Lucia Swarts on 1 Mio views on YouTube, Teaching and Exams

18 May 2020

With her lyrical recording of Bach’s Cello Suite No 1. In G-Major, our Main Subject Teacher Early and Classical Music Cello, Lucia Swarts, reaches 1.2 Mio views (and counting) on YouTube. The video was recorded in the iconic Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam. ‘There is more to this beautiful piece than just the notes on the paper. G-Major is a charming and approachable key and while playing or listening to this piece, you feel a lot of emotions. This piece has so many layers and shows that Bach was not just a musical talent; he was a genius.’

Before making this recording, Lucia spoke to her former teacher, Anner Bijlsma in 2018. He was immediately captivated by this endeavour and so, Lucia received her first 'cello lesson' in decades. Naturally, they discussed one of Bijlsma’s favourite topics: bowings.

One year later, her CD with all 6 cello suites was released. ‘Anner didn’t listen much to recordings and I usually avoid listening to my own recordings, but in this moment, it felt nice to share this CD with him. I fondly think back to this moment and I will always treasure it.’ Shortly after, Bijlsma passed away.

Now, Lucia is the influential teacher, the students turn to, especially in those uncertain times we currently live in. ‘Two months ago, I was very worried. Many of my students come from abroad and where stuck here in the Netherlands, alone, far away from their families and facing an uncertain future. Through video chats and study circles, I make sure that we all, my Early and Classical Music students, stay in touch and support each other. I am proud, that all my students are now on track: they are creative, they are innovative and I admire their positive approach to online learning. I am happy that they already formed a strong bond before the Covid-19 crisis, and despite all the distance, as a group, we still belong together.’

Many of her students are graduating this year but due to the Covid-19 regulations, all graduation recitals have been cancelled. In order to offer her students a special conclusion to their studies, Lucia organized an empty Church for their recordings. ‘The recordings are outstanding. My students worked really hard and you can hear that this is a professional musician with an artistic identity, who successfully finished her/ his studies.’