Which childhood memories do you hold close to your heart? For some, the answer may be laughter and ice cream, trips to Grandma’s house, or homework on a sunny afternoon.
But for the Skride sisters, these memories were augmented by the experience of performing live music together as a family.
"We would go all around Latvia to perform – even to earn money for the family that way," violinist Baiba Skride recalls.
She was born into great musical talent – her mother an accompanist, late father a choral conductor, and grandmother teaching her and sisters Lauma and Linda how to sing.
It’s no wonder Baiba picked up the violin at just four years old, paving the way for a globally successful music career into her adulthood.
"We didn’t really decide to forge our careers – rather, it happened automatically and gradually throughout the years," she says.
Those years have turned into more than three decades of performing together. And, as an audience member at the Skride Piano Quartet’s Musica Viva tour, you’ll become part of this family’s history, too.
"We have lived together for a while; experienced many exciting moments in and outside of concert life – so we do have a strong bond," Baiba says of her relationship with sister Lauma, who plays piano in the quartet.
"We can trust each other on a different level. We can take risks, we can get into the music much deeper all together. It’s a very fulfilling experience."
Of course, it’s not a duo featuring just Baiba and Lauma you’re here to see. These Skride sisters have also opened their doors to two worthy players outside the family – violist Lise Berthaud and cellist Julian Steckel.
When explaining why the sisters dared to bring these artists into their own musical world, Baiba explains: "It has been very important to both of us to get inspirations, new ideas, and to learn from other musicians."
Lise has performed as a soloist with the Iceland Symphony Orchestra, Sao Paulo Philharmonic Orchestra, and Orchestre National de Lyon. She has also played in all BBC orchestras as part of the BBC Radio 3’s New Generation Artists Scheme from 2013-15.
Baiba says Lise is “like a rock in our quartet – always perfectly prepared, has great ideas and solutions”.
On the other hand, Julian provides “the perfect base – he is such a musical person, and so easy to work with!”. Julian won the 2010 ARD Musikwettbewerb, and has played as soloist with Orchestre de Paris, Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra, and St. Petersberg Philharmonic.