Every so often MT poses 60 questions to a local or visiting artist in Toronto who has made our classical music community that much more interesting. They pick and choose. The minimum response is 20 answers. A kind of Rorschach personality test, if you will.
Born in Montreal in 1984, Samy Moussa was assistant conductor with the hr-Sinfonieorchester Frankfurt and with the Ensemble Modern. He was awarded the Bayerischen Kunstförderpreis 2012 for his work as conductor with the INDEX Ensemble and won the Composers’ Prize 2013 from the Ernst von Siemens Music Foundation. Pierre Boulez commissioned him “Crimson”, an orchestral work for the Lucerne Festival premiered in 2015. He was named Québec’s “Composer of the year” in 2015. Samy Moussa lives in Paris and Berlin. His music is published by Durand (Universal Music Publishing Classical).
What are three things about Toronto that make you want to live here?
The Art Gallery of Ontario
Its relative proximity to my place of birth, Montréal
Default drink/cocktail of choice?
Name your favourite concert hall/venue in Toronto
Your favourite sound?
A good orchestra
Your favourite smells?
Vetyver, wood, anise
The historical personalities, both good and bad, that fascinate you the most?
Anton Bruckner, William Blake, Arnold Schoenberg, Elisabeth I, Emmanuel Levinas
Where was the last place you traveled to for work or pleasure?
The three books that you read that made an impact on you in your formative years?
Aeschylus: The Oresteia
George Orwell: Nineteen Eighty-Four
The different career path that you could have gone on?
The character flaw in others that you can’t abide?
What is the worst thing about your work?
It is a slow process
Name three pieces or composers that you never want to hear again.
Frederick Delius, Hans Pfitzner, Helmut Lachenmann’s epigones
What musical instrument do you secretly long to play?
What was the luckiest moment in your life?
Whenever I finish a new composition
The thing that makes you the happiest?
A great performance
What are you listening to as you answer these questions?
Johannes Brahms’ Violin Concerto
The first three things that you do every morning?
Drink water, read the news, breakfast