Interview with Cosima Brezovski

January 12, 2024
Orchestre Ostinato

FdD Francis Kurkdjian : Cosima, you're a young musician destined for a professional career in orchestras with classical scores. When and why did you join the Ostinato orchestra?

Cosima Brezovski : “I joined Ostinato in October 2022 because I'm particularly interested in being an orchestral musician. It's quite a specific profession, because being a good violinist doesn't necessarily mean being a good orchestral violinist. Unlike most of the musicians in Ostinato, I've finished my studies. So for me, this is an extension of my training. The program is very interesting, with its choice of soloists, guests, conductors, masterclasses and tutors. I also appreciate the wide range of musical choices. There's classical music like Mozart's symphony, but also music by Vladimir Cosma.

FdD Francis Kurkdjian : Do your interventions in prisons as part of the "En musique pour plus d'Humanité" project make sense to you? What do you get out of it?

C.B :The project is aptly named! I feel that my job is ten times more meaningful in this context than in "normal" concerts. It brings me a lot of emotion and helps to open my mind. It makes you question yourself, because you realize that the world isn't all black and white. When I look at the people around me, I say to myself that it could be anyone, and you can't read that on their face. If you ever had prejudices before coming to prison, they all go away.

FdD Francis Kurkdjian : What does it do for you?

C.B :I really feel it awakens humanity. When you arrive in prison, there's an element of curiosity that wonders why the inmates are there. It's better not to know, you avoid any prejudices. Maybe the relationship would be different if we knew what they'd done. You realize that the prisoners' presence in prison depends on their life paths, and that I could have been in their place.

FdD Francis Kurkdjian : What do you like best?

C.B :Maybe it's silly, but we feel an enormous amount of recognition and that's really good. When we do concerts, we know that people are happy, but in a different context like this one, we feel that it's overflowing with emotion. I really like the fact that we're doing just one. Inmates and orchestra form a group that moves forward together. Also, for the workshop at Fleury-Mérogis this year, I thought the choice of music really fitted in.

FdD Francis Kurkdjian : What do you deplore most?

C.B :That there aren't more proposals like those and that the prison is very difficult to access. Being far from the cities, it's quite a journey to get there, especially as the road is poorly signposted. Nevertheless, I'd like to reiterate my commitment to this type of project.

FdD Francis Kurkdjian :Do you have an anecdote or a memory that stands out in connection with the project?

C.B :It's hard to choose just one anecdote, but for example, at the end of the last concert in Fleury-Mérogis in December 2023, there was a lot of emotion and many of us cried. The inmates surprised Morgane Billet, the choirmaster. At the end of the concert, one of them stepped into Morgane's shoes to conduct us and do the same warm-up exercises as those in the workshops. The funny thing was that he was a good conductor, even though he'd never done it before. Then when we were tidying up, a lady in the audience asked for more. We weren't sure we could go on, especially as we'd already gone past the end of the concert. From there, a trumpeter took up the last theme, followed by another musician, then me, and we all started playing again. Everyone in the room was singing and dancing. It was a beautiful memory. But I said to myself "gosh", there was a gap in the emotion between all that joy and the situation, which was actually quite sad. At the end of the concert, we went home, they went back to their cell and we probably wouldn't see each other again. I don't know if there's a word for that emotion, but it was really powerful.

FdD Francis Kurkdjian : How do you think this project will shape your career?

C.B :It makes me want to reach out to audiences with fewer opportunities. Unfortunately, it's not easy, especially as an independent musician. I'll keep thinking about it and hope to find new opportunities.

Stay up to date with the project