Under the Spotlight


Mime is a virtuoso baroque cellist, soloist, and chamber musician, who has been described by Strad magazine as a musician who captivates audiences with a musicality that flows as naturally as breathing. In collaboration with NZ Barok, Mime will showcase her mastery through the performance of three diverse baroque cello concertos by Vivaldi, Leo and CPE Bach. 

Leading up to the eagerly awaited Cellomania concerts on May 10th and 11th in Auckland, New Zealand, Helen Brinkman had the chance to chat with Mime about her busy musical schedule and the upcoming performances.

Photos by Mats Bäcker
Mime, it’s fantastic to have you finally visit NZ and perform with us. What is it like travelling and performing all over the world?
I am so thrilled to be meeting all of you very soon. Thank you for inviting me! I am extremely grateful to have travelled to over 40 countries with my cello on my back, and am constantly fascinated by how well we can connect with each other “through music”. Music is a universal language. I love meeting and communicating with audiences through music, and sharing good times together. 
How long have you been playing the cello?
It feels like I have played cello forever…, it’s really a part of me and my life. I grew up in a musical family, my mom is a pianist, and our home was always filled with music, musicians, and singers. I began playing piano at the age of three and later switched to cello. Both my brother and sister play the violin.
What made you decide to start playing on period instruments?
At 18, I had the opportunity to see and experience Rameau’s Zephyr, a French Baroque opera with original instruments. The sound of gut strings (which I had never heard before) was truly enchanting. The concept of “historical performance”, seeking the sound and musical language that composers were actually hearing several hundred years ago, was extremely fascinating to me. Two years later, I found myself on a plane to the Netherlands with my cello and a small blue backpack to pursue my true passion.
What instruments/bows do you play and can you tell us about what makes them special?
I perform on an old Milanese cello built ca. 1750 and a baroque bow made by Luis Emilio Rodrigues Carrington. They have been my friends for several decades and “we” have travelled around the world together. 
You are performing not one but three concertos at each Cellomania concert. What do you enjoy most about the concertos by Vivaldi, Leo, and CPE Bach?
Each of the three concertos holds fond memories for me – I have performed them in Spain, Italy, France, and Scandinavia. These concertos all possess exceptionally beautiful melodies, qualities that bring joy to everyone. It’s like experiencing the radiant sun of southern Europe with scents of orange and lemon (Vivaldi and Leo) and vibrant energy from CPE Bach. I am looking forward to sharing a wonderful time creating great memory with you in New Zealand!

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