Alumni in Focus: Simone Slattery

Award-winning violinist and Bachelor of Music Honours graduate Simone Slattery is this month’s Alumni in Focus. Simone is currently undertaking PhD studies at the University of Adelaide, creating editions and recordings of the little-known violin works of Ernest Bloch.

She is the recipient of awards and scholarships from the Ian Potter Cultural Trust, the Thomas Elder Overseas Fund, the Australian String Quartet and the Elder Conservatorium of Music; and in 2014 was a finalist for the prestigious Jumpstart Jr Organisation in Amsterdam.

What are your favourite hobbies?
Bush walking. Nothing says happiness to me like being out of phone range and surrounded by nature.

Favourite place to eat when in Adelaide?
Lucia’s Charcuterie in the Markets for my favourite no. 1 sandwich!

If I could go back to my University days I would…
Well to be honest, I feel they have only recently finished, having gone back for a PhD in recent years! However, if I could step back into those more youthful and innocent undergraduate days I would seize every opportunity that came my way, and if there weren’t enough opportunities, I’d create some more.

Most prized possession?
My recently purchased trusty fiddle and partner in crime Claude a.k.a my nearly 300-year-old Parisian violin.

I can’t get enough of…
Learning, I hope to be forever learning.

Something that makes you smile?
The sound of a magpie warbling on a warm summer’s evening in Adelaide.

Something you are grateful for?
The ever-inspiring, ever-challenging and utterly essential part music plays in my life.

If I could pursue a different career I would…
Do something outdoors in nature. Being a musician requires a tad too much indoor time for my liking!

The most valuable lesson I have learned…
That happiness must come from within.

I cannot get through the day without…
Experiencing something sensational.

Three words your closest friends would use to describe you?
Hard-working, determined, loyal.

Your definition of success?
This is a tricky one. Success is so different for each of us. I guess for me it is when the balance of hard work, learning, creativity and enjoyment all come together in a way that makes me feel energised and excited about what I’m doing.

My mother taught me…
The higher you rise, the further you have to fall but to fall and pick yourself up again is the greatest learning in life.

Your career path in two sentences or less?
Practice, rehearse, perform, travel. Repeat in the next city.

Biggest career highlight?
Creating my own project, Where Song Began and touring the piece all around Australia.

2019 is the year I will…
Finally graduate from my PhD, undertake an action-packed Churchill Fellowship, and pursue new creative projects.

How do you relax?
Cooking and reading, two of life’s great pleasures (especially when paired with a cup of tea in the morning or a glass of wine in the evening).

When I get home the first thing I do is…
Take my shoes off. Life is better barefoot.

The biggest risk you’ve taken?
Every time I walk on stage for a big performance it feels, in some way, like the biggest risk I have ever taken but it doesn’t take long to realise that I’m actually there to share something special with the audience and that my life is in fact not at risk! At least, not in the same way as when I jumped out of an airplane…

A misconception about you?
That I’m a highly confident and self-assured person, when in fact I am as susceptible to self-doubt and criticism as the next person, I just happen to have mastered a confident façade – must be those high school drama classes…

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