'The most important thing is to stay true to your own personality'
When I first began entering competitions, my mother told me that I would never be satisfied with my playing, and that it was completely natural to be like that. In each piece, I was terrified of not being able to play certain small things, but she helped me see that I could only do my best each time.
Petru Munteanu, my teacher at the Hochschule für Musik in Rostock, made me understand that I couldn’t possibly hope to please everyone, and that the most important thing was to stay true to my own personality. He did this through his method of teaching: even if he didn’t like the way I played something, he’d allow me to convince him of my interpretation – and if it was convincing enough, he wouldn’t make me change it. Each of his students played differently, and I think it was because he had excellent ideas but never forced his students to act on them.
Violinist Baiba Skride’s new Schumann CD is out this month on the Orfeo label
Photo: Marco Borggreve