The Heroine’s Journey of Isabelle Durin

What is the best thing that I love about my work? The thing I like the most in my work is the multiplicity of works performed: it’s never the same and the work is always fascinating. I discover new pieces. It’s above all the emotions of playing them in concert and sharing them with the public: it’s this exchange that is essential for me. Through sounds, like an invisible fluid that we all bring together. I like the vibration that emanates from my instrument, to feel it bodily as well as the feeling at the fingertips, which is very important when you know that you have to repeat, repeat again the same passage dozens of times: you have to have this first pleasure to accept this work which could be, at first sight, ungrateful.

What is my idea of happiness? Happiness is a feeling that can be fleeting, a captured moment: and it’s when I capture the present moment, without a past, which can be a source of nostalgia, without a future that can be anxiety-provoking, that I savor the moment because I am attentive, my thoughts are focused on this beautiful moment and I am fully aware of it. So, happiness is at hand: get rid of thoughts that pollute and be in communion with the being you love.

What is my greatest fear? What scares me or what worries me? In fact, not much… fear sclerosis, makes us suspicious and locks us in shackles. I prefer the idea of ​​anxiety. Haha!!

What is the trait that I most deplore in myself? Not storing my things, misplacing important papers, knowing that I will lose them if I don’t put them away!! it causes me problems in everyday life and I waste time finding them

Which living persons in my profession do i most admire? They are of course incredible violinists by their talent, their genius. I was a fan of Maxime Vengerov and Anne-Sophie Mutter, two violinists who inspired me, made me want to overcome difficulties. Their extraordinary technical abilities combined with their very beautiful sensitivity nourished me a lot. We all need models, archetypes to pass the levels, to climb towards excellence.

What is my greatest extravagance? Oh!! it’s too personal a subject… then I would say audacity…

On what occasion would I lie? when I don’t want to do something and it’s a duty !!

What is the thing that I dislike the most in my work? not much! Apart from telling me that I depend on my body!! Be attentive to him, because playing the violin requires a healthy lifestyle, a balance in the work, more extensive than intensive if you don’t want to hurt yourself!!

When and where was I the happiest, in my work? when I recorded my album Un Violon dans l’Histoire, the end clap, the last piece played! the satisfaction of having finished something, of having carried out my work to the end. It’s a joy but also a little sadness to tell me that this is it! It’s finish! The joy is always tinged with nostalgia, knowing that it will be no more; but for the disc, what is good is that there is a trace: that is perhaps why I liked this moment! Because I knew those moments would stay!

If I could, what would I change about myself? Again, not much; I accept what I am; the grass is always greener elsewhere, but sometimes you have to be content with what you are.

What is my greatest achievement in work? I think of having been able to make recordings of musical works: it is a strong concretization, to share my passion for these works, a theme, to prolong these emotions through the disc.

Where would I most like to live? where I feel good! If I tell you a deserted and paradisiacal island, it would last for some time, and after that? Even the most beautiful place is not worth much if you are not accompanied by the people you love;

What is my most treasured possession? My family !! My children !

What is my most marked characteristic? My perseverance (if your question touches on a positive character trait!!

What is my most inspirational location, in my city? In Paris ? it is a place that is full of memories: walks with a lover, my parents, with my children, peaceful and very charming place with its fountains, its plane trees, its pond: the Luxembourg garden and its deckchairs facing the sun!

What is my favorite place to eat and drink, in my city? a creperie rue Grégoire de Tours in the 6th arrondissement. The boss knows a lot about the buckwheat flour he uses for his pancake batter; here is someone passionate who can talk to you about hours of his work and his products!

What books influenced my life and how? Certainly books that I had to reread several times: it’s a sign in general. Those who marked me the most: these are stories that retrace the paths of life, of self-understanding and of others, of awareness, of lucidity also without artifice, in lure: Body and Soul by Franck Conroy and The End of the Affair by Graham Greene.

You Only Die Once. What music would I listen on my last day? Maybe the one I played at my father’s funeral, Bach’s Sarabande from Partita No. 2 in D min or Bach’s piano concertos that he loved so much. I’ll be connected to him then, through the music

Who is my hero or heroine in fiction? Those who give their lives for others perhaps, out of love (I saw Titanic again at the cinema with my children): the main character sacrifices himself so that Rose can get out of it) or for the freedom of a world free (the resistance fighters in Joseph Kessel’s Army of Shadows, or to survive like Roman Polanski’s Pianist: but that’s not fiction, he existed, it was Władysław Szpilman who survived in the Warsaw ghetto: resist the stagnation of hunger, cold while hiding and that thanks to music! it’s funny because the theme of the music festival I’m in charge of will be Heroes and Heroines this year!!

Who are my heroes and heroines in real life? those who have the audacity to impose their ideas with not a lot of repercussions, even if it means remaining alone against all.

Which movie would i recommend to see once in a lifetime? Exactly Titanic!! James Cameron made a film for the general public but one of extreme virtuosity and surrounding himself with actors who bring emotional added value, which is rare.

What role play stories in my life and work? Could I make a novel out of my life?? This leads to the fact that it could be boring if you don’t add the salt that will make it exhilarating. Referring to the romantic can tint the events of a life; we open a breach, that of the unknown, we let ourselves be carried away, we let go of the hazards of existence, of encounters, we capture what will come out of the hum, what will surprise us

What do the words ‘You are the storyteller of your own life’ to me? precisely, there are things that depend on us and others that do not depend on us! What I can control, my work, what I build, what I materialize depends on me, but the vagaries, the chances, the will or the good pleasure of the other means that we do not control everything. the question is also: am I in the best position to tell my story? I’m not self-centered enough I think to do it!! Haha

Who is my greatest fan, sponsor, partner in crime? In crime ?? I am non-violent !

Which people or companies would I like to work with? I recorded an album called Un Violon dans l’Histoire, with arrangements of film music. We couldn’t include two songs arrangements for violin and piano that we had recorded in the tracklist due to lack of response from John Williams. So yes, if there is a composer still living with whom I would like to work, it would be him, the greatest, but let’s be crazy!! Philippe Sarde is also a composer that I really like, for his sensitive writing, imbued with nostalgia, softness and strength at the same time.

What project, in 2023, am I looking forward to work on? The concerts with as theme the pieces of my album Un Violon dans l’histoire!

Where can you see me or my work in 2023? In March, 17, 18, 19, I organize a music festival in a very beautiful castle, 100km from Paris, the Château de la motte-Tilly; I am the artistic director and I will play with Michaël Ertzscheid and a guitarist; then in Tel Aviv, with actor and comedian Francis Huster and pianist Maxime Zecchini, whom I will meet again in Mauritius for a music festival; a tour in China is also being prepared…

What do the words “Passion Never Retires” mean to me? passion is paramount; it is at the center of everything, of the work, of the investment, of the will, of the perseverance, of the love that one gives to things; but it must be reasonable, regulated. More than passion, it would be the first desire. In my job, you have to have it firmly rooted, because playing the violin requires hours and hours of learning, of effort, of doubts; it is to learn to get up again, not to allow oneself to be demoralized; it’s knowing what you want to achieve.

Which creative professionals should Peter invite to tell their story? The pianist Maxime Zecchini who carried out the work of fifteen years by specializing in piano works for the left hand.

How can you contact me? By email :

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