The Modest Maestro

"If you can make one person’s day better through listening, it’s all worth it."

 Photo by Ivan Lee

Photo by Ivan Lee

Fast Facts

Where did you grow up?

Good old Melbourne.

 Where did you study and with whom?

I learnt from the inimitable Lynley Bramble until the end of secondary school and then moved to the University of Melbourne during the William Hennessy era where I studied with Hennessy for my undergraduate degree and Caroline Henbest for Masters.

Do you have a secret or not so secret hobby?

I’ve come to appreciate that nothing is so embarrassing that it has to be kept secret! I love dancing. Any and all styles. My own style. Officially I learn tap but I’d happily try anything. I also binge on the vlogs of YouTubers during my down time.

Read more about Merewyn's life with the Viola.

Read what our violist Merewyn Bramble had to say about her love of the viola...

What drew you to the viola and what makes it special to you?

The viola fell under my chin when I was 10 and determined to perform the Mozart Oboe Quartet with other local children. My mother thought there wasn’t enough time for me, a violinist, to learn the clef but I proved her wrong! The viola became special to me because there were fewer violists around so it seemed like a secret club. I fell in love with its tone not long after.

The viola often gets trusted with the most stunning alto voice lines in orchestral and chamber music - what are some of your favourite works?

There are fabulous viola moments in…

  1. Vaughan Williams – Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis
  2. Strauss – Don Quixote
  3. Elgar – Enigma Variations
  4. Kodaly – Hary Janos Suite
  5. Britten – Young Person’s Guide
  6. Mahler – Symphony no.1

Greatest chamber works for viola?

  1.  Mozart String Quintets
  2. Brahms String Quintets & Sextets
  3. Smetana – String Quartet ‘From My Life’
  4. J.S. Bach – Brandenburg Concerto no.6
  5. Enescu – Octet

What makes performing music important to you?

If you can make one person’s day better through listening, it’s all worth it.

See Merewyn in concert this July for Beethoven Septet.