currently listening to the same 5 minutes of Miranda Hart reading her book “Is it just me?” Such fun.

What are you currently listening to?
I have the Les Arts Florissant Gesualdo Madrigaux album on repeat. And failing that, there is a lot of Disney with my daughter.

Happiness is?
Making music, on a stage, with real live musicians and audiences. And South Curl Curl beach, the surf is rough and the ocean pool is beautiful to swim in.

What does the future hold for you?
My daughter will start school next year, this will give my husband  and I more time to perform with our own group, Camerata Antica. More festivals and hopefully more wonderful works like the Monteverdi Vespers with Pinchgut.

Anna performs with Cantillation in Pinchgut Opera’s presentation of Monteverdi’s Vespers at City Recital Hall, Sydney (Saturday 20 & Sunday 21 March ) and the Melbourne Recital Centre (Thursday 25 March). For more information, visit: www.pinchgutopera.com.au for details.

Image: Anna Sandstrom – photo by Nick Gilbert