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358 kmfrom home
"For 20 years I have been lifting people's spirits with the music of J.S. Bach."
Violinist and Director
Current Country: 
United Kingdom
Country of Origin: 

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I grew up in Holland with a French mother and a Dutch father. I was bilingual French/Dutch from the start. As a result, I never felt completely rooted in Holland. My parents both lived through the war. My mother studied German just after the war and was part of a movement of young people that worked for reconciliation between France and Germany. My mother was passionately pro-European. She saw the European Union as a way of avoiding wars within Europe in the future. Probably partly as a result of this upbringing I have always felt European and pro European Union. I learnt four more European languages with varying degrees of fluency. I now consider myself trilingual: English, Dutch, French and I can get by in German, Italian and Spanish. Languages have always held my interest. For me they are more than tools for communication: they are also cultural expressions. To understand a country, I believe one needs to learn its language. From a young age I instinctively knew that one day, I would move abroad. That moment arrived in 1992. I moved to London on 29 February 1992, initially with the idea of staying for a year. And I am still here. In 2006 I married a British man of Scottish descent. It feels comfortable to now feel 100 percent a foreigner rather than the 50 percent foreigner I used to feel when living in Holland. I have had to recognise and learn that once one is a foreigner, one always stays a foreigner. No amount of time spent in a new country can change this. I like this status. It allows me to be my own idiosyncratic self. Strangeness can always be blamed on my being foreign! My life as a classical musician has made me travel all over the world and I have met and played with musicians of many different nationalities. It is my dream to have a world without artificial borders and without weapons.

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