Australia's Top Orchestral Cellist Forced to Retire Due to Mental Illness

Classic Arts News   Australia's Top Orchestral Cellist Forced to Retire Due to Mental Illness
David Pereira, who played with the Australia Ensemble and was principal cellist of the Australian Chamber Orchestra and the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, has been forced to retire because of a psychiatric illness.

The Australian, which calls Pereira the country's top cellist, writes that he had hoped to return to performing after staying in a psychiatric institution and taking medicine to combat his obsessive-compulsive disorder.

But while the medication reportedly staved off suicide, it left him with a trembling of the hands that restricted his cello playing.

The 53-year-old Pereira, who lives in Canberra, told The Australian, "The anti-depressants are very useful, as they protect me from the terrible fear and anxiety which, if untreated, might have obliged me to end my life. The side effects aren't so positive, however. They take the edge off your fine control, and you need a lot of that to play the cello. It interferes with the smooth movement."

Pereira, a senior lecturer at the Australian National University's School of Music in Canberra, will reportedly now focus on teaching.

"It's a useful philosophy to remember that hardship is followed by wisdom," the paper quotes him as saying.

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