Only those who are not moved themselves can really move others. It is not personal passion that produces expression, but the perfectly mastered expressive gesture. Denis Diderot, the French Enlightenment philosopher, once spoke of the “paradox of the actor”. I have internalised it, since the earliest days it has been part of my professional self-image: in the evening I have to deliver, no matter how I feel at the time. But that is only half the truth. If you really want to communicate something to people, if you want to touch their souls, you have to put what you feel and experience into the music. In this respect, I am grateful for what has happened to me on my way. Perhaps it was good for me that I had to ask myself the big questions about the meaning of my actions so early on.
In the GDR, where I grew up, I was promoted as a violin prodigy. The socialist state was specifically looking for high achievers to represent it. And I was the little blonde girl who played so well. I went to the special school when I was just nine years old. When I was 11, Werner Scholz, the great violin professor in East Berlin, took me into his class. Just one year later, I won the Leipzig Bach Competition for children and young people; in the meantime, I performed with all the important orchestras in the GDR. At the age of 14, I was about to take part in the renowned Menuhin Competition in England. But when my father, who played as concertmaster with the East Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra, stayed in the West after a quartet tour, I was abruptly dropped. Lessons, promotion, privileges: all gone. Nobody was interested in me any more. It suddenly became clear to me that this was not about me or my talent. The state had assigned me a function that I would not be able to fulfil.
After leaving for the West in 1986, I was soon able to continue my earlier successes; in 1989 I won the María Canals Competition in Barcelona. After studying with Ulf Hölscher and Jens Ellermann, I went to Dorothy Delay, the famous professor at the Juilliard School in New York, for two years. But increasingly often I had to struggle with health problems. I felt that I would need time to heal the injuries of my youth. Other things became more important. I started a family and joined the orchestra. From 1996 to 2002 I was first concertmaster in Wuppertal, then from 2006 to 2010 concertmaster with the Orchestre Philharmonique du Luxembourg. During this time I really blossomed! My piano trio, the Trio Testore, played together successfully until 2014. Since 2017, I have also been performing internationally as a soloist again. My Prokofiev recording with the Deutsches Symphonieorchester Berlin under Cristian Măcelaru was awarded a quarter of the German Record Critics’ Prize.
Today I feel I have arrived. I would never have thought that the performances with orchestra, the intensive chamber music work with Trio Lirico and the interplay with my piano partner Maki Hayashida would once again complement each other so casually. Maki is like a musical sister to me. She makes me fly. I think the circle has finally closed…