IDRS Podcast with Anne Gilby                        

Terry B. Ewell, Interviewer

2018 Aug. 29. Granada, Spain


Terry B. Ewell: Then when you went to Germany you studied with?

Anne Gilby: Helmut Winschermann

TBE: What was his approach like?

AG: He was very much concerned with the detail of musical phrasing, I found. He expected the students among themselves to sort out technical issues.

TBE: He worked with advanced students.

AG: They were advanced students and they knew what they were doing. He was a part of a tradition of playing. He had served in the Deutsche Bachsolisten Orchestra and so he was very much engaged in the Baroque Era of music making. So, that was fascinating to me to have insights there.

TBE: What were some of the insights of the Baroque Era?

AG: It was about the art the phrasing. It was about the attention to detail. He had an absolute discipline in playing. For example, no one was allowed to play the Mozart Concerto in public unless they had been practicing it everyday for a year. That was his philosophy. You actually had to study something, understand it, and come to grips with it. I really appreciated that as a way of approaching, working on music because I had absolutely the opposite with Goosens, when I had to be able to play things immediately on sight. That was his modus operandi. I had completely the opposite with Winschermann, who was saying, “No, the articulation must be formed correctly here. You must understand your trills.” I spent hours practicing how to do a Baroque trill, for example. The proportion and making sure you come out correctly at the turn. That makes such good sense. I try to convey this to students. About understanding the craft of finger count on a trill. Knowing how many movements you are actually making. That is the level of detail. When it becomes part of your DNA, as it were, it then enables you to transfer that into the music that you are playing, no matter what it is, in that era.

It was the level of detail and the love of music, basically. Winschermann had such a powerful love of music. It was a very open-door policy with his tuition as well. We were expected to be there at anybody’s lesson. We didn’t have to be, but there was an expectation that we would learn from each other. I know that this happens in European classes. It certainly wasn’t the way that we were taught elsewhere. So, this something that I found invaluable as a wind player.

Copyright © 2018 by Terry B. Ewell. All rights reserved.