Meet Timothy Nankervis

Our 2016 concert season will commence next Friday week, 26th February, at the Concourse Concert Hall Chatswood at 8pm with the Seraphim Trio and guest artists performing the Mozart Piano Trio in C, K 548, Schubert Piano Trio No I in B-flat, D 898 and Schubert Piano Quintet in A, D 667, “the Trout”.

Tony Recsei spoke this week with Timothy (Tim) Nankervis, cellist and foundation member of the Seraphim Trio which has been together for more than 20 years, about the Trio and the works to be performed at the concert.

Tim is a member of the Sydney Symphony Orchestra. He has won numerous awards for cello performance and is an active chamber musician. Tim has performed widely throughout Australia as a soloist and has broadcast regularly for the ABC and 2MBS-FM. He has performed the Beethoven Triple Concerto and Brahms Double Concerto with orchestras in Sydney and Queensland, and he has performed as soloist with Orchestra Victoria, playing Tchaikovsky’s ‘Rococo’ Variations.


               Tim Nakkervis 2 

SMS  How did your passion for the cello ignite?

TN   I commenced music initially learning the piano.  I think this was is an excellent way for me to start, with all the notes in front of me and getting an appreciation of harmony.  However one day I was in the car with my parents and heard a cello being played on the radio. I fell in love with that sound and changed to the cello.

SMS That must have been a really memorable special moment.  From then who were your mentors and teachers?

TN   I initially learnt with Denise Lawrence.  I found myself inspired to always doing the work she set out for me and tackling more than I was given to do.  For my Bachelor of Music degree in Sydney I learnt with Georg Pedersen and with Lois Simpson who provided abundant stimulus.  In Melbourne I graduated from Melbourne University with a Master of Music degree studying with Nelson Cooke.

SMS   Did you also get inspiration from teachers overseas?

TN   Yes, I studied in London with Raphael Wallfisch and with Willian Pleeth who also taught Jacqueline du Pré.  I additionally studied with Vadim Chervov at the Tchaikovsky National Academy of Music in Kiev.

SMS   What have been some of the highlights of your performing career?

TN   There are performances that just unexpectedly stand out.  I remember one in the Melbourne Recital Centre.  It was not a special or pretentious occasion but really turned out to be exceptionally beautiful.  There are other occasions that I recollect such as playing Tchaikovsky's 'Rococo' Variations with Orchestra Victoria.

SMS   What brought the Seraphim Trio together?

TN  Anna was studying in Texas and Helen in Sydney and I was invited to join the group having received an invitation to travel to Melbourne to have master classes with Hatto Beyerle. The trio has stayed together ever since.

SMS   How do you find working in smaller groups differs from the orchestral work that you do?

TN   They are very different.  In an orchestra one is part of a group of cellists where homogenous blending is normally very important.  In a piano trio there are basically three soloists who nevertheless seamlessly work together and take turns in being predominant.

SMS   That must require a substantial degree of dedicated cooperation.  What makes an effective trio in the long term?

TN   The members of a successful trio share a similar work ethic and of course get along very well together.

SMS How do you keep classical music fresh?

TN   By being spontaneous in performance- trying new things and never settling on an interpretation. Playing music is about being responsive and the enjoyment in this which is having fun and pushing the limits.

SMS   You have put together an exquisite program for your concert, featuring two of Schubert’s superb works.  What do you find special about the music of Schubert?

TN   Schubert has been an incredible journey.  His music encompasses so much emotion, sound and colour.  The music is extremely poignant, evoking deep feelings without any element of populist sentimentality.    To achieve the right colour and texture is challenging and the music can be technically confronting.

SMS Your concert on 26 February will be historical as it is our first in our permanent move to the Concourse.  We are really looking forward to the performance.