I am an Espoo resident born and bred. I actually dreamed of getting a job in the Tapiola Sinfonietta when I was a student. I liked the chamber music vibe of this small orchestra and admired its intense and vivid approach to making music. I was finishing my studies when I heard that the Tapiola Sinfonietta was announcing a Leader vacancy, and I decided to apply. I won the audition and got my dream job.
The best thing about my job is being able to do what I love: work with inspiring top musicians and play great music. I have also had the opportunity to appear as a soloist with my own orchestra, which is always special. In addition to our concert series, we play chamber music and give special performances to audiences of all ages, from infants to senior citizens.
The finest moments are those where the music just takes off during the performance and things happen that we did not agree on beforehand. There is something magical about 40 musicians breathing together and sensing the moment together, telling a story through music.
I enjoy the social aspect of working in an orchestra, which is a wonderful balance to solitary practice. This group has been working together for a long time, and we know each other really well. When someone does a really good job with a solo in rehearsal, we may shuffle our feet on the floor in appreciation; it is a way of showing admiration and support that is not as disruptive as applause. We also show appreciation and hug each other after concerts. After all, we are all in this together!
At home, I like to cook good food and enjoy spending time with my large family and friends. At these gatherings, we usually listen to jazz, Argentinian tango or rock classics.
Meri Englund homepage: merienglund.com
Photo: Esko Keski-Oja