We launched our series, entitled “Quarantine Minutes,” so as not to lose touch with one another even during these difficult times. We spoke with our musicians to hear how they’re dealing with their new circumstances in light of the coronavirus epidemic. How have their lives changed? Are they able to find anything positive in their situation? What music do they recommend for you? How have they transformed their ways of making music? This time, your can read the thoughts and experiences of our violinist Emese Gulyás.
What music would you recommend for our audiences while they are isolated at home? What do you listen to and what do you like to play to improve your mood?
Though hopefully, the quarantine will soon be lifted, at any rate I’d recommend music that gives you joy and strength. Or helps relieve stress. Dvořák, Mozart, Vivaldi, Bartók or just about anything, because good music can find its way to your soul and work positively. I don’t listen to a great deal of music at home since I’m nearly always surrounded by it. And yet, from time to time it feels great to listen to a little early Baroque Italian music while cooking, a Mahler symphony is the perfect length for my evening workout, and jazz plays during our leisurely dinners.
What do you do in the time you otherwise would have spent with the orchestra? Who do you make music with at home, and how?
Now that nurseries and kindergartens are closed and both my kids have been at home for weeks, I have my hands full 24/7 (I guess I don’t have to explain the concept of 5-minute time-outs). I have a 3-page-long to-do list, I’m preparing full throttle for the next Quarantine Soirée, which is proving to be a real challenge with two young kids at home, and we’re constructing a garden playground with my husband, which means I haven’t had a minute of boredom since life came to a standstill out there. My family has a ravenous lust for music—a couple of days ago I was practicing a piece by Berio to the accompaniment of drums, guitar and recorder.
Have you learned anything new during the quarantine? Have you perhaps picked up any new habits?
Lately, my cooking skills have improved dramatically, especially when it comes to making pancakes and wiener schnitzel :) I’ve mastered the art of pruning and burning twigs in no time, as my dad was unable to take care of it this year because of the lockdown. The switch to online was a new experience for me: Now my instructor holds trainings using Messenger, I started an online interior decorating course and my son participates in kindergarten English lessons over Zoom (which means even I’ve learned the spring material by heart).
What do you miss the most right now?
I miss everything about the BFO. The magic of live concerts, the vibrant creative atmosphere, travelling, the symphonies, our little trips during tours. The list goes on and on. The abrupt end of all that came as a great shock to me, and my spirits have been very low for quite some time. Eventually, I decided to ask a therapist I knew for help, because all this took a huge toll and I didn’t want to stay bogged down. I struggled hard to earn my peace of mind, but it was worth confronting my feelings. Now I’m over this melancholic phase and look forward to what tomorrow brings.
What do you like about the quarantine?
Once again, the list is too long. The best thing about it is being able to spend time with my kids for two months now. We don’t need to get up at the crack of dawn, the tight morning routine is becoming a thing of the past, and in the absence of symphonic concerts I can be there to tell my kids bedtime stories at night. My husband is also spending more time at home, and we have finally began to straighten up the house and the garden, which I find thrilling. After the many tours with the orchestra, we’ve come to appreciate the quiet of our home, the rural bird song, the green of the garden and especially the buzz of children’s voices.
Is there anything in your life you never had time for before, but always wanted to do - and now you’ve been able to try?
The first thing that comes to mind is cooking: at last, my cookbooks are not just there for decoration :) Another thing I’ve been longing for is to have time for some leisurely scales practice and playing etudes, just like in my days at the Academy. Ever since I became a mom, my days are scheduled right down to the last minute, and I need to practice in a highly concentrated manner. Being able to spend one hour a day on scales practice is a very welcome luxury.