Considered one of the most exciting violinists of her generation, Lina Tur Bonet discovered the world of music at a young age guided by her father in her native Ibiza. After a period of training in Europe and winning awards at numerous international competitions, she has proven herself both as a solo musician on a multitude of different stages around the world and as a sought-after concertmaster in prestigious orchestras.
Passionate about music, she performs regularly in chamber ensembles, alternating world tours with CD recordings, several of them becoming multi-award winning. Her restless nature led her to create and direct a flexible ensemble called MUSIca ALcheMIca that allows great musicians to work together in a wide range of styles whilst also combining other educational and artistic projects.
You started to study music at the tender age of three. Would you say that all the memories of your life have a soundtrack associated with them?
Absolutely! I cannot imagine life without music and it has always been this way. I learned to read music before lyrics, and I often dream that I speak with music instead of with words. And it answers me! 😉
How do you think your life would be without music?
Impossible; it would not be my life. Music isn’t only what we play and what we hear… it goes far beyond that. Even if I lost my hearing, which I really hope never happens, there would still be music in me.
Your band MUSIca ALcheMIca’s new album features some of Vivaldi’s unpublished melodies. What a responsibility, right?
Yes, it was. More than just doing covers, we interpreted them and tried to make them sound as they would have done back then. It’s like a journey back in time! To be able to “recount” for the first time music that has been waiting so long to be listened to is very exciting. It had been there for so long the poor thing, waiting…
This last album has a touch of rock. Where does this come from?
I don’t think I can avoid being a musician of the present day, and it would be inevitable for it show… but, manly, it is because I have the theory that human beings are the same across all ages and I am sure that we are moved by the same passion, the same rhythms, the same needs to express ourselves as we were then. Hence why Shakespeare, Calderón, Velázquez or Vivaldi are so universal and transcend their eras.
This is why I don’t believe that this music is “rock” as such, but rather I think that what we now call “rock” has always been something intrinsic to us but that it was expressed in other ways, with other styles … but the essence is the same. And moreover, from what we know of Venice in the 18th century… I think it was quite “rock”, the ballads included.
What does the name of your new album ‘Il Grosso Mogul’ mean?
It is the title, the nickname of the first concert we interpreted. And some believe that it relates to the largest diamond ever found that was in India and that had so many carats it was almost a boulder.
What challenges come after performing unpublished works by the great Venetian master?
There are always challenges, in fact, I think that every day of a musician’s existence is a challenge, but that’s life 😉
On a serious note, I think that the challenge is in asking oneself where to go, when to stop, what to expect and how to deal with it. To be more specific, in January we released a new CD, this time a duet with Enrico Onofri, one of my violin idols. I am very honoured to have been able to work with him. And I have several projects that will expand my recordings repertoire.
Will we be able to see you in Ibiza soon?
Yes, on January 4, I will return to the island to celebrate the centenary of the Diario de Ibiza with two first-class fellow musicians: Cèline Flamen and Gordan Nicolich, concertmasters from the London Symphony Orchestra who are also idols of mine.
Which other countries or cities will you tour with your band next?
I just returned from Buenos Aires and Japan, where I played in Tokyo and stayed at an artist’s residence on the Goto Islands. My next commitments are Vienna, Paris and Frankfurt before the end of a year that has seen me travel outside Europe five times.
Of all of the stages you have performed on, which one would you like to return to?
Actually, all of them. Returning to New York is always very special to me, I love Tokyo … but also Italy, returning to Ibiza, South America, they are always so open-hearted … I love the audience of each place because of their special characteristics that differentiate them from others. It’s like going back to see old friends and recognising their singularities.
How do you combine your career as a solo violinist with being part of your band?
In reality, it’s all the same for me; it’s about sharing music with others, be it musicians or an audience. The format matters little, it is always chamber music. I don’t only play for myself… I only do that when I study.
You also teach at the Katarina Gurska School of Music in Madrid … How does teaching make you feel?
It helps with my commitment to music of giving back what I have received, but it also makes me review all my ideas and teaches me a lot in many aspects. Let’s say that I also “continue my studies with my students”.