Interview with Peter Hudler, Cello on Fire

We chat to professional cello player, Peter Hudler, about his solo show, Edinburgh Fringe Festival and what life is really like working as a professional musician. 

Interview with Peter Hudler, Cello on Fire

Hi Peter, great to talk to you! Tell us a bit about what your job involves and what a typical day looks like for you? 

My job includes finding concerts, preparing concerts, learning pieces, arranging music, teaching, meeting people, writing incredible amounts of emails, going to concerts, studying scores etc.

I have quite a flexible schedule, usually I practice in the morning and do some admin, on some days I teach in the afternoon and I often practice again in the evening. Unless there are gigs or rehearsals, then everything is planned around them. When I travel everything is of course out of any normally scheduled job. 

You're heading to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival soon. Tell us a bit about that. 

'Cello on Fire' is a solo cello cross over music show that includes a wide variety of musical styles and genres, from Baroque to Rock, Bluegrass, Folk and Contemporary Jazz. This year the programme will be very virtuoso and passionate, that’s why I chose the title 'Cello on Fire'. I want to create a lot of energy and go as much as possible beyond just playing the right notes and provide a real experience. I play for all music lovers, not just the normal classical audience. 

What’s great about your job? 

Being creative, making music and playing an instrument, being able to give people a special experience. Also, being freelancer, I like that I can plan and organise my projects on my own. So I have a lot of freedom, but of course there is also a lot of risk involved. I also like teaching, because of the way I have to relate to the students and find a way for him or her together. Often it seems to me that I learn more than them. 

What are the bits you don’t like or find challenging? 

fde41082a02346dce4926add4b8266606d0c43e5.jpgBeing freelance can be hard because work never ends and it’s hard to find time to breathe and let it all go. Also, sometimes I have to play gigs just 'for the money' that make me feel frustrated musically and also socially. To be tough in business and to stay vulnerable as a musician is a very delicate balance that is hard to maintain. 

What are the highlights of your career to date? How did it feel to appear on BBC Radio?

One highlight was playing a cello concerto with orchestra a few years ago in Denmark, I really loved that. I was also very proud when my Solo CD 'Caleidocello' was published and then presented on Austrian National Radio Ö1. But, you know, whenever I was able to share a stage in a beautiful place with good and inspiring musicians who love music it has been a total highlight for me. 

Can you describe your biggest challenge so far in your career? 

The biggest challenge remains a challenge, it’s finding my own way, to work as creatively as possible while still making a living. I was stuck in a very confining full time job for a while and gave up a lot of money and security just to be able to start being on this way. 

I think the way to overcome that challenge is to remember always WHY I am doing what I am doing. 

What’s your opinion on theatre qualifications? Do you have any and if so, in what ways do you think it has aided your career?

Important! I didn’t study them particularly but I am aware of the importance of them and I think I use some instinctively.

Music just like acting is a performing art and being on a stage always requires a certain presence no matter if you act or play music. Apart from that an important part of playing music is being able to give yourself the character of the piece, to become the music just like an actor/an actress has to become the person he or she portrays. 

Those qualifications have definitely helped me a lot gaining confidence on stage and getting deeper into the meaning of the music I play. 

Do you have any advice for young people interested in doing your kind of work?

Never give up. Accept that it’s hard to make a living in arts and don’t let those discourage you who want to judge your work solely by its immediate economic value. Stay open and vulnerable and keep perspective as much as possible. Enjoy the ride and be kind to yourself. :) 

Where can we find out more about you?

On my website

Twitter: @peterhudler

Instagram: @cello_on_fire_edfringe2018

Facebook: @CelloOnFire or @peterhudlercello

but maybe the best option is to come to the show and chat me up afterwards! :) 

Check out what the Scotsman thought of Cello on Fire

Edinburgh Fringe

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Nici West

Nici West Voice Team

Nici is the an editor for Voice. She loves all things books, theatre, music, art, visiting other countries, anything creative, and sometimes attempts to make YouTube videos. Alongside Voice she writes and edits through her own pursuits.You can occasionally find her running marathons dressed as a black dog.

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