Great expectations: Gemma Rosefield

INTERNATIONALLY renowned cellist, Gemma Rosefield, plays to audiences of thousands in some of the biggest venues of the world.

But the Pierre Fournier award-winner is equally as comfortable playing cello in any setting and to any audience.

She said: “I approach each concert in exactly the same way — whether playing to a huge audience or five people and a dog!

“My approach to the music and performance does not differ where I am playing and I feel very strongly about this. I play in big halls and also often to children of all ages and people in care homes.

“It still can really surprise me when a child is fascinated with a more contemporary work rather than a Beethoven sonata or a piece we might ‘expect’ them to be more at home with. Children particularly have no pre-conceived ideas and come with open ears. I find this so refreshing.”

Gemma is in Dumfries and Galloway this weekend, playing to audiences with pianist Tim Horton as the Cally Palace, Gatehouse of Fleet, tonight (22 October) at 7.30pm, and at the Buccleuch and Queensberry Arms Hotel, Thornhill, on Sunday (23 October) at 3.30pm.

The influences of this young London musician come from the masters she studied under and also her colleagues. She also says her family are very musical and hugely passionate about music.

“This gave me such positive start towards the cello and music in general which has continued,” she said. “I had several major influences while studying the cello such as Ralph Kirshbaum, David Strange, Johannes Goritzki and Gary Hoffman. I continue to be inspired by the wonderful colleagues I am lucky enough to make music with.”

Described by the Evening Standard as “a phenomenal talent”, and featured in BBC Music Magazine as “one to watch”, Gemma made her solo debut in the Concertgebouw, Amsterdam and in The Diligentia, The Hague, in the New Masters International Recital Series.

She gave the highly successful Pierre Fournier Award recital in September 2008 at Wigmore Hall, and also the 2008 and 2009 Jacqueline du Pré Memorial Concerts at the same venue. She performs regularly on BBC Radio 3 and has played widely outside the UK, in the USA, Russia, Japan, Mexico, Kenya, New Zealand, and throughout Europe.

As well playing solo to audiences around the world, Gemma gives some 50 performances a year as cellist of Ensemble 360, Royal Philharmonic Society Medal Winners, 2013. She is also cellist of the Leonore Piano Trio.

Despite having made so many performances over her career, Gemma has learned the secret of overcoming stage fright — preparation and bananas!

She explained: “I might think I am going to be very nervous before a performance in a very prestigious hall/festival, but as soon as I start playing I can often forget about that. Then I might play in a very small venue somewhere to very few people and find myself unexpectedly nervous. For sure though, good preparation helps with nerves — and bananas!”

Tonight and tomorrow provide the rare chance to experience this “mesmerising musical treasure” in Dumfries and Galloway.

And Gemma says audiences can expect a concert filled with incredible music and performers who are completely committed in bringing this music to them.

Gemma added: “We always like to talk a little about the pieces ourselves too as we might have a little story to tell that is not in the programme notes already.”