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Life of a London Cellist

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

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!

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…!

Giez Festival 2014

Cello Uncensored Posted on 27 Oct, 2014 22:28

A massive thank you to all the sponsors and friends of Giez Festival 2014. The festival would not have happened without all your love and support. Our festival founder Christiane de Muller was a wonderful host and music lover. And last but not least, to all our musicians, thank you for your brilliant performances.

We have great vision for the future, and very much look forward to welcoming you all back to the Giez Festival 2015. There will also be a couple of surprise guests! So stay tuned and happy autumn!


Cello Uncensored Posted on 11 Aug, 2014 00:16

We are happy to announce the launch of a brand new music festival – GIEZ FESTIVAL, in the heart of Switzerland on October 9-12, 2014. The festival, found by Swiss aristocrat Christiane de Muller and Artistic Director Linda Lin, will be held in a stunning 14th century Swiss Castle, only 55 minutes from Geneva.

The festival’s official website:

Festival package starts from just £300 including all accommodation, board, dinner receptions, concert tickets, disco night, wine tasting, boat ride and art exhibition. For seasoned concert-goers, you will enjoy repertoires from Bach to Rachmaninov, even Justin Bieber after 11pm. And for those who are yet to discover the beauty of classical music, we have shorter lunchtime recitals and late night Jazz for you. Bring your wife, bring your wife’s dog. We are here to entertain. From Baroque to Contemporary, European to Latin American, we have got it all.

Full festival tickets are very limited, only 20 places left. Book yours TODAY

Love for Music

Cello Uncensored Posted on 15 Jul, 2014 22:37

Last week I was invited to perform at a stunning Swiss Castle. It was a great honour to have so many wonderful supporters. Guests travelled near and far. To perform for each and every one of you was a most precious experience..

I was never very eloquent. Through music, I express myself even better.

I cherish every performance. And I thank you for coming and hear me. On stage, I give my all. There is no mask. I am completely naked. Unafraid. For in music, I find shelter and happiness. Bach becomes my saviour.

Please stay tuned as we have news coming up about a brand new Music Festival. Love to you all from Switzerland.

Playing for FREE

Cello Uncensored Posted on 15 Jul, 2014 20:45

Now all you musicians know what I’m talking about, FREE GIGS. We have all done our fair share of free gigs – charities, house concerts, weddings, receptions. YOU NAME IT.

Did you know that us musicians start our training very young, and basically have devoted pretty much ALL of our lives to music? While other children are playing outside, WE are practising; when others go to parties, WE are practising. Music is NOT just an entertainment, at least not for the musicians. It is a profession too, which requires an enormous amount of motivation, ambition, patience and love. And a LOT of tears. This is how we make a living. It is not about the money, but respect.

Just today, I was asked to ‘play a little concert’ to entertain some dinner guests. After I declined three times, the guest INSISTED that I play something, ‘since I already have the cello here’. For one, I am not a millionaire (like she), and secondly, this is my profession, to which she obviously had no respect whatsoever. Don’t get me wrong, if I wanted to, I would have offered to play something, for free. But it should be my choice, and my choice alone. Not only did she abuse my profession, she had zero respect for musicians.

This is not the first time this had happened to me. That is why I have decided to write this blog. I don’t like to whine. Much. But please, PLEASE, respect musicians and what we had to overcome to achieve what we have today. Nothing is for free. Not lawyers, not plumbers, and certainly not music. It is time musician say ‘no’ to free concerts and get what we deserve. After all, like everybody else, we do not survive on air alone. I have sacrificed enough on music, do not make me lose my dignity too.

Linda Lin and all classical musicians

Dvorak at St. John’s Smith Square

Cello Uncensored Posted on 30 Oct, 2013 02:21

One of the best things of being a cellist is to play the Dvorak Cello Concerto, again and again. It is a most magical piece, and always brings back so many memories for me. I know the concerto well, since the age of 14. At the time, I loved playing it because it just feels so damn good, especially on the stage, with a full symphony orchestra behind you. Now, I love it more, because I feel like I am telling my own life story through the music. We are as one. There are moments of joy and sadness, passion and despair.

I surrender to the music when I’m performing. I cease to exist. There is only music, and the cello becomes the voice. Even the stage disappears. There is something so special about live performances – you only get to do it once. Anything can happen. Be spontaneous. Be yourself.

Thanks to everyone who came last Thursday to St John’s Smith Square. What a stunning venue for concerts. It was a most magical evening and I hope to see you all again very soon.

Are Classical Musicians Snobbish?

Cello Uncensored Posted on 30 Sep, 2013 03:37

Hell no. But you DO have to wear a suit to hear us live. And you´d better not clap at the wrong moment, or risk looking like a fool. What´s up with all the coughing during the slow movement?! We would very much like to end the movement in absolute silence if at all possible.

Please, if us musicians want to wear long black dresses for every single performance so we can bore the hell out of ourselves, then we shall. Don´t judge, and you shall not be judged. Bare shoulders? That´s a no-no. Short skirt? Not if you want to be taken ´seriously´.

So who makes up the unspoken rules? Why must we follow everybody else? I don´t think the classical crowd is snobbish, but we are expected to be. People set us apart, that somehow classical music is complicated and is only for the elite or upper class. Is that why we must dress and behave accordingly?

Classical music is just like every other type of music. It does require a lot of discipline and training. But at the end of the day, it is just music. Music for EVERYONE to enjoy.

Oh, don´t forget to turn off your phones.

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