Violinist Sara Deborah Timossi (nee Struntz) joins forces with cellist Lynden Cranham to offer Family Affairs: Baroque Works Inspired by the Violin Family for the Festival of Chichester.
Part of the Amici Concerts series within the festival, the concert is in St Pancras Church, Eastgate Square on Friday, July 13 at 7.30pm – a range of solo and chamber music from across 17th and 18th-century Europe.
Sara comes to it as the 2017 Premio Bonporti prizewinner: “I met Lynden through the Consort of Twelve. We move in very similar circles in early music, and funnily enough, Lynden was very helpful last year to help me prepare for the competition in Italy which I won. I got together a few friends and we went through some of the repertoire to help me prepare for it. It is a one of the biggest international competitions for baroque violin, and it is very important for its reputation. I have already had a lot more exposure because of it here in England. There are several groups that I am working with now more regularly. It has made a difference, and I have got an agent in Italy. Competitions can be significant like that. It does not mean that I can drop everything in the hope that concerts will come flying to me, but it does help!
“I think over the years I have built up more of an understanding of competitions, about how they work. You always want to be very authentic. I had had success before in getting out of the first round, but this was the first time I actually got to the final. Maybe there was an extra bit of ambition because of that. Maybe that’s why I was able to show the best of myself.”
And all this is combined with being mum to three children, aged nine, six and two: “It is not easy to juggle, but on the other hand it all gives you a different view of life. You know that if you don’t have the success that you wanted that there are other things that are more important! But I love music. I am constantly seeing how it helps people and how it informs people’s lives, like my own, and if I don’t have the chance to practise, I really miss it, but it is important to have other perspectives.
“I definitely grew from one competition to the next – polishing myself as a player through practise, reading of treatises, lessons and thoughtful application to the interpretation of repertoire as well as maturing as a person in experience and resilience. But there is naturally always an unknown element with competitions, and I’m just very grateful it did work out so well that time.
“Obviously I also had lots of help from lovely people foremost my husband and family and in that case my in-laws who helped looking after the children for those two weeks, as well as friends being supportive of me as a player (like Cat Mackintosh and Lynden) and others freeing me up for practice.”