Triskel Gets To Know … Yseult Cooper Stockdale
Yseult Cooper Stockdale is a freelance cellist originally from Cork who moved back home in 2020. She also joins us for multiple concerts in April – with Musici Ireland for our Mozart Festival and with the Spero Quartet, in association with the National String Quartet Foundation. We love that her Karaoke pick is anything by Britney!
Who is your hero? It’s soppy, but it would have to be my mother. She was one of those one in a million people who was endlessly kind and generous, as well as being one of the most intelligent and insightful people I’ve known. She’s also who I have to thank for my career as classical musician: my first full-size cello was her old instrument, and she always pushed me to do my best.
If you could perform anywhere, where would it be? Drawing a blank here, but bringing classical music to unusual venues is something that’s always interested me. I’ve long had a dream of hosting unconventional concerts in my own home, so maybe a crowded and successful concert from my living room would be the dream?
What is your favourite thing about your career? The variety of the work that I do – too much of the same thing bores me, so I love that I get to do everything from large-scale symphonies and amazing chamber works to collaborating with bands and singer-songwriters, or even participating in performance art with my contemporary music ensemble. It also means I get to meet lots of different people, which keeps my spirits up!
What motivates you to work hard? If I feel like my creative input is valued, I’m very motivated to do my best, and working with players I admire really pushes me to improve. I never want to let anyone down!
What makes you laugh the most? My friends. I sometimes feel like I’m lucky enough to be pals with the funniest people on the planet!
What would you sing at a Karaoke night? Anything by Britney. Is now a good time to plug the Free Britney movement?
Would you rather win the Lotto or work at the perfect job? Why? Have the perfect job. The “why” is partly because, of course, I’m answering this from the extremely privileged position of never being on the breadline, but also because I can honestly say that not much about my lifestyle would change if I were to win the lotto tomorrow – making music with people is genuinely my favourite thing to do, and money can’t buy the experience of getting to work with a musician you really click with. That’s not to say people haven’t tried though!
List two pet peeves The elitism and classism of classical music at the moment – I really think it’s is something that can and should be enjoyed by everyone, but there is a perception, that’s being perpetuated for lots of reasons, that it is a culturally “intellectual” and “elite” thing. I wish I knew how to change that. Another pet peeve is when a cafe doesn’t have oat milk and I’ve to get an americano instead. Tough life!
What three things would you take with you to a desert island? My cello, a friend, and a copy of the Bach suites.
If you ruled your own country, what would be the first law you would introduce? I would never claim to have a clue as to what laws would actually be helpful to society, but I think maybe banning plastic and non-sustainable energy sources might be a good start.