@MCRT.Studio Friends: Marianne Yeomans

Inspiration can come from many sources. For us, one avenue to gain inspiration is through our peers. As part of the @MCRT.Studio Journal, we wanted to give you inspiration by interviewing those whose creative work we admire.

Our first interview is with a dear friend of ours. Marianne Yeomans is a Violist in the Australian Brandenburg Orchestra. She also plays with The BBC Philharmonic, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, Pinchgut Opera, Australian Romantic and Classical Orchestra to name a few. She has also worked with the likes of Michael Bublé, Tina Arena, Robbie Williams and Jose Carreras.

I (RT) had the privilege of taking some portrait images of Marianne and so I took the opportunity to ask her some burning questions on why she chose a career in arts. Enjoy!

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How old were you when you started playing the Viola?

I started on the Violin first when I was 6. I actually asked to play the Viola then, but they didn’t make children’s sized Violas then, so I had to begin on Violin. I started Viola when I was 14. And played both Violin and Viola. But my love has always been for the Viola, and professionally I’m known as a Violist.

Why the Viola?

The sound! It has a rich deep sound. It is the middle voice in the string section and has such interesting and enjoyable parts to play. 

Do you play other instruments?

I learnt Piano and Harpsichord as well...but I can’t say that I was any good...!

Career Highlight?

Oh wow, I’m not sure! Have had such wonderful opportunities over the years. I’ve played several times at the Proms in the UK with both the BBC Philharmonic and the Australian Brandenburg Orchestra.

I also had a terrific few years working in a string quartet in the UK with whom we played some very special concerts and tours. One particular concert in France, we played Janacek Intimate Letters. The feeling of playing that piece in this particular sold out concert, was quite memorable.

I also love being able to play a variety of genres of music. From playing music of the 17th and 18th Centuries on my period viola with gut strings, to playing with symphony orchestras with my modern viola. I also love playing pop gigs as well! The variety is wonderful!

How would you judge the Viola position in the orchestra?

The Viola has a great role. It adds rhythmic and harmonic texture. It can add such warmth to the sound and can have really fun rhythmic parts.

What do you enjoy most about being a musician?

It’s quite special to have a job that you love doing. I will always appreciate that. It’s also lovely to see how much joy music can bring to people in the audience.

A musician’s life is always varied as well, so there is never a dull moment! I do love a bit of a challenge. So it’s great to be kept on your toes with different concert programs, concert halls and schedules!

What do you love about @MCRT.Studio? 

So many things! I love the use of colour to add texture and dimension. I love the large scope works like the murals. And I love my print of the peonies, it always makes me smile.

Follow Marianne on Insta: @marianneyeomans.viola

Rozelle Tan