Chantel Leung, ON
Chantel Leung, ON
01. How old were you when you started playing your instrument?/ Quel âge aviez-vous quand vous avez commencé à jouer votre instrument ?
02. Why did you choose your instrument?/ Pourquoi avez-vous choisi cet instrument ?
When I was in grade 5, my school had string instruments for music class and when we had to rank the instruments, I actually chose the cello as my top choice. My reasoning behind this was not because I thought it was a beautiful instrument or anything profound. (I do find the cello is one of the most beautiful instruments now, next to the french horn.) I chose it because the boy I liked played the cello. Luckily for me, it all worked out and I got put with my second choice, which was the bass. For the rest of my elementary school career, I learned from a Strictly Strings book and somehow I was admitted into the Arts York program at Unionville High School. The program exposed me to a world of music festivals and orchestral repertoire that I didn’t know of before. Finally in grade 11, I decided I wanted to seriously pursue double bass and I began looking for a teacher. In grade 12, I had my first real double bass lesson and I loved it.
03. Describe some of your professional goals./Décrivez quelques-unes de vos ambitions professionnelles.
My biggest goal is to win a job in a major-city orchestra. I love the variety of music an orchestra gets the opportunity to play each season and I would love the challenge of having to prepare different repertoire every week. Another goal that I hope to accomplish is to give back to the community. I have been very fortunate to be on the receiving end of it and I would like to be on the other side some day.
04. What are your other interests and/or hobbies?/ Quels sont vos autres intérêts ou passe-temps?
I love baking and eating! If I'm not practicing or at work, I'm baking or eating ….or I’m thinking about what to bake and eat next! I've also recently started to go rock climbing in order to counter the effects of baking, eating and constantly thinking about food. (I really look forward to the food I’ll get to eat in Portugal!) I was very unsure about rock climbing at first because I didn’t want to injure myself and not be able to play. Luckily, I have found it to be a great stress reliever and it even helps me in my playing! It has definitely become one of my favourite sports now!
05. Do you write/arrange your own music?/ Êtes-vous compositeur ou arrangeur de votre propre musique ?
06. Who is your favourite classical musician?/ Quel est votre artiste (musicien) préféré ?
I admire too many to pick one!
07. What is your favourite piece of music?/ Quel est votre morceau préféré ?
I have too many favourites! But if I had to narrow it down a bit, any of Brahms’ symphonies!
08. What is your favourite concerto for your instrument?/ Quel est votre concerto préféré pour votre instrument?
Probably Bottesini's 2nd concerto. The second movement is so beautiful!
10. What made you decide to pursue classical music?/ Pourquoi avez-vous choisi une formation en musique classique ?
I started playing piano when I was four years old and I have wanted a career in music since then. I always thought I was going to be a piano teacher, but after being exposed to orchestral music, I decided to be an orchestral bassist!
11. What do you think is the biggest challenge you face in your pursuit of a career in music?/ Quel est le plus grand obstacle à surmonter afin de poursuivre une carrière en musique ?
I think the biggest challenge I face in my pursuit is being able to perform in the right mind space. I have heard a lot of people say that a performance is only a certain percentage of what you practice and I want to strive to have all my performances be 100% of what I practice. I don’t want to accept that my performance will never be 100% of what I practiced. It is a huge mind game and I hope to master the game.
12. Why did you choose to apply to NYO Canada?/ Pourquoi avez-vous choisi de poser votre candidature pour NYO Canada?
Attending NYO Canada has been my goal since I was in my second year of University.
13. How do you feel you will benefit from participation in NYO Canada?/ Comment bénéficierez-vous de votre participation dans le programme de NYO Canada?
I think NYO Canada will help me a lot with my orchestral playing skills. I feel it will be especially beneficial to my listening skills - within my section and within the orchestra. I also really look forward to working with Jeremy McCoy!
14. Were you accepted to any other summer music programs this year?/ Avez-vous été accepté/e à tout autre programme musical estival cette année?
15. If you weren’t touring with the NYO Canada, what would you be doing during the summer?/ Si vous n’étiez pas en tournée avec NYO Canada, que feriez-vous cet été?
Working full time in the Registrar’s Office at the Faculty of Music at the University of Toronto and practicing in preparation for school in September!
16. What was the proudest moment of your music career thus far?/ Jusqu’ici, quel est le moment de votre carrière musicale qui vous a apporté le plus de fierté?
My graduating recital was probably my proudest moment thus far. It was definitely not perfect and there are so many things I need to work on, but apart from playing musically, my goal for my recital was to just be present. I wanted to be in the moment and completely invest myself in the music. The most inspiring and beautiful performances I have watched are always when the performer is 100% invested in the music. It is moving and absolutely breath taking. A lot of the times when I perform, I find myself thinking about the weirdest, completely unrelated things and after the performance, I always feel I could have played better if I was more focused. I found this to be especially true after my third year recital and in order to not have that happen again, for the past year, I have been working very hard on trying to be in the right mind space. I feel I got pretty close to it in my recital this year and because of that, I am very proud of myself. Now that I know what it feels like, I will be able to recreate it again and it will be a little bit easier every time.
17. What scholarships, if any, have you been awarded in the past year?/ Quelles bourses, le cas échéant, avez-vous remporté au cours de la dernière année?
Arthur Plettner Scholarship