As prescribed by Paulina Constancia
Today I bring you Hungarian cellist and music educator Linda Kolláti. She shares with us her great passion for theatre and life.
Linda Kolláti was born in Hungary, a country rich in musical heritage. At age 3, she started her musical studies where she was accepted in the Kodaly Concept based kindergarten class of Katalin Forrai, who was one of the most famous students of Zoltan Kodaly.
She picked up her main instrument, the cello at the age of 8. In 1990, she was awarded 3rd place in the National Cello Competition of Music Schools. Linda studied at the Conservatory of Attila Jozsef Science University of Szeged in 1999 with distinction. In the same year, she won 1st place at the Janos Starker National Cello Competition and she also won the Special Prize awarded by Janos Starker.
During her studies at the Franz Liszt Music Academy and State University of Budapest, Hungary she was honoured by the attention of the late David Soyer (founder member of the Guarnieri Quartet-USA) and she spent 6 months in New York studying with the great master. Linda graduated in 2005 in which, in the final year she studied at the CNSMD de Lyon, France with Anne Gastinel. She holds a MA Degree in performance cello and teaching.
Linda moved to London in 2006. A year later, she started to do post graduate studies with Stefan Popov at Guildhall. She has developed great interest in education and soon she became a Music Specialist at a private childcare company. She started to work based on the Kodaly Concept. She also took part in Dalcroze Courses which she has become very passionate about. Her posts included Cello Teacher and Chamber Music – and Musicianship Teacher at the Colourstrings Music School which is based on the Hungarian Kodaly Concept. She became the Head of Music in an independent school in West London.
Linda still performs and has a wide range of interests. She has a genuine love for theatre and has enjoyed playing the cello in numerous theater projects. She has worked with several composers and DJs and has recorded commercial and electro-minimal music sets. She has performed recitals in numerous places in Europe and has taken part in festivals and masterclasses of cellists such as Valentin Fejgin, Janos Starker, Johannes Goritzki just to name a few. Linda is commited to Waldorf Education and has been studying the works of Rudolf Steiner for more than a decade.
Linda is currently a full time music faculty member at SOTA (School of the Arts in Singapore), teaching various subjects, mainly music theory and analysis.
DDoA: What/Who inspired you to play the cello?
LK: I honestly don`t know. I don`t think I was inspired to choose the cello. I went to a special primary school with extra dose of music lessons. We had sining and choir every day. After a year few teachers came over from the local music school, a pianist, violinist and cellist. They introduced their instruments, played and allowed us to try them. I found that there were too many children queuing for the violin and piano so I stood in the line for the cello. I liked that it was big, it felt like hugging an extension of me.
DDoA: How often do you practice?perform?
LK: As much as I can.
DDoA: Your favourite cello piece?
LK: Like creativity, it manifests differently:-) I love many for different reasons. Ok, I give you one: The Nutcracker. It is a masterpiece.
DDoA: Your favourite composer? Impossible to answer. By the way I love silence more and more.
LK: Your favourite work of theatre? My soul can accommodate so many pieces of work:-)
DDoA: So far, what’s your most unforgettable cello performance?
LK: I am trying to forget most of it..
DDoA: How about your most unforgettable theatre performance?
LK: That I played or watched? I would say Les Miserebles on stage (not the movie!!!!!) I watched it 8 times when I was 7 years old.
DDoA: From your bio, I read about your love for theatre. Do you do some acting?directing? Tell us about your involvement with theatre.
LK: I don`t do acting…although I would always end up doing some minor acting during the theater projects. I love the idea of making the musicians part of the show.
In “The Last Five Years” I had to climb out of the pit to ask for an autograph from the main male character, pretending I am a drooling fan. It was much much fun. I strongly believe in the transformative power of theater.
DDoA: What sparked your interest in theatre?
LK: I was drawn to it because one can live through so much emotion, so many lives by being part of it. I could also easily fit in with my own overwhelmingly rich emotional life. It is healing.
DDoA: How has your love for/involvement in theatre influenced or inspired your music playing?
LK: It teaches you that life and the best kind of music making don`t have “scores”. Creativity is improvisation. You never know what will happen or what you will do in the next moment.
DDoA: Do you believe that creativity can manifest itself in different forms during the lifetime of an artist?
LK: Oh yes, in fact, I hope so. Creativity is versatility: the power to transform energy.
DDoA: What advice can you give professional musicians like yourself who also want to pursue other creative expressions?
LK: Never stop searching and learning. No risk-no life.
Watch this performance of “A.Piazzolla: Oblivion – ¡PIAZZOLLA! Not Only Tango” by Linda Kollati with her group Triolah at the Marlborough College in Malaysia —Kseniia Vokhmianina, piano (Ukraine) and Ani Umedyan, violin (Armenia)—Tarmidzie (aka Zie), tanguero (Singapore) and Satomi Moriya, tanguera (Japan)
DDoA: What do you think is the greatest role of music & theatre in the world?
LK: Psychological healing. It is psychotherapy. It is also a mirror of the present: that is essential to understand. Good theater is something that “happens” and reflects on the present – on what is going on out there in the world. It makes you think hard.
So do… explore the many possibilities of your creative expression. Collaborate with other artists within and beyond your field of expertise. As Linda Kolláti says it, “Never stop searching and learning. No risk-no life.”