November 26, 2014

Interview with Lau Yun Xi, SNYO Cellist

Interview with Lau Yun Xi, SNYO Cellist

Young cellist Lau Yun Xi is one to look out for. At 15, she is one of the best cellists in the SNYO, and she was one of three cellists selected to fly to London for a week to be mentored under British award-winning cellist Natalie Clein. In the second part of three interviews, she tells Plink, Plonk, Plunk more about herself.

Hello! How old are you this year, and how long have you been playing cello?

I’m 15, and have been playing cello for 9-10 years

Did you choose to learn the cello?

Nope, it’s dad’s favourite instrument and he bought one for me.

Do you play any other musical instruments?


Which did you pick up first?

I guess I picked up both at around the same time.

Who inspires you?

Jacqueline Du Pre, I like her recording of Elgar (cello concerto), and Rostropovich’s Bach.
And Ms Clein as well, she has such an amazing big sound…

You went on a study trip last year to London, can you tell me more about it?

It was a week long, and not entirely musical as well – we got to walk around and see London too. Ms Clein gave a performance of Britten, and we attended and played in classes at the RCM. We also watched the London Symphony Orchestra at the Barbican; it was a gala concert, in celebration of Valery Gergiev’s 60th birthday. We also got to perform at the end of it.

How was Ms Clein as a teacher? And what was one most important lesson you learnt from her?

She’s very nice, very patient, and such a good teacher. I’ve learnt so much from her, all so important.. Guess it would be intonation

What was most memorable about that trip?

The masterclasses – I learnt a lot from Ms Clein, and we learnt from each other as well..

Do you have a favourite piece that you would like to learn some day?

Dvorak and Elgar cello concertos

What’s your favourite work or composer?
Brahms. I’ve been learning and will be playing the e minor sonata for the studio class later, and it is quite an emotional work, much more difficult to get the music than the notes

Any hobbies besides playing cello (if you even count that as a hobby)?

Reading, listening to music, especially on rainy days

Yunxi then went on to perform the first movement of a Brahms cello sonata, and the tone she drew out from the cello was simply gorgeous. She plays with the Singapore National Youth Orchestra  this Thursday evening, with soloist Natalie Clein under the baton of Jason Lai at the Esplanade Concert Hall, 7.30pm. Tickets going at $10 each, available from Sistic.

Photo credits: ©Jeff Low from

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