Mathis Rochat and Razvan Popovici will join the teaching faculty in September 2023
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The Royal Conservatoire Antwerp has announced the addition of violists Mathis Rochat and Razvan Popovici to its teaching staff.
’Both Mathis and Razvan bring a wealth of international experience and in-depth expertise to our conservatoire, and we are excited for our students to learn from them,’ said Inge Simoens, head of the classical music programme at the Royal Conservatoire Antwerp. ’We are confident that they will benefit greatly from their knowledge and guidance as both are incredibly talented and accomplished violists as well as passionate educators.’
’I am excited to take on this new position and new challenge,’ Swiss-French violist Rochat told The Strad. On his approach to teaching, he said, ’You need a variety of ideas in order to adapt to students’ needs. Learning to structure my own ideas helps me to help my students do the same. Teaching helps me tame this creative flow, give clearer structure to my thoughts and plans, and hone my skills as a musician and violist as well as a teacher.
’For these reasons, I am embarking on this new appointment with great enthusiasm and gratitude for what I will gain, as well as what I can give back.’
Rochat resides in Brussels, having joined the Queen Elizabeth Chapel as artist in residence in 2018. His former teachers include Antoine Tamestit, Tatjana Masurenko, Lars Anders Tomter and Miguel Da Silva.
He has appeared with the Geneva Chamber Orchestra, the Camerata Schweiz, the Norddeutsche Philharmonie and the Khirgize State Orchestra. As a recording artist, he has released his albums L’alto Parnassien and Rachmaninoff Stories, with an upcoming album to feature classical concerti by J.G Graun as well as a transcription of a C.P.E Bach Cello concerto featuring the Camerata Schweiz under Howard Griffiths. Rochat plays a 1949 Pierre Vidoud viola.
Read: ‘No one knows how a viola should sound!’: how Mathis Rochat transcribed Rachmaninoff for viola
Born into a a family of musicians, Popovici studied in Salzburg, Paris and Freiburg with Peter Langgartner, Jean Sulem, Wolfram Christ and Christoph Wyneken.
Popovici has enjoyed an international career as a soloist, chamber musician and orchestra player. He is founder and executive director of the Chiemgauer Musikfrühling Festival in Germany and of the SoNoRo Festival in Bucharest. He was appointed executive director of the Europalia Festival 2019/20 in Brussels and is a member of the Ensemble Raro, with wich he tours regularly Europe, Japan and North America.
He has played as an extra player with the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra and has been guest principal violist with many orchestras including the Cologne Chamber Orchestra, the Munich Chamber Orchestra, Chamber Aartists Zürich, the Gstaad Festival Orchestra and the Kobe Chamber Orchestra.
Popovici has given master classes in Europe, Japan and South America. He teaches regularly at the Villa Musica Foundation in Mainz.
Read: Concert review: Ensemble Raro
Read: Antoine Tamestit on the ‘Mahler’ Stradivari viola
Read: Masterclass: Hummel Potpourri for viola and piano
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