Andy Martin meets the newest member of the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra

The musicians of the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra have a great knack of choosing real rising stars to work with.

It is the players themselves who select the Leverhulme ‘Young Conductor in Association’ when the prestigious position comes around every two years or so, after a rigorous audition process.

This year they have excelled once again and picked a star in more than one sense of the word - the charming Marta Gardolinska has taken up the post.

“This is such a wonderful opportunity for me to be so involved in the life of the orchestra,” she said.

“It’s very exciting for me and of course I am especially pleased because it is the second time I have applied. I didn’t make it through the elimination process the first time.

“I didn’t quite believe I would get in, so it was a very nice surprise especially when I knew it was the orchestra’s decision.

“We have already worked together in concerts in Weymouth, Salisbury and Yeovil and I have had some good feedback.”

Marta is following in the footsteps of some recent hugely talented names, each bringing something from their home countries. They have included Maxime Tortelier and Victor Aviat from France and Frank Zielhorst from The Netherlands.

Marta, who has worked with former BSO chief conductor, Marin Alsop, as an associate at her fellowship, studied music in her native Poland until 2010 and has spent the last eight years in the world capital of music, Vienna.

She believes she will bring some Slavic emotion to proceedings.

“I remember somebody teaching Chopin once and saying, have you ever seen a Slavic person cry? We really cry dramatically and with lots of emotion. We have a strong feeling for the melody, so all these little details differentiate us. The emotionality.”

Frederic Chopin is the great national composer of Poland and again the theme of emotion is key.

“Sometimes I listen to his music and I don’t know whether to laugh or cry. He takes all the themes of Polish music and life to absolutely another level.

“I have what I can only say is a biological reaction to some of his pieces such as the Piano Concerto Number 1 and I sometimes think, I don’t know if I would be able conduct this.”

In Vienna, she learned much about the music of Johann Strauss, working first with an operetta company.

“It was a great first job. I conducted Die Fledermaus for 21 nights in a row, which is a fantastic exercise for a young conductor in flexibility and endurance.

“In my time there I also learned about and appreciated the Viennese way of making music which is very special, very flamboyant, not too exact but very joyful too.

“In some of the operettas there’s a lot of champagne mentioned and they are all a little bit tipsy most of the time.

“It’s wonderful.”

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