Mélia SIMONOT SIMIAN
Accordionist

Mélia received a grant to purchase an accordion.

What is your artistic background?
I grew up in the countryside and that is where music became my passion. I started playing the accordion at the age of eight, at the Rural Music School of Dieulefit in the Drôme region. Due to my rapid progress, two years later I joined the Conservatoire Intercommunal du Triscastin, in Pierrelatte, with Agnès Binet. During my 10 years of study at that institution, I had the chance to participate in many musical projects, both solo and in ensembles, and to discover works ranging from the Baroque to contemporary. Always curious about art, and liking to collaborate with artists from other worlds, I was able to accompany a reading by the author Cécile Coulon and several theatrical performances. My musical education in the Drôme ended with two CEMs with honours in musical training and in instrument, in 2017 and 2019. In my Baccalauréat year, in addition to my classes at the Conservatoire, I took private lessons with Thibaut Trosset, trained at the CNSMDP, and then I was admitted, through a competitive examination, to the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, in Glasgow, in the class of the Serbian accordionist Djordje Gajic. This first year of higher musical studies was a big step for me in my training and I lived it with enthusiasm despite the difficulties linked to Covid. Now I can dedicate all my time to music without having to drive for hours to get to the Conservatoire, which is great. The year has been rich in experiences, such as participating in an accordion sextet and meeting musicians and artists of different nationalities, which reaffirms my career choice. I can't wait for the next step.

How do you see your profession today?
At just 19 years of age, my view of the profession of musician is under construction. Rigour, precision and listening skills are inherent to this profession. Sharing music with other musicians and artists is also essential. My vision is also intimately linked to my instrument, the accordion, more precisely the bayan, which has only been taught in conservatoires for a few decades. Even though it has not benefited from several centuries of repertoire, it has managed to create a place for itself in classical music with many diversified original pieces as well as transcriptions. I hope to see the accordion being given more and more prominence and to see its repertoire expanded with new talented composers. Through this job, I will have the chance to be part of the evolution of this instrument, to be able to put it in the spotlight and to help people discover its sounds.

How do you see yourself in five years? in 10 years?
Having just finished my first year of a bachelor’s degree, I hope to complete a master’s degree in interpreting in five years' time. Mastery of the English language will allow me to envisage discovering other courses in different countries. In 10 years, I would like to divide my time as a soloist and as a member of ensembles, while continuing to participate in various artistic projects. I hope not to lose the artistic curiosity that has driven me since the beginning, that pushes me to discover new horizons and never stop progressing with my instrument.

This interview was conducted in 2021
Photography credit: Julia Grandperret