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Life of a London Cellist

Music is not a profession, but a way of life.

Spain – Land of Love

I´m feeling lucky Posted on 24 May, 2015 22:07

If I had to describe Spain using three words, they would be: Love, Love, and Love. With over 300 days of sunshine (in the south) a year, delicious and sophisticated cuisine, ultra-friendly people, and stunning historical towns, what is there not to love. In a strange way, Spain reminds me of the land down under, with its warm climate and wonderful people. If I could be born again, I would love to be a spaniard, and soaking in the sun all year round, and eating tapas in the afternoon, and having dinner every night way after 10pm!

We often hear Spaniards say, ‘mi casa es su casa’, which in English translates to, ‘my house is your house’, or ‘make yourself at home’. Simple, yet heart warming. They are the most hospitable people you will ever meet. Just because most of them take a siesta every afternoon does not make them lazy. In fact, they are very hard working, with many work between 10-12 hours a day.

Spanish cuisine is sophisticated and varied. Each tapa or dish is prepared with fresh ingredients, and love. Every time I have Spanish food, I can feel the sunshine, smell the sea, and hear the flamenco.

There is no place like Spain. It is now the third most visited country in the world. I much prefer visiting the smaller historical towns where there are less tourists and you get to see and feel the real Spain. Spain boasts some of the best beaches in the world, and the best time to visit is in May and September, especially in the south. Winter in Spain is very mild comparing to other parts of Europe, and you are still guaranteed a lot of sunshine!

Family Value

I´m feeling lucky Posted on 24 May, 2015 02:09

Last week, I met an elderly couple, together for over 40 years. Still hand in hand, they spend most of their time in each other’s company. Their children have all moved out and now have their own families. They get terribly lonely at times. Sometimes at night, they would open their children’s bedroom doors, expect to see them chilling out, or reading a book, like the way it used to be..

Kind of reminds me of my parents. I now only get to see them once a year. Family values are all the same, no matter where you are from, or what your background is. We all cherish our families, because family is where the home is.

Life just gets so busy sometimes that we forget what truly matters. I always get asked ‘where is home for you?’ Is it the place where you spend most of the time, or where your family resides? Is it where you spent your childhood, or the country where you were born?

This couple has lived in a small town all their lives. They do not travel very much, yet living in one place has been enough for them. They have everything they need – a beautiful home, family and friends living nearby, wonderful weather, and most importantly, each other. No luxurious mansions or sports cars can buy happiness. Sometimes the simplest things can give us such satisfactions.

Nothing is more important than families, for that is where the heart is.

Sao Paulo Festival, March 26-30

Cello Uncensored Posted on 17 May, 2015 17:36

Darling bloggers and readers,

I do apologise for not blogging for so long. It has been a crazy few months. The Sao Paulo Festival (Portugal) finished a month ago and we are already in deep preparations for the Giez Festival (Switzerland) which will happen this October. There will be loads of fun, music and net working.

I would like to thank everybody who came to our Sao Paulo Festival, proudly sponsored by the Mazzeri family, Milano. Prior to the festival, I have never been to Portugal, ever. It is a most wonderful country with so much to offer. I am surprised that there aren’t as many tourists there as, say Italy or Spain. They have great climate, wonderful people, and most importantly delicious wines! But do beware of taxi drivers in Lisbon – always make sure that they have the metres on.

We have had the privilege of having guest artists like Dominika Anna Rosiek, Simon Lane, Marino Bedetti, and myself, each giving an evening recital during the course of the festival. We also invited a young and talented fado singer Luis Caeiro for the first night.

A million thanks and we look forward to seeing you all next year!

Milano – The Fashion Capital

Fashion Posted on 13 Feb, 2015 23:31

Well, ciao Milano! It’s about time we make acquaintance. I have heard many stories about Milano, but never have I imagine a city so full of life, culture, high fashion, and art. Not to mention all the super models on almost every street down town. There is a sense of elegance and love of art which is hard to compete with, even in London.

I can see why Milano is the fashion capital of the world. On every street down town, there are literally hundreds of little Italian boutique shops, selling high quality clothing items, shoes, bags and beyond. One can get lost in a single shop for hours, going through the variety of designs, colours, and fabrics. There are brands one has never heard of, selling wonderful Italian shoes the same quality of Prada and Gucci, for a fraction of the designer’s price.

Italians have an eye for details. You touch a pair of shoes and you can feel the love and appreciation for fashion. It is a form of art. It completes and compliments an outfit. But it does not make an outfit. I’ve always believed that a person makes an outfit, not the other way round. If one has the personality, you could buy something in Zara, and make it look expensive. Otherwise, even an Alexander McQueen dress could look freaky on a person without the personality to carry it off.

If I lived in Milano, I would have loved to work in fashion. The sheer quality and elegance of design is just pure art. I have learnt so much from Milano and all it has to offer. If London is a shopper’s heaven, then Milano is heaven and beyond. I’ll be back soon, Milano.

Sao Paulo Festival, Portugal

Cello Uncensored Posted on 01 Feb, 2015 01:47

On a happier note, I am launching my second international music festival this year. Sao Paulo Festival will be held in a gorgeous 4* hotel outside Lisbon, on March 26-30. It is an invitations only event, and we are almost booked up! We are expecting 70-80 guests from all over Europe to attend, plus local media and TV crew.

I must admit that the second festival is much less stressful than the first as I have learnt a lot from it and know how to prioritise my tasks. The venue is absolutely breath-taking, it even has its own 12th century chapel where all the concerts and dancing will be held. Yep, all our guests are requested to bring a pair of dancing shoes. There is also a stunning garden with lovely fountains where we will have one of our dinner receptions. All of our rooms have amazing views over the valley. Oh, did I mention that we also have two swimming pools, restaurants and a bar?

Now, if only I could secure a sponsorship from Gucci as I have my eyes on a STUNNING gown…!

Time Never Stops

London Life Posted on 01 Feb, 2015 01:33

Already the first of February in 2015, Christmas 2014 feels just like yesterday. Golden soil and wealth for toil, our home girt by sea, Australia I miss you from the bottom of my heart.

Winter in London can be extremely harsh. There can never be impromptu visits to the beach at 10pm, nor waking up with the sun in your face. For the first time in a very long time, I feel very home-sick. Winter blues, when will they end?

Lots of travelling plans this month will keep me occupied, and yes, there is something very charming (and European) about sitting in front of a fire place. But every part of me is aching for a little bit of sunshine and the feeling of sea water in my hair… Must I wait for another 4 months for summer to arrive in Europe?

Close to Nature

I´m feeling lucky Posted on 04 Jan, 2015 05:46

Home at last – Melbourne. Christmas on the beach, New Year’s BBQ, life can be tough sometimes.

Australia does not offer one the latest fashion like Milan or Paris, or the most sophisticated concert series like Vienna or London, but it does offer one of the most important ingredients in life – being close to nature. There is an ease and simplicity feel about the country which is hard to find elsewhere. Being a musician and always travelling, I feel blessed to be able to come home every holiday season, to unwind and reflect.

Having lived in London for many years, I have learnt to appreciate Australia more and more, and am very grateful indeed for all that it has given me – a fantastic and all-rounded education, wonderful circle of friends, opportunities to develop my musicality and a great life style.

Here’s to another great year in 2015 and wishing everybody all the happiness and success in the world.

Embrace Winter

London Life Posted on 14 Nov, 2014 04:09

I think it is fair to say that winter is finally upon us in London town. I used to get terribly depressed in the cold seasons, but having lived here for many years, I have learnt to appreciate winter, almost as much as I appreciate summer.

People tend to start getting fit in the summer, but isn’t it better to start getting in shape in the winter? You can do a whole hour of work out in the comfort of your own home without getting too hot or humid like in the summer. Days are shorter, but that just means evenings are longer. More excuses to go out at night and have a drink or two!

There is just something about wearing a sexy trench coat in London – and it doesn’t always have to be in the winter too! Blame it on Burberry.

For those of you who love food, winter is the perfect season to treat yourself to a hot curry or a roast. And even if we do put on a pound or two, no one will know. And let’s not forget those suede knee-high boots, ladies! Time to take those bad boys out for a night out. Don’t be afraid to wear a mini-skirt just because it’s cold. Keep your feet and head warm, the rest of your body will be too.

Listening to upbeat music also helps to chase those winter blues away. Be happy and keep warm. This is only the beginning. Wait till February.

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