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“Thanks for asking - I’ve got everything”


“Thanks for asking - I’ve got everything”

Quarantine Minutes with József Bazsinka

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 are 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? We hope you enjoy hearing from tuba player József Bazsinka.

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?

For me, Ravel, Debussy and Rachmaninoff take first place but, of course, what I listen to at a particular moment also depends on my mood. If it’s not Ravel’s Daphnis et Chloé, Debussy’s La mer or one of Rachmaninoff’s piano concertos, then I’m also happy to listen to jazz, rock or some piece of Renaissance or Baroque music with singing in it. I very much like Sara Mingardo’s voice; her tone always helps me overcome any problems.

As for what I play: that is clear. J. S. Bach, whenever possible. Of course, transposed from the cello or flute. I am, by the way, currently in the process of learning the tuba piece which Professor Béla Kovács had composed for me at the request of Iván Fischer. (2019 Sándor Végh competition special prize). Additionally, of course, the line-up of the Quarantine Soirées is also incorporated into my daily rehearsing. I am not bored. There is plenty to practice!

What do you do in the time you otherwise would have spent with the orchestra? With whom do you make music at home, and how?

With what I’ve just described. Also, I continue to teach the tuba, online, at the University of Pécs, Faculty of Music and Visual Arts. Unfortunately, I do not have the opportunity to make music at home with my children, because all have moved out already and live on their own. So what is left are the musical sessions (together with my children) at the Quarantine Soirées, and the online video chats. Apart from the standard routine of technical practice, I also rehearse Bach and some tuba concertos. I also have a bit of time to review and analyze the technical skills tasks of various instruments.

Have you learned anything new during the quarantine? Have you perhaps picked up any new habits?

I have not formed any new habits yet; I just have a little extra time for the old ones. I run more, I read, I do yoga, I walk and at times I cook or bake something delicious.

What do you miss the most right now?

Naturally, I miss the time I would spend with my adult children and other loved ones. I miss the orchestral experience, the pieces, the musical notes as they come together in a piece to form a melody, the shared chamber music experiences, the sonorities and the blending of the instruments. In other words: I miss making music together. Whenever I hear a piece that I myself have played, I know what’s coming up, and I play my part along in my head.

What do you like about the quarantine?

The best part of the quarantine is determining how I spend my time. I am more rested, and I get to set my own schedule. The best thing always happen to be what I am doing at that particular moment.

Is there anything in your life for which you never had time before, but always wanted to do - and now you’ve been able to try it?

I have been fortunate enough in life to get to do the things which I enjoy doing. I can play as a member of the Budapest Festival Orchestra; I can be a part of any chamber music formation; I can play a solo; I can teach; and if I want to “get away” from all of that for a bit, I have my family, sports, reading and nature. Thanks for asking - I’ve got everything. Body, Mind, Soul. I can only repeat to myself these pillars of harmony. (Oh, and then there are the times Csabi Wagner [a BFO trombonist - the ed.], who is also a pilot, takes me flying, which I enjoy doing very much!)

Tune in to our Quarantine soirées! Visit our website and Facebook page every evening from 7:45 p.m. If you would like to support our series, we would appreciate it very much.