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 were 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 cellist Gabriella Liptai.
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?
There is no musical style, composer or performer I would recommend in particular. Rather, I would suggest seeking out and recognizing opportunities when listening to music can support us during these unprecedented, unexpected and frightening times. I have always found it difficult to listen to the chamber music productions I myself played in. Now, as I prepare for the Quarantine Soirées, I’ve been able to force myself to listen to them. It has been an interesting experience...
What do you do in the time you would otherwise have spent with the orchestra? Who do you make music with at home, and how?
I use the time for some deep practice. I do not necessarily mean the length of time I spend rehearsing, but more my approach and attention; with a child getting ready for school-leaving exams and another one in first grade, I have plenty on my plate. When I’m not practicing, it’s my older son filling our home with his favorite music, played at full volume, or his own guitar playing.
Have you learned anything new during the quarantine? Have you perhaps picked up any new habits?
Our life was upended two months ago. Everything around us is, basically, new. Including how and how quickly we adapt. We develop new habits, and we did not even have to travel halfway around the world to do so; we must accomplish all of this in our own home. It is still not easy... One such thing is studying with my daughter each day. She still has to get used to having her mom be her new teacher, and I have had to learn to be comfortable in a new role, while at the same time hopefully doing no damage to our original mother-daughter bond. I have also realized that you need enough space to study at home. It is impossible to focus on learning sitting around the kitchen table. So I have rearranged a fair number of things around the house.
What do you miss the most right now?
I miss seeing my friends and my mother in person. I miss their hugs, I miss our little shared celebrations and of course I miss making music together.
What do you like about the quarantine?
It is a tremendous joy to see my children playing together, despite the significant age difference between them. I enjoy cooking for them each day. On days when I can’t do that, my son prepares dinner for me, and even if it is simple, that is always the most divine meal for me. I can’t tell you how good that feels! The quarantine is also a very good opportunity to see who your friends are and who stand by you to support you, and it reveals the most and the best that I can do.