Young Artist Interview: Charlotte Maclet

Award-winning violinist Charlotte Maclet is a sought-after orchestral performer and soloist and part of the Ducasse Trio with William Slingsby-Duncombe and Fiachra Garvey. A regular guest co-leader of the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, as well as Britten Sinfonia, the Scottish Chamber Orchestra and the Academy of St Martin-in-the-Fields, Charlotte is also a Concordia Foundation Artist and the founder of 16-piece ensemble Camerata Alma Viva.

Who has been your biggest influence?
I have had the chance to receive guidance from wonderful musicians such as Gordan Nikolic and Gabor Takacs, both very inspiring artists who encouraged me to look for and follow my own voice which freed me from trying to be or play like anyone else.

Chamber music, solo or orchestral playing. Which do you prefer?
I am a true chamber musician. My biggest joy in music is playing with people I love and who inspire me.

You’ve played in all the major UK venues. Which is your favourite?
I have a special memory playing sextet in the Royal Albert Hall (with Nicola Benedetti). This made me never feel intimidated by the size of a hall again! I also very much enjoy the acoustic of the Bridgewater Hall in Manchester.

What’s the most unusual venue you’ve played?
Last rehearsal of the trio happened in-between two trains on one of the pianos at St Pancras!

What is your proudest moment?
My happiest moments of music are probably when I see the journey of each musician of Camerata Alma Viva; the way they bloomed and developed their own strength and voice over the eight years we worked together.

Tell us about Camerata Alma Viva and the new album
Camerata Alma Viva is a group of 16 string players. We started playing together in Geneva in 2009 as lots of us where studying quartet with Gabor Takacs. Since then, the group has evolved and developed its own way of working, mixing theater techniques, Qigong, meditation, improvisation, and sound production techniques.

What kind of violin do you play?
I play a Testore violin from 1764.

Name your three all-time favourite pieces of music?
I have always had a passion for ACDC, so I will name Back in Black alongside Mozart’s Requiem and Bach Sonatas and Partitias for solo violin.

Do you have any interests outside music?
Meditation has been one of my main inspirations for self development with or without the violin. Qigong and meditation have inspired me to spend two years getting rid of all tensions in my playing and creating a new beautiful relationship with my instrument.

What’s on your agenda right now?
This next season includes a residence at Bury Court Opera with Camerata Alma Viva, as well as a new project with the Gandini Juggling company and the composer Gabriel Prokofiev. The Ducasse Trio will also be performing in Thames, Birmingham and St James Piccadilly in the next few months.

You can find out more about Charlotte here: Ducasse Trio Camerata Alma Viva