The first piece of music you fell in love with:
“Knecht Ruprecht” by Robert Schumann, played by my grandmother on the piano. Sitting next to her on that big red cushioned piano stool, smelling her perfume, watching her fingers with the red nail polish and the golden rings and listening to this incredible strong and fast playing of hers, that was definitely the first piece of music I really fell in love with and I guess it was the moment I fell in love with music.
What do you need to feel at home whilst on tour?
My body lotion, my headphones, a good pillow and an Austrian crossword puzzle.
The most inspiring composer:
I have always been terrible at choosing things. Writing into a “book of friends” in primary school and deciding on my favorite meal, color, book or actress always led to a personal crisis.
I somehow feel “arrogant” choosing one thing or person over the others. So after days of thinking about this question, thinking about the many different inspiring aspects of composers, listening to a various number of recordings and rewriting this answer again and again I came to the conclusion that I just can’t choose. It feels like this “book of friends” situation all over again.
What is the most difficult aspect of your job?
I do have an incredibly beautiful job – I actually try to think of ways to make people fall in love with classical music. But in fact not everyone in our business is aware of the actual importance of education and outreach work yet, and that can be kind of tiring.
What would you do if you weren't a musician?
Well, if I would not be working in the music field I would definitely be a homicide detective! 100%
Valentina joined the Mahler Chamber Orchestra as Education and Outreach Manager in September 2020.
Growing up in a Greek-Hungarian-German family based in Austria ensured that music and art were always of big importance in Valentina's life, even if such a mix of different cultures could be slightly chaotic. She attended artistic primary and secondary schools, where she focused on the piano, before studying law in Vienna and Lisbon and going on to work as an international project manager at Mercedes Benz.
Eventually she decided to combine the organizational experience she had gained in this job with her love of classical music and began to work in cultural management. Valentina has previously worked in the communications department of the Mozarteumorchester and the Artistic Administration Department of the Camerata Salzburg, where she first became involved in developing education and outreach projects.
Valentina has always been fascinated by different cultures and traditions, especially after living in many different countries and traveling extensively. So when she first heard about the MCO, she was immediately drawn in by its concept. After following the orchestra's activities for many years, joining its professional and dedicated team, which works so passionately to realise the inspiring endeavours of this big musical family, just felt right.