Meet cellist Tessa Dalgety-Evans the recipient of Dunedin Symphony Orchestra’s Scholarship for University Orchestral Instrumental Performance for 2018 

“Music has taught me skills that anchor me as a person: patience, resilience, motivation and listening”

When did you start playing the cello?
I started playing the cello at 9 years old. I remember we had a power cut at home when mum asked me whether I would like to learn the cello. I guess that made the moment very memorable!

I took a gap year in 2017 to the UK where I continued cello lessons and attended Summer Schools. For me, cello gives me access to great chamber ensemble and orchestral music connecting and playing with other musicians.

What are the challenges of making a cello/musician career?
From what I have seen so far, a musician’s life is as hard as it is great. My mother is a violinist in the NZSO, so I know how demanding that career can be. You have to be completely committed to that kind of life if you want to make it. I definitely want to have the cello and orchestral playing as part of my life, but it won’t be the only thing I do. I am also interested in music education. In an era that is dominated by believe to remain rounded and connected to one’s self and to others. Music has taught me skills that anchor me as a person: patience, resilience, motivation and listening.

What do you like about playing in the DSO and when was your first performance?
I am exposed to great orchestral repertoire in the DSO, which is a great opportunity for a first-year student. I’ve also enjoyed getting to know other members of the orchestra.

My first performance with the DSO was with the violinist Shlomo Mintz in April this year. Tchaikovsky’s violin concerto is an epic piece of music. It was awesome! I love to play rich orchestral repertoire from the romantic period. When the celli get the tune, it’s so much fun! I also like to invite friends to concerts who might not otherwise go. Experiencing the orchestra live is unlike anything else!

What does the DSO University of Otago Performance Scholarship mean for you?

I am so grateful, for this is a very valuable opportunity. It is a way for me to give back to my family who have supported me all these years. It’s an incentive to keep aiming high and a reminder to keep being the best I can be.

With thanks to the Friends of the DSO and the Orchestra’s Foundation for their support of the scholarship.