Ana Topalovic, cellist, composer, teacher. For some years, those who wish to have her as a teacher can do so without leaving their home. A nice experience, born almost by chance. Let’s get to know Ana.
When did you start playing and why did you choose the cello?
I started playing when I was around 3 years old, using toys, baby xylophones, or anything I could get my hands on. When I was 6, my parents didn’t have a choice but to put me in a music school where I first played piano. I still remember vividly the day when I was introduced to the cello. It was love at first sight & sound.
Which teachers were the most decisive in your training, and from which points of view?
As it happens, I had to change a couple of teachers during my education and I was really lucky because I got exactly the right teacher at the right time for my development. And I’ve learned a lot from every one of them. But the one who stands out for me was my last professor, Martin Hornstein. He shaped me not only as a cellist but also as an artist.
During your career, what were the experiences that gave you the most important satisfaction?
There are so many! First solo concert, the first time in Vienna Musikverein or Carnegie Hall, every time I play for kids or when I receive a piece written especially for me. When I see a sudden spark in the eyes of my audience. When I perform with amazing colleagues when Mr. Cello is in a good mood when my synesthesia (seeing music) intensified after giving birth to my daughter. When I get paid as I should. When I get to meet different peoples and cultures through my work… so many!!
In your professional activity, do you have more satisfaction in playing, in teaching or in composing?
These are three totally different activities, but they are all creative and about music and that’s why I enjoyed them all.
How and when was your interest in the composition born?
It came naturally. Already as a child, I enjoyed some light improvisation on piano or cello. As I developed as an artist it just took a more professional form. I have a kind of a cinema and radio (having synesthesia) in my inner eye and ear and all of it just has to come out, it is a very natural process for me.
When composing, do you prefer to fix your musical thoughts with paper and pencil, or do you use music software?
I love gadgets!! I use my tablet for almost everything. I also perform with the digital scores.