2016 Performer Profiles:

No.1 – Lena Eckels (viola)

Associate Artistic Director Jamie Campbell introduces some of the outstanding performers taking part in the 2016 Southwell Music Festival.

“The very high standard of Festival performances is due to the quality of our visiting musicians. I thought our audiences would enjoy getting to know some of these very special players and singers so we are publishing a short series of profiles in the days leading up to the Festival. I am going to begin with viola player Lena Eckels.

“I met Lena in 2009 when our quartets both took part in the London International String Quartet Competition. Our quartets socialized together there, and at other competitions, most notably at a late-night jazz club in Bordeaux! I have always loved hearing Lena’s wonderful playing, and I am really excited to have the chance to play chamber music with her for the first time.”

Please introduce yourself

lena eckels“I took up the viola at the age of 10 and I live in Lübeck, in north Germany. I have recently moved back to Lübeck because I got offered a teaching position for viola at the Musikhochschule. I used to study there myself and I am incredibly happy to be returning to my roots, as Lübeck has always been one of my favourite places.

“After playing in the Amaryllis String Quartet for many years, I left the group last April because I wanted to focus on teaching more regularly and to have more time for my own projects. Playing in a string quartet is the most wonderful job that a viola player could ever dream of, but after 10 years it was time for a change!”

What piece are you most looking forward to playing at the Festival?

“Without a doubt it is Arnold Schönberg’s “Transfigured Night”. It is one of my favourite pieces of all and I am so much looking forward to playing it at the Festival. The way Schönberg reflects Dehmel’s poem to create a 30 minute long arc of tension is unique.”

What projects do you have coming up after the Festival?

“Some weeks after the Southwell Music Festival, I will be part of the Otzberger Sommerkonzerte in Germany. It is a little festival that has became a gem during recent years. The artists are able to create programmes together with the local promoters. New unknown pieces are especially welcome and it is a wonderful challenge getting to play pieces you usually never hear in any concerts – like a duo for viola and bassoon!”

Win a night at the Opera – and raise funds for the Festival