The Twiolins, violin duo

Marie-Luise and Christoph Dingler

Who or what inspired you to take up the violin, and pursue a career in music?

At the first start, it was our mother, who came home one day and brought a little violin for Marie and asked if she wanted to play it. Some time later Christoph followed her and started to play the violin, too. When we finished school, it was totally clear we should study it – nothing else was as interesting as music.

Who or what have been the most important influences on your musical life and career?

Our most important influence was our professor Dora Bratchkova, who taught us at the University of Mannheim, Germany. She was the one who taught us the best technique on our instrument, so that we can play freely and deeply from our soul. Also she was very supportive in helping us find our own voice and style in music, never forced us to play in her own way. Before we met her, we were almost ready to quit the violin. Thanks to her this never happened.

What have been the greatest challenges of your career so far?

Every CD recording is a real challenge. This never stops. Microphones are really mean things!

Which performance/recordings are you most proud of?

Our latest recording “Secret Places” is the best CD we recorded so far.

Which particular works do you think you play best?

Most of the time we play duos which were created for our Crossover Composition Award. This award was invented by us and takes place every three years. We call composers to write duos for us, music which should embrace the audience. The competition has taken place three times (2009, 2012 and 2015) and our most played repertoire are the winner pieces.

How do you make your repertoire choices from season to season?

We don’t change our program from season to season, but from our competition to the next one. After our Award we have six very good winner’s pieces and some other good pieces which we combine to a full concert programme. It takes some time to study the pieces, to create a proper order and good contrast between the pieces. After that the advertising starts and we go on tour with the new programme for the next three years. Because all the pieces are new it is enough to change it every three years only, because every audience we play for never heard them before.

Do you have a favourite concert venue to perform in and why?

As we’ve played at so many venues in recent years, it is hard to remember single places. Better to ask, which countries we liked most. We played in New Zealand last year and the audience there was so lovely. And Bangladesh – a very enthusiastic audience and very nice people!

Who are your favourite musicians?

Spark – the classical band, Nils Frahm, Igudesman & Joo, Two Set, Itzhak Perlman, Gidon Kremer.

What is your most memorable concert experience?

Some months ago we played in a green house where whistling frogs lived. That was funny, they whistled all the time! And of course concerts or events where we played for a big audience, one time we had more than 3000 people, that was crazy.

As a musician, what is your definition of success?

To make a living from playing concerts. We stopped every side job in 2016 and started to focus on our career as the Twiolins. This gave us a great boost and we now have as many concerts as never before and are well known to the classical music scene in Germany and some other countries. As the one and only violin duo around the world this makes us very happy and proud.

What do you consider to be the most important ideas and concepts to impart to aspiring musicians?

Many musicians in universities/conservatoire and even as professionals think someday somebody will stop by, discover their art and talent and start their career for them. That practising is the only solution. Our advice is: Never wait. Go outside, play as much as you can and start asking questions how the business is done. Because if you want to make a living from your art you have to start to think like a business man/woman – because that’s what it is, a business. And after that, you have to learn to switch between your business and your artistic personality

What is your idea of perfect happiness?

To find a good balance between playing some concerts, working on our career and ideas and to have free time and good experiences. That you can play as much (or less) as you want, and you have enough time to be creative. At the moment we do’t have enough time to follow our ideas and to have some good holidays. This will change soon, we hope

The Twiolins new CD ‘Secret Places’ is available now

Marie-Luise and Christoph Dingler studied with Prof. Dora Bratchkova and perfected the art of chamber music in addition to the individual soloist training early on and won numerous awards under the name “The Twiolins”. Together they researched the complete repertoire for two violins and developed the idea of the Crossover Composition Award, which was first held in 2009.

They perform nationally and internationally, presenting new works for two violins and two violins with orchestra and have been broadcast on tv and radio worldwide. They shared the stage with “Spark” and Yuri Revich (both ECHO – Award Winner) and other famous classical musicians.

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