Mathilde Gomas was born in Paris in 1992 in a family of music lovers. As a child, she begins to play the classical guitar and studies with Gérard Verba untill completion of her training at the Conservatoire Régional de Paris in 2010.
It is only at the age of 17 that she discovers early music through the lute and other plucked strings instruments. She starts studying viola da gamba with Jean-Louis Charbonnier in Paris first, then in Versailles with Emmanuelle Guigues, while studying Music et Musicology at the Sorbonne university. She plays several times with Les Pages et Chantres du Centre de Musique Baroque de Versailles (conductor: Olivier Schneebeli) and takes part in many masterclasses, courses and workshops about the early repertoire with Marianne Müller, Paolo Pandolfo, Rainer Zipperling, Sylvia Abramowicz, Blandine Rannou, Antoine Torunczyk, Benjamin Perrot. She also joins the Petit Choeur de la Sorbonne as a soprano from 2010 to 2013, performing in many choir concerts and festivals under the baton of Denis Rouger, Ariel Alonso, Vincent Barthe.
From 2014 to 2019 she studies with Paolo Pandolfo at the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis (CH), where she receives a complete education in early music, with many eminent performers such as Hopkinson Smith, Leonardo Garcia Alarcon, Pedro Memelsdorff, Rebeka Ruso, Andrea Marcon, Evelyn Tubb, Anthony Rooley, Randall Cook, Jörg-Andreas Bötticher.
Since 2015, she has been performing in Switzerland, Germany, Italy, France, Romania, Austria, Belgium, Greece & the Netherlands, both as a soloist and as a member of several emerging ensembles, among which The Little Light Consort, Primary Colours, Accademia Barocca Lucernensis. Since 2018, she is performing regularly with the greek traditional ensemble En Chordais (Kyriakos Kalaitzides) aswell as next to the renouned gambist Friederike Heumann. She has played on the stage of the Philharmonie in Paris, the Greek National Opera in Athens and taken part in world famous early music festivals: Bucarest, Klagenfurt (Trigonale), Bruges, Utrecht.
In October 2021 she has been awarded the second prize at the international Bach-Abel competition in Köthen (DE).
Since her graduation as Specialized Master of Performance with distinction in June 2019, Mathilde Gomas lives and works in Basel (CH) where she develops her own projects, including the duet Mallory with mezzo soprano Tessa Roos.
7 string bass viol made in Paris by Judith Kraft in 2015 – after an instrument of Guillaume Barbey, Paris, 1687 (Musée des instruments de Musique, Brussels)
6 string bass viol made in Ramsgate by Shem Mackey in 2020 – after an instrument by Henry Smith, 1620s (private collection)
My first encounter with early music happened in a summer course, in 2007, when I tried playing the lute for the first time. The instrument was everything but an original object, it was even made out of carbon fiber. Yet its sound transported me: I suddenly felt as if I was traveling in time & connecting to a part of my heritage.
Coincidences led me to play viola da gamba, but the feeling stayed the same. I feel my share in this world is to make music from the past live – not only to make it survive in the sense of not being forgotten, but also to make it alive. This goes along with a strong awareness that we, however, are today. I have no intention to try to strictly imitate the past – granted that this would even be possible, but rather to look for ways to build an imaginary bridge between past and present, with all the compromises & sacrifices that it implies.
The imperfection of a live performance, simple & sincere, without recording device, fascinates me. Nothing else than the awareness of the present moment, which has never been before and will never be again… what can be more historically informed than that? Let this priviledged, ephemeral instant between musician & listener be enough. It cannot be replaced by any virtual alternative.
It became difficult, if not impossible, to exist as a professional musician without ‘going online’. Social networks & numeric artefacts have brought amazing possibilities, but they have also harmed our relationship to reality & live music. This frenetic pursuit of online visibility has produced countless music videos which disguise the reality of our work & therefore confuse both musicians and audience’s expectations. It is indeed not easy to resist the temptation of controlling every note, every transition, every smile, every colour… But how can sincerity & humanity survive such a merciless process?
This website is meant as a compromise, a way to be visible to whoever would be interested in my music, my approach & my attempts to propose different formats of performance. All the solo videos you will see here are uncut and the audios hardly edited.
My gratitude goes to all the performers I had the chance to see in live concerts, inspiring me & allowing me to form this idea of music.
A special thank you to Gérard Verba, Paolo Pandolfo and of course, Evelyn Tubb & Anthony Rooley.
Mathilde Gomas in Maria Saal, June 2020 (updated in Basel, February 2022).