Claudia Carvalho & Denis Dias

Could you introduce yourself?

We are two Portuguese violinists, Denis Dias (24 years old) and Claudia Carvalho (21 years old), currently pursuing our bachelor’s at Fontys Academy of Music and Performing Arts. We came to study in the Netherlands due to its cultural richness and opportunities in the working field. Our art focuses on classical and contemporary music, but we also enjoy collaborating with other disciplines. Our shared love for chamber music led us to create the string ensemble Rosin Octet. With this ensemble, we discovered a passion for the repertoire written for the string octet formation, and a need to expand it by working with new composers. For us, it was a turning point in the discovery of our artistic selves and a significant step towards becoming entrepreneurial artists.

Why did you choose to (continue) study at the FHK?

Fontys is a place where you feel safe to develop yourself as an artist. The environment is very relaxed and supportive, which makes it an ideal ground for the enthusiastic and hardworking minds to grow. Within our studies, we especially enjoy the flexibility to shape our education according to our goals and the focus on entrepreneurial and interdisciplinary skills.

We created the Rosin Octet project through our Free Choice, which is a part of the bachelor's 3rd-year curriculum at AMPA, where you give your own interpretation to your educational activities. This means you can create your own project or shape your classes in the most fruitful and interesting way for you. Free Choice was undoubtedly the part of our studies that we enjoyed the most.

What inspires you and/or where do you get inspiration from?

Being able to work with people from different backgrounds, with different stories, experiences, and perspectives to share is a huge source of inspiration. You learn a lot through other people, and for us, it is important to be surrounded by motivated, hardworking, and creative minds.

One other thing that also inspires and motivates us is contemporary music. Being able to bring to our audience something completely new is a gratifying experience. With new music, we are able to develop other aspects of our musicianship: discover new techniques and develop our musicality and musical ideas, since there is no reference to how things should sound.

What do you think of Tilburg as a City of Makers? (Stad van Makers)

Tilburg has a rich cultural environment and a vast array of possibilities for artists. There is a variety of venues that present various forms of art such as De Link for modern music, Concertzaal for classical series, Theater Nieuwe Vorst for new productions, Paradox for jazz, and others. There is something for every taste and it is worth visiting and getting to know the events that this city has to offer. Besides that, there are always new projects appearing from young entrepreneurs. It is a city full of talent just waiting to be discovered.

Do you have any tips for a starting maker?

Our biggest tip for a starting maker is to be persistent and believe in their dreams. When you have an idea that you genuinely believe in, dare to put in the work to make it happen. It is important to always have an open mind and embrace criticism and advice. Surround yourself with people you trust and are equally committed to the cause, because it is much easier to do something when you have other people to help and support you. The best way to learn is by making mistakes, so dare to fail, and never focus too much on the problems but rather on the different solutions.

Fontys Hogeschool voor de Kunsten

For those who make the world turn the other way... 

You start from your artistic discipline and your critical attitude towards society. 
In an open, free atmosphere and stimulating educational and research environment, you will shape your own artistic language and our common future together with other art students, teachers and the professional field.

More information

More Stad van Makers news