Liisa Pallandi

Q. First Name:
R. Liisa

Q. Last Name
R. Pallandi

Q. When did you join SYO?
R. 2004

Q. What instruments did you play in SYO?
R. Violin

Q. What is your favourite memory of SYO
R. Too many. The whole 2004 Italy tour – the music, the friendships, the gelato…

Q. What role does music play in your life?
R. A large one. I play in the Australian Chamber Orchestra and am a teaching assistant at the Conservatorium. I also spend most of my money going to see live performances – I am pretty omnivorous about genre, I love seeing artists having fun with their craft.

Q. What is your favourite musical repertoire from the SYO performances?
R. The Rite of Spring by Stravinsky – we performed it with the Queensland Ballet which was an incredible experience.

Q. What advice would you give young musicians today?
R. Practice mindfully and stay curious.

Liisa Pallandi has been a permanent member of the Australian Chamber Orchestra since 2014. Having been an ACO Emerging Artist under the mentorship of Helena Rathbone in 2012, Liisa is passionate about the orchestra’s education programs. She has been a formal mentor to Emerging Artists since 2016 and a regular tutor with the ACO Academy program since 2014. Liisa is currently a guest teacher at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music.

Liisa loved playing in large ensembles from the get-go, playing in as many youth orchestras as she could get her hands on. This of course included a stint with the Sydney Youth Orchestra, beginning with a tour of Italy in 2004 and ending with a fondly-remembered performance of Mahler’s Third Symphony in 2009. Since those early days she has performed with orchestras around Australia, including the Sydney, Melbourne and Tasmainan Symphony Orchestras and the Australian World Orchestra, and the Tapiola Sinfonietta in Finland.

Liisa enjoys performing with a range of performers in diverse styles on both violin and viola. Recent highlights include leading an orchestra made up of ACO Emerging Artist alumni for the opening festival at Pier 2/3, collaborating with jazz musician/composer Paul Cutlan, performing concerti with the North Sydney Symphony Orchestra and a concert series at Bennelong with Timo-Veikko Valve. She is currently performing on a violin made in 1759 by Giovanni Battista Guadagnini generously on loan from the ACO.

It’s often said that the Australian Chamber Orchestra is best described as an orchestra of soloists, and violinist Liisa Pallandi is one such soloist.  Having been part of their emerging artists program back in 2012, and she’s been playing with the orchestra ever since, becoming a permanent member in 2015. She’s also performed with the Sydney, Melbourne, and Tasmanian Symphony orchestras, as guest principal violin with the Auckland Symphony Orchestra, and has played chamber music as far away as Denmark.

In this conversation, Liisa talks about her experience with the ACO emerging artist program, the inspiration from both her fellow ACO musicians and their guest artists, and the remarkable instrument she plays. She provides a number of insights into different styles of music and performance through her diverse musical selection.

Liisa will be co-directing the Sydney Youth Orchestra with her brother Jaan on 27 August to help celebrate the orchestra’s 50th birthday.

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