首页 >> 新闻动态 >>新鲜事 >> 一位历史系学生如何成为大提琴家丨莎娜·罗尔斯顿专访(二)

QQ在线: 点击这里给我发消息


周一 至 周日 : 9:00-19:00


18676831118:陈老师 电话/微信

18127810723:客服 电话/微信



Conversation with Shauna Rolston


By Tim Janof

Do you think you had a certain affinity for the cello in the beginning?


Yes, I believe I did. I was given my first cello on my second birthday. Even though I thought of it as a fabulous toy, I knew there was something special about it. It felt comfortable right away and it felt as if it were meant for me.


My parents were very laid back about my cello playing from the beginning. Instead of launching me right away into a regimented practice program, I was given the freedom to experiment with it and find ways to communicate through it. The cello was a source of great fascination and joy for me.



What did you do during the six years between age 12 and college when you had no cello teacher?


I played chamber music with my parents and traveled a lot, playing concertos and recitals. I also made some recordings. I was so busy performing that it would have been difficult for me to have any sort of normal weekly lessons. It was the only life I knew, so I didn't think of it as particularly unusual. It was only later in life when I realized that other people had a very different experience. It seemed perfectly fine with me at the time and I was quite happy to freely experiment on my own.


I had actually planned on studying with Leonard Rose at Juilliard. He had invited me to work with him when I was eleven or twelve, but it was just at that point that my family had decided to move to Banff. I remember calling him and saying, "I'm just so freaked out, Mr. Rose, because we're moving to Banff, and it's like paradise there. I want to study with you but I think I need to be there."



He was so great about it and very supportive of my decision. I ended up working with Aldo Parisot and Janos Starker in the summers when they came to Banff. I had planned to work with Rose after I finished high school, but he passed away before I had the chance.


After high school I toured quite a bit. It was during my second year of traveling on my own that I found myself in El Paso to solo with its orchestra. It was a surreal time because the normally dry and hot El Paso had a tiny dusting of snow, which caused the entire city to shut down. My concert was supposed to be canceled that night. Having grown up in the mountains where there is real snow, I couldn't believe it.


Anyway, I was lying in bed in my hotel room and I started thinking about my life's direction. I certainly enjoyed my performing career, but I thought that someday I might want to do something else with my life. I also realized that the longer I waited, the less inclined I would be to go to college, so I decided that it was time for me to add another dimension to my life.



I was scheduled to play a recital at Yale a few days later and while there I ran my plans by Yale's cello professor, Aldo Parisot. He agreed that I should study at Yale, but there was an application process to deal with. The problem was that I hadn't taken any SAT's or achievement tests and the application deadline was only a few days later. I walked into the admissions office that day and said that I wanted to have an interview.


The woman at the front desk gave me this look like, "Who do you think you are?" I explained that I was playing a recital at Yale and I wanted to become a student. I told her that I needed to have an interview right then and there because I was leaving town the next day. I didn't mean to be arrogant. I just figured that I was in town and I wanted to chat with someone about Yale.



Once she got over her shock, she asked where I was from. When I told her that I was from Banff, she asked "What's a 'Banff'?" After we got through the Banff question, that it was in Canada and that Canada has provinces, not states, she asked which prep school I had attended. When I told her Banff Community High School she had an incredulous look and said, "And you want to go to Yale?" I said, "Yeah, I really do, and I'd really to talk with somebody besides you."


The head of admissions came and I explained my situation to her. She asked, "Where else have you applied?" I said, "Nowhere. I want to go here. I don't have a Plan B." She told me that I had to take the SAT and other achievement tests. I said, "Fine. When and where do I take them?" She said, "Tomorrow ů in Calgary." Yikes!


I had a recital that night, so I played the concert and drove all night to Calgary and took the tests the next day. In Canada, it's taken for granted that good students get into the university, so it wasn't until I did some research that I realized how difficult it was to get into Yale. Then it hit me that I had no Plan B and I freaked out. What was I thinking?! Fortunately, Yale accepted me, and I made the most of my time there.



I entered Yale as a freshman in Art History while also studying with Mr. Parisot. Mr. Parisot soon asked me to teach other freshman cellists. I ended up getting a Bachelor's in Art History and a Master's in Music five years later. As if this wasn't enough, I was still touring.


I was taken aback when Mr. Parisot first asked me to be his assistant. I felt humbled and yet affirmed that he felt he could trust me with his students. Then after I had gotten into the rhythm of things with the undergrads, he asked me to take over his graduate student class whenever he was away on tour, which included teaching master classes.



This was too much and I stammered, "Mr. Parisot, you're so kind to me and I'm honored and flattered that you would ask me to do this, but this doesn't seem appropriate."


He looked at me through his dark glasses and asked, "Do you care about music?" Yes. "Do you think about music?" Yes. "Are you able to articulate your thoughts?" Yes. "So what's the problem?" I guess there wasn't a problem and I told him to have a great trip!



Given that you didn't have much formal training, I would imagine it was a challenge to teach.


Teaching is a tremendous challenge whatever one's background. My lack of formal training had its advantages, though. My musical upbringing had forced me to ask myself lots of questions, starting at a very young age, which meant that I was used to thinking for myself and coming up with my own solutions.


I found this helpful when teaching others because I was constantly challenging my students to think for themselves too. I was also used to exercising my imagination because I had collaborated with so many composers on their new works.



The collaborative process puts a performer in the position of in essence creating something from nothing since there are no recordings to refer to. I found that teaching really suited me because I felt connected to the whole process of being freely creative and experimental and yet being very systematic and working through various challenges. I felt my job as a teacher was to cultivate in my students a similar sensibility that didn't depend on dogma from others.


My background had forced me to come up with my own answers. I was exposed to many musicians and they'd ask me why I did various things. This forced me to analyze my own process and to figure out what I was doing naturally so that I could have an answer the next time I was asked the same questions. Since it wasn't possible for me to have a regular teacher, I was forced to be more self reliant.


It was fascinating to teach students who were my exact age and who had taken a more traditional route. This dynamic allowed me to view lessons as more of an exchange of ideas. I wasn't claiming to know more than they did, I just had a different experience.



Did you find it difficult to do things once you started thinking about them to the degree of detail that enabled you to teach others?


That never happened to me. It must have been the perfect time for me to start teaching when I entered Yale. I had been doing my own quiet research during my teens, plus I had learned so much from all my performing. Things just fell into place for me. I can't tell you how lucky I feel.


When you don't have a teacher keeping an eye on you week after week, it's easy to develop habits that get in the way later. Are there things you had to unlearn?


here were probably things I changed my mind on as I learned more, but I don't think of cello playing in that way. It's my job to figure out a way to precisely express what I believe the composer intended. If this means I have to twist my arm in an unorthodox way or rotate my cello in another, so be it. The notion of what can be considered a "bad habit" becomes much less clear when musical expression becomes the priority.




What was it like studying with William Pleeth?


I worked with him a little at the Britain Peers School for one summer. I don't recall anything specific, but I do recall that he had tremendous energy and was very good at explaining things. At that time I was enamored with Jacqueline du Pré, so I enjoyed the sense of connection with her through him.


I imagine his approach meshed well with yours, since he encouraged his students to find the technique necessary for expression.


We seemed to have similar goals. I enjoyed my time with him and learned a lot. I have always been interested in cultivating technique on a personal level. I don't believe that there is a generic technique that you can somehow turn on a switch and suddenly create magic. Music and technique are intertwined.






电话:020-36588181 / 66625380

手机:18127810723 陈老师

    18676831118 安老师