A young cellist from Afghanistan contacts me. She tells me about her dreams. Her message shows all the enthusiasm of his 16 years. I propose an interview. Meena replies “Wow this is great and wonderful!” This is how my questions begin.
When did you start to play the cello, and why the cello and not another musical instrument?
I started playing cello when I was in fifth grade in Afghanistan National Institute of Music (ANIM). The first time that I heard cello, I was in fourth grade 4. Before that, I’ve never heard or seen a cello in my life. As soon as I heard the sound of the cello something really special and sweet happened to my heart. Cello has a really deep sound and really powerful sound that’s why cello got a huge part in my life and in my heart.
Are there many cellists in your country?
We don’t have many cellists in Afghanistan which makes me a little sad. We only have like 4 or 5 cellists throughout Afghanistan.
Is it easy to get a good cello in your country?
We can’t find cello or other instruments like viola, trumpet, obe, clarinet, etc… in here that’s why school gives instruments for all students.
Are there any music schools in your country?
There is only one music school in my entire country and it’s called “Afghanistan National Institute of Music” (ANIM).
Who was your first (or the most important) cello teacher?
When I started playing cello I only had a teacher for like 6 months and then she went back to her own country after five or six months another cello teacher came and she is the one who helped me to really understand cello and also helped me to stay strong in my hard times because playing music is not easy in Afghanistan especially when you are a girl.
When and where did you play in public for the first time?
My first concert for the public was in Germany and it was also my first time playing outside of Afghanistan as a member of Afghanistan’s first all-female orchestra (Zohra).
What is the moment of your life as a cellist that you remember with more pleasure?
Every moment of playing the cello is a pleasure for me. The most beautiful moment of playing the cello was when I performed with Divino Sospiro Orchestra in Portugal.
What is your favorite composer and which is your favorite composition?
My favorite composer is Edward Elgar. His music has something really special and I love all his compositions.
Do you prefer to play alone, with other cellists, or with musicians who play other instruments?
I have never played with a group of cellists alone but I have played with different huge orchestras. In the future, I want to experience how it is to play with 20 cellists. And I also really like to play solo with orchestra and that’s why I have composed a piece for cello and orchestra. It’s called DAWN and it’s about women’s struggles in Afghanistan.