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Ben du Toit, ON

Ottawa , CANADA

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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 ?
Having started on the violin when I was a child I was always drawn towards string instruments. In high school a spot opened up for the jazz band bassist, so I started on electric bass and switched to double bass in my last year.

03. Describe some of your professional goals./Décrivez quelques-unes de vos ambitions professionnelles.
The ultimate end goal is a spot in a major orchestra somewhere in the world, but preferably in Canada! Once I've secured a position I'd like to integrate myself into the teaching community.

04. What are your other interests and/or hobbies?/ Quels sont vos autres intérêts ou passe-temps?
Recently I've started rock climbing, which has been an interest of mine since I was a kid. Over the past few months it's become a pretty serious hobby, which is great because it ties in quite nicely with my other love of being outside! I really enjoy a good camping trip, and soon I'll get to incorporate the climbing aspect. Super exciting. Aside from being outside I enjoy baking (breads mostly, but I make a mean chocolate chip cookie), and tinkering with small woodworking projects.

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 ?
Far to many to choose just one.

07. What is your favourite piece of music?/ Quel est votre morceau préféré ?
Again, the list is a long one.

08. What is your favourite concerto for your instrument?/ Quel est votre concerto préféré pour votre instrument?
Right now I'd have to say the Bottesini b minor concerto.

09. For returning members: What is your fondest memory from a previous session and/or tour?/ Pour participants vétérans : Quels sont vos souvenirs préférés de la session ou tournée précédente de l’ONJC ?
Ah jeez. Speckled throughout the entire session last year are a handful of what I've since started calling "perfect" days. You know, those days or moments that'll just stick with you forever, and someday when you're old you'll be bouncing your grandkid on your knee and you'll say, "I remember, in the first summer I spent with the NYO there was this one day that...." and you'll regale them with a story that'll leave them wishing they were there. My absolute favorite part about those stories is they often involved the same group of people, and that's what I'd have to say is my fondest memory from last year. Meeting those forever-friends that you made those perfect memories with.

10. What made you decide to pursue classical music?/ Pourquoi avez-vous choisi une formation en musique classique ?
The depth and scope of emotions that it so vividly captures never ceases to amaze me. I find I can listen to the same piece over and over and with each listen discover something new. It's a refreshing world to be a part of.

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 ?
In my practices I've discovered that I am often the architect of the obstacles I face. Be them technical difficulties where I simply need to remember to draw the bow and not press, or mental hurdles like self doubt and fear of failure, the root cause is always myself. Bummer.

12. Why did you choose to apply to NYO Canada?/ Pourquoi avez-vous choisi de poser votre candidature pour NYO Canada?
It's the best place to continue to develop my orchestral skills and musical sensitivity.

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?
A greater confidence and comfort playing with an orchestra.

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 and practicing.

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?
About a month ago I played my first year masters recital. I've gotta say, pretty proud of all that I accomplished to get it to the level that I did.