Clemens Schuldt has recently been appointed as Music Director of the Orchestre symphonique de Québec, a position he commences from the 2023/24 season. He is widely praised for his innovative interpretations and his deep understanding of music. His knowledge, particularly about the classical and romantic repertoire, as well as his creativity to include lesser-known and contemporary works in his programmes are widely acclaimed. We met him in Timișoara, where he was present to conduct the combined youth orchestras of Germany, Ukraine, and Moldova, as well as the orchestra of the local Music University.
Q: Hi Clemens, I am pleased to meet you. I want to ask you to introduce yourself.
A: I’m Clemens Schuldt. I’m a conductor. And I’m having the, the honour to be the conductor of the ” Denumirea orchestrei” , you know caster and the special projects here in Romania Timisoara with youth from different countries from Ukraine and Moldova. It’s a big pleasure. Okay,
Q: When did you start working with this type of orchestra, made up of young musicians?
A: I love these kinds of projects, because it’s, it’s very refreshing for me as a musician, to see this enthusiastic group of people. And I always like if I have one project in season, looking forward to and we started three weeks ago or two weeks ago, in Germany, and we already had some concerts and now we are refreshing ourselves and with the new friends of the other countries, we have another two days of rehearsal.
Q: You said this refreshing to work with the orchestra. So in your opinion, what’s difference between a regular orchestra and youth orchestra?
A: I tell you an example. I came to an orchestra. And then the concert master came to me and told me, Mr. Schulte we don’t have to rehearse. We have a version here. It’s no necessary to so we know it already. This kind of spirit is not always the case. There are many professional orchestras that are willing to accept new ideas and to improve of course, but you that will never happened in a youth orchestra. I say we are all curious. We want to play good. We want to have new ideas. We have good ideas we want to play together. But we want to discover the piece. What is this piece from Weinberg from Strauss about? So this mindset is just amazingly curious and willing to perform well, in the youth orchestra.
Q: So, you think this kind of project is important for the classical music future?
Î: Yeah, absolutely. Those musicians of the future of conducting composition, playing an orchestra, soloists, chamber music, the whole culture world depends on the new generation. And it’s not only about orchestra playing, for me, it’s also about making friends connections, coming out of your room, being an outsider in your school, may maybe some have not really met in other artists on this professional level, when I was 18, that was the first time I met, although it’s hugely talented persons, and I’m still friends with some of them. It’s a very, very important step, to learn how to communicate playing orchestra, yes, but also, yeah, to have new friends in your world.
Q: You think it’s hard for for a young musician to join and play in this type of orchestra?
A: Where there is a hearing audition for it. So to enter in this orchestra, you have to play in front of a jury or you have to have a price and a competition and national competition called your movie theatre. And so it’s, it’s privileged to be here, but I don’t think there needs any other motivation. So it’s kind of an honour to be a member of now of the bone resumo cast and so everyone is really prepared and want to perform good. And then you can see this joy on stage.
Q: So you said the this young people are very perfectionist and they are true professionals
A: Yeah, absolutely. In the in the in the best way, I think perfectionist, we just had us talk with a member of the orchestra. And he said, We are the bonus human orchestra, it has to be perfect. And then I said yes, but we also have to do to let ourself allow to make mistakes. It’s all about making mistakes when you’re young and then becoming better. And even I am 40 Now we all make mistakes. And it’s not only only about perfection, it’s also about the spirit, how deep you go into music and how Yeah, how you are you see how you see the notes? What what is what is your imagination about all this? That’s important and not only perfection, okay. This type of
Q: Do you think this kind of projects can help the public development in the concert hall?
A: Well the first thing is we deliver to the audience an amazing amount of energy, they can see how we played for public with all our hearts. I really believe that this energy and this love we have that transports to the audience. So this is a visual but also acoustic thing. And then in the other hand, it’s maybe a matter of programming of deliver something they know something new, something challenging, but something dancey and fun. So we have everything in our programme to really, yeah, to bind a new and established audience both.
Q: I think you are a very good example for this young people. So you have an advice for future musician or actual young musician.
A: Things, I hope. Yeah, I hope I hope to be an inspiration. I, I mean, I’m not so far away from you. And I remember my time and wanting those conductors or teachers to inspire me and to lead my way you’re very dependent on those figures. If a teacher keeps on saying perfection is the only thing we need. Then for me, I’m like a flower without water. I just draw. Inspiration is something more it’s, it’s about human being about enthusiasm, about energy about creativity, much more than than just one way.
Q: So, be creative is your advice for future musician.
A: Yes, open your mind. Be good at what you can be. But always that was wouldn’t be my advice. See what’s left and right and see what can inspire you.