Önder Baloglu is our new Teacher Orchestral Parts Violin

26 oktober 2020

Welcome to the KonCon-Family, Önder!

Since September, Önder Baloglu is our new Teacher Classical Music Violin Orchestral Parts. Önder is an internationally acclaimed violinist, being (amongst other things) a concertmaster of the Duisburger Philharmoniker and a Main Subject Teacher Classical Music Violin at Folkwang University of the Arts in Essen.

Önder comes with more than 10 years of experience in orchestral playing and a lot of enthusiasm to the Royal Conservatoire. With his creativity and versatility, the young Turkish-German violinist will be a great addition to our excellent violin teacher staff.

So, how did Önder find us?
‘I was fascinated by the idea that the Royal Conservatoire was looking for someone with a flexible mindset who would work interdisciplinary and doesn’t just focus on preparing his students for auditions. I immediately felt that the Royal Conservatoire could be a nice home for all my ideas. In my opinion, it is not enough to train an excellent violinist. You also have to teach your student how to lead a life after university and how to survive as a musician in the real world. I don’t want to train machines; I want to offer my students a comprehensive education that will help them find their path.’

Önder himself started his career as an orchestral violinist very early on. While still studying he already found a permanent position in an orchestra: ‘I know that orchestral playing is not for everyone and I respect that. This is why I first try to get to know my students as good as possible. I want to know what their expectations and goals are and whether they are actually made for the life in an orchestra. Some are very direct and say, I don’t want to end up in an orchestra. Often, I have the feeling that aspiring an orchestra career is perceived as something negative. To those students I can say: It really isn’t.’ Önder himself is a good example. Even though he has a permanent position at the Duisburger Philharmoniker, he still has time for solo projects and chamber music.

The other cliché about an orchestral career is that people only chose it for the financial security. ‘Many students forget: The orchestra is more than just a job; you might spend the next 40 years there. You don’t just choose for the orchestra but for all the musicians in that orchestra as well. My tip for going into an audition is therefore: Don’t hide your personality. They are not just looking for an excellent violinist, they are also looking for a compatible colleague, with whom they would go for a drink after the concert.’

And how is Önder as a Teacher?
‘If I think back to my days as a student, I have to say that I learned most from teachers who treated me as an equal and connected with me on a personal level. This is something I also aim for with my students by getting to know them in the beginning, I try to remove any barriers between us by creating an environment of trust.’

So far, Önder only gave a couple of lessons at the Royal Conservatoire but he was instantly enthusiastic about his new students. ‘They are incredibly diverse and everyone already has an artistic identity which is very impressive given their young ages. I try to focus on their personal talents by creating very individualised study plans. In the end, they all have to pass the same exam, but I want each and every one of them to get the most out of their lessons with me.’

Photo: Ulrike von Loeper