HAPPENED TODAY - On December 6, 1953, the composer Andrew Violette was born in New York

Ida Riegels

Good Morning Ida. Thank you for your availability for this interview. Thank you for your attention to our website.
Good morning Luca, and thank you for contacting me.


Can you briefly describe the family environment in which your cello interest was born? Were your parents musicians? Or did you have any other music lovers in your family, like grandparents or other relatives?
I grew up in the most wonderful home for a child who is interested in music. Some generations back in our family there are composers, opera singers, pianists and other artists. My grandparents met in the youth orchestra, and both my parents play several instruments in their spare time. In our home you could find almost any kind of instrument, and pick the one you liked the best. My first instrument was the recorder – which I now also play as a professional. We are 4 sisters, and as my younger sister started playing the cello, I completely fell in love with the instrument. I remember coming for her lessons at the music school and secretly practicing it at home, when I thought nobody heard it. Of course my parents knew, and after a while they let me have my own lessons at the music school. At this time I had no idea how many surprising experiences this instrument can bring you. Or that I would be traveling thousands of kilometers with this big and unhandy instrument on a bike. There is one question you get very often as a cellist. “Don’t you regret that you didn’t choose the piccolo flute?” I get it a lot when I’m on the bicycle . But, neither as a child nor now, would I regret my choice of the best instrument in the world! – And my piccolo recorder fits perfectly inside the cello case together with the cello.


Where did you studied cello? In which Conservatory? Who were your first teachers?
My first teacher came from Iceland, Örnólfur Kristjánsson. He completely shared my love for the cello. I remember coming early for my lessons to listen to the previous student through the door.
He had a special ability, which is still a mystery to me: My sister and I shared a cello. – An old instrument from our grandmother build in 1761. My sister had her lesson earlier in the day, and left the cello at the music school until my lesson. Our teacher liked the instrument and sometimes he played it in between. The interesting thing is, that when I came, I could always tell if he had been playing it or not. It felt totally different, it somehow resonated more and reacted faster to the bow. If I asked him, if he had played it, he would just answer “yes” or “no” as if he didn’t know what he had done to it. Later I studied at the Royal Danish Academy of Music in Copenhagen. I had very skilled teachers. Among those were Professor Morten Zeuthen and Jakob Kullberg. They both managed to convey their experience in the field of music in different ways. Professor Zeuthen had the ability to make you play an etude in double tempo of what you thought you could, just by playing a simple accompaniment on the piano. Jakob Kullberg, had a bunch of his students coming at the same time. His style of teaching minute bow technique and intonation was somehow so addictive, that you just wanted to hang around for the other students’ lessons. [to be continued ⇒]