Debora Waldman and Marina Chiche, wand and bow virtuosos, Podcast

Debora Waldman has been immersed in music since I was little. Born in Brazil to musicians parents, she studied music, first in Israel, then at the Catholic University of Buenos Aires where she made history by winning two gold medals in orchestral conducting and composition. . But his lifelong dream is Europe. At 23, she arrived in Paris without speaking a word of French, then for three years became assistant to the great Kurt Masur at the Orchester National de France. Years of traveling the world as guest conductor follow. In 2019, she applied for the fourth time for a permanent conductor position in France and won the precious sesame at the Avignon-Provence regional orchestra. “I was ready to try again and again. I knew that I would eventually succeed », She says. Mission accomplished: in September 2020, Debora Waldman becomes the first permanent female conductor in France.

For Marina Chiche, also, music has always been part of his universe. From the age of 3, she fell in love with the violin at first sight and the following year, she joined the Conservatoire de Marseille. Then, at the age of 16, she was admitted to the Paris Conservatory of Music, where she obtained four prizes. In parallel with her studies in German literature, she perfected her violin, went on to concerts and released her first records. Her path seems all mapped out and yet she decides one day to change it. In 2009, in a train that brought her back from a concert in Germany, she clicked. “I had felt something very different from my concerts in France. The musicians didn’t know me, didn’t have a priori, and the collaboration happened at a much deeper, very artistic level. I told myself then that it was time to leave Paris. After a year in Taipei, she moved to Berlin and became a teacher. But at the end of seven years, a new turning point: against everyone’s advice, she got a very comfortable job and returned to Paris where she started again almost from zero.

Create your own path

Exit from the radars during her years abroad, Marina Chiche decides to create your own sources of visibility in France. She follows training and takes to social networks. “There is a real dimension of daring when you take the plunge when you don’t yet know if you are capable of it. And then, once at the controls, we understand that we have it under our elbow and everything generally goes very well, ”analyzes the violinist. The recipe works: Marina Chiche writes for several magazines, hosts and produces radio shows while continuing the concerts.

Before becoming France’s first permanent conductor, Debora Waldman also had to create her own path. As her mother had done in Argentina and as many female conductors do while waiting for permanent positions, she has created his own orchestra in 2013. “It was a way to show others that I could do it,” she says. And no question of choosing the easy way, as some may have advised her, by opting for a baroque ensemble against what she wanted to do. ” I have chosen the most difficult path, but the most authentic. »

Rewrite history

Having reached such a level of excellence in a still very masculine world, Debora Waldman and Marina Chiche are aware ofpave the way for others, without forgetting all those which preceded them, and which unfortunately fell into oblivion. Marina Chiche has also devoted a summer series to these forgotten musicians on France Musique, including Ginette Neveu, a talented violinist from the first half of the 20th century.

As for Debora Waldman, she introduced the general public to Charlotte Sohy, a little-known composer of the same period, by playing her symphony for the first time, written in the last century. “It is not a question of dethroning the great men of music, but of widening this Pantheon to these exceptional women, because we have need this inspiration to project us and know that we are not coming from nowhere. In reality, we are not totally the first, ”recalls Marina Chiche.