Batmyagmar Erdenebat

Viola

Hometown: Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia

Alma maters: Music and Dance College of Mongolia, United World College of the Adriatic, Oberlin College and Conservatory, Yale School of Music

Photo by Matt Dine

Profile

Awards/Competitions: 1st and Special prize, 2008 “La Musica Nella Scoula” Chamber Music Competition, Italy; 3rd Prize, 2008 Paulo Spincich International Music Competition, Italy; 2nd Prize, 2013 American Viola Society Orchestral Excerpts Competition

Appearances: Litomysl International Strings Masterclasses, Czech Republic, 2012; Round Top International Summer Music Festival, Texas, 2011

When did you realize you wanted to pursue music as a career? I took a break from playing violin after the end of the school year when I was in 5th grade. Then, I realized that it was not fun without playing the violin. I think that was the moment when I decided to be a musician.

What inspired you to audition for TŌN? I was graduating from Yale School of Music in the same year the TŌN program launched. I was interested in the program after hearing about it from my friends, but I wanted to teach violin and viola. After teaching for 3 years in Mongolia, I was inspired by my friends who were in the program, who were getting to perform in outstanding halls like Carnegie and landing positions in major orchestras.

What do you think orchestra concerts should look like in the 21st Century? We should keep the tradition of orchestral music as much as possible, but explore further the ways that we can bring music to the public.

Which composer or genre of music do you feel you connect with the most? Nowadays, I listen to baroque music.

What has been your favorite experience as a musician? Creating an art form and being able to express and share it with others.

If you could play another instrument, what would it be? An accordion

What is your favorite place you’ve traveled to and why? Other than Mongolia, my favorite place is Duino, Italy, which is where I lived during high school. I had the opportunity there to meet students coming from over 80 countries and got to know their cultures and ideas that they shared with me.

Which three people, dead or alive, would you like to have dinner with and why?
1) Genghis Khan: I just want to hear what he talks about at the dinner table.
2) My wife: We have not had dinner with just the two of us since my son was born. It would be nice.
3) Mr. Bernstein: to share musical ideas and just to get inspired.

Tell us something about yourself that might surprise us: Besides playing viola, I also made 5 short documentary films about classical musicians and their lives in Mongolia.

Piece of advice for a young classical musician: Enjoy exploring your music making. It will leave you with many magical moments in your life.