A student of Professor Qian Zhou, Monique graduated from YST in 2014 before winning a position in the Hyogo Performing Arts Centre Orchestra in Japan. Fast forward two years, she is now back Down Under (albeit not in her home country) working professionally as the 2nd violinist of the New Zealand String Quartet (NZSQ). The quartet will be performing in a special edition of the Noon Recital Series on 8 November at the YST Conservatory Concert Hall.
How has it been being a part of NZSQ?
ML: Joining the NZSQ has been a continually inspiring and gratifying musical journey. Having the opportunity to delve into the depths of countless quartets with a group which is now celebrating its 30th anniversary means I am literally swimming in a sea of experience and knowledge with these incredible and passionate musicians. I also love the fact that I am very much welcomed to contribute new energy, thoughts and ideas.
Do you see yourself growing musically with NZSQ?
ML: I believe so! The growing will never stop and this keeps music exciting, fresh and alive!
Coming back to YST, what are you reminded of?
ML: Definitely the incredible dedication of the faculty and staff who spend countless hours nurturing the students. I had the privilege to study violin under Prof Qian Zhou who always pushed our studio to strive for no less than the highest standards as a violinist and musician. And of course, the precious memories of strong friendships and musical bonds that I have formed, which still stand today.
Is there a particular lesson in YST that sticks with you till today?
ML: That has got to be during one of my chamber music classes, when Leslie Tan of the T’ang Quartet said, “Tell me a STORY!”. These words still resonate in my mind to this day; they have helped me build a deep connection to the music and consequently create strong communication to the audience.
We are currently accepting application for 2018 admissions. Do you have any advice for our prospective students?
ML: Studying at YST is an incredible journey if you fully embrace it! Be open to every opportunity that comes your way, push yourself to the limit and really take in all the knowledge of every faculty member you come across. The amount of experience walking those corridors is immense and they are ready to support and guide you through your studies. My number one piece of advice applies not only to university but to life: never stop learning and follow your authentic intensities.