− Imagine getting to play large, symphonic works with incredibly skilled colleagues every day! Playing with others is its own form of communication, a flow of its own. The way the music sounds at its best, depends on every single individual. We make each other excel. In many ways, an orchestra is a miniature universe, a harmonious universe!Kristine Lisedatter Martens
Cello player Kristine Lisedatter Martens started playing the recorder at Borre Communal Music School, then played the flute and the cello until she at fourteen chose to focus on the latter.
− I understood gradually that it was through the cello that the tones flowed most freely for me. I had the opportunity to play in both Vestfold Youth String Orchestra and Vestfold Symphony Orchestra, with Karsten Andersen, among others. Sibelius´ First symphony with him conducting has stayed in my bones until today.
− Sang and played for me since I was a baby
Kristine had many sources of inspiration on her way to becoming a professional musician.
− Firstly, I must mention my father, who sang and played for me since I was a baby! Thereafter I had the cellist Liv Frengstad as a teacher from the age of fourteen, and she guided me with a skilled hand to Norges Musikkhøgskole during my last year in the music programme at Sandefjord high school.
The German violinist Jürgen Ulrich, the Danish composer Kenneth Knudsen, the teachers Aage Kvalbein, Leonard Stehn and the cello virtuoso Truls Mørk were other artists who had a strong influence on Kristine in this period. At a course with the Hungarian pianist Ferenc Rados she had an experience which affected her deeply:
− In a lesson he suddenly stopped, looked seriously at us in the string quartet I was playing in, and said: “Which of you is not being true to yourself?” I knew instantly that he meant me, and since then I have been pursuing precisely this: being as true to myself as possible.
− I had the courage to excel and the courage to make mistakes
As a student at Norges Musikkhøgskole Kristine got help from Philip Dammen in learning mental training and performance preparation.
− It´s actually quite crazy that we musicians don´t focus more on mental training, the way athletes do! The exact same, simple mechanisms occur in a musician´s brain as in an athlete´s. I also learned a lot from the now deceased athlete motivator Frank Beck, the author of It´s Me It Depends On. I often review his wisdom, such as “think simply and make it simple”, “you must have the courage to make mistakes, and you must have the courage to excel”, and not least “if you don´t believe you can, then who will?”
Odd Nerdrum has also been an important source of inspiration:
− I have been studying painting with him since 2007, and it was in the years after I got to know him that everything fell into place for me as a musician; I dared to excel and I dared to make mistakes. Only then did I succeed in auditions and was offered a permanent job in the Opera Orchestra in 2008, and then in the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra in 2010.
− Nothing else existed
Kristine describes working as a performing artist with the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra as a true joy:
− Imagine getting to play large, symphonic works with incredibly skilled colleagues every day! Playing with others is its own form of communication, a flow of its own. The way the music sounds at its best, depends on every single individual. We make each other excel. In many ways, an orchestra is a miniature universe, a harmonious universe!
Kristine´s greatest experience with the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra was on a European tour in 2009.
− Not only was I playing in Vienna´s Musikverein, one of the best and most beautiful concert halls in the world, but we were playing the above-mentioned First symphony of Sibelius, with Jukka-Pekka Saraste conducting. In the middle of the symphony I suddenly became aware of everything suddenly stopping; we were playing the music, but nothing else existed. It was as if I was floating upwards, I was part of the music, of something bigger than myself. And then it hit me that I was experiencing that which is often called “flow”.
When she isn´t playing, Kristine enjoys most being with her family − and painting.
− When I was a child I wanted to be a painter. A combination of music and painting makes me happy!