Cellist: Amanda Forsyth

Posted on December 13th, by Helen in Celebrity, Interviews. 10 comments

Cellist: Amanda Forsyth

Photo credit: Cheryl Mazak

As the darling of the classical music world, Juno Award-winning cellist Amanda Forsyth is sophisticated, hyper-talented, and refreshingly sassy. Forsyth has toured all over the world, appearing with orchestras including the Chicago, Colorado, Grand Rapids, Sao Paulo, Oregon, San Diego and Royal Orchestra in Copenhagen, the Montreal, Phoenix, Toronto, and Vancouver Symphonies, Barcelona, Gulbenkian, Calgary and Israel Philharmonic Orchestras, Israel Sinfonietta, National Symphony Orchestra, Orquestra Sinfonica Brasileira, Russian National Orchestra, London’s Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, English Chamber Orchestra, Hong Kong, and London.

And her skin care staples are just as impressive and extensive as her travels! But don’t let her fabulously-marked passport and bombshell looks intimidate you, Forsyth is as down-to-earth as they come. Here, she tunes us into her day-to-to life – and it’s not all about playing crescendos and decrescendos.

Amanda ForsythThe Basics

i) Your name and a sentence that defines who you are

Amanda Forsyth, principal cellist of the National Arts Centre, and international cello soloist.

ii) Your birthplace/where you call home now. 

Born in Cape Town, South Africa, moved to Alberta at age 2, then lived in London, England, Vancouver and New York . Now I  live part time in Ottawa, and when I play with the orchestra, part time in New York where my husband Pinchas Zukerman and I bought an apartment – just a few blocks away from Juilliard, where I went to college in the 80’s! Forsyth and Pinchas

What drives you in a positive way and in a negative way?

I am usually very critical of myself, as a performer, and as a woman, especially as I age. But I have music to keep my spirits high, and get so much satisfaction from playing the cello, and working hard. A musician should be hard on oneself, since that is what makes us get better and better.

Describe a typical day for you from bed to bed.

There is no typical day for me, as I am so often on tour. Usually, on a tour day, I am in a different country every day, like a tour in South America for instance. I get up at 5 or 6, travel (airports, planes trains and automobiles!), arrive at a hotel, proceed to frantically take out concert dress from suitcase (that is IF the suitcase arrived!), find an iron, (damn chiffon silk!) grab something to eat, run to concert hall, have a sound check, play concert, then go somewhere usually with sponsors afterwards, and try to be charming (even though I’ve had no sleep), go to bed, and REPEAT! It is a hard life sometimes, but when I have time off I try to do this: cardio in the morning and rehearse in the day, cook some delicious healthful meal, do another form of excercise in the afternoon, like weight training or boxing, and see friends or a live theatre.

What’s your healthy life maintenance routine for…

i) Exercise

Exercise, as much as possible! I love it. I love being sore and I love challenging myself; Since playing the cello is about sitting down, I need the opposite, like martial arts and boxing. I would love to get into yoga, but dont have the patience for it.

ii) Nutrition

I eat as many vegetables as possible, and try to eat clean, whenever possible. Arugula and spinach hopefully makes it into my body every day at least once! But on tour that is a real challenge – even saying “no butter” in your omelette is not possible, due to language barrier or tradition of that country. We eat a lot of fish, I dont know how to cook red meat, but poultry is often on the menu at home.

iii) Beautiful skin

I have naturally good skin, same as my mother. I never even had zits in highschool! My mother had a chart that I had to check off when I was entering puberty, which showed I washed my face twice a day. I think there was Noxema in the ritual in those days! Now I use all kinds of things for my skin. Right now I’m loving the Elizabeth Grant line, which has fabulous serums and cremes. My mother found it on the Home Shopping Network.


On my counter right now are the following Elizabeth Grant products:

  • Essence of Torricelumn
  • Advanced Cellular Age Defense Night Serum and Day Serum
  • BioCollasis Complex with Torricellumn:  Cell Vitality Revival Day Cream
  • BioCollasis Complex with Torricellumn:  Cell Vitality Renewal Night Cream
  • BioCollasis Complex: Cell Vitality Victory Eye Serum
  • BioCollasis Complex with Torricellumn:  Cell Vitality Victory Eye Cream
  • Collagen Re-Inforce/with torricelumn Crepey Eye Lift
  • Biocollasis Complex Total Regeneration Ultimate Cellular Concetrate
  •  Intensive Vitamin C Concentrate
I also use the fruit acid and reparative gel made by Theraderm, which I get from a doctor in New York. Sometimes I use a 4% hyrdoquinone cream made by a dermatologist in Arizona. I try to remember to use sunscreen every day to ward off sunspots and wrinkles on my face and hands. When I’m in Toronto, I go to DLK on Avenue to get microdermabrasion with hydration to combat the drying effect of stuffy cabin air in planes. I’ve also had laser treatments on my hands to remove dark spots – that was fun wearing gauntlets for a week! It was pretty scabby for that time but now it’s all clear! Oh and I love having long lashes so every now and then I use Latisse.

iv) Fun

I love a good party with friends, letting loose, going dancing in NYC, or taking a trip somewhere with a friend who I havent seen in ages. Next stop is Bikini Boot Camp in Mexico! And, I am NOT taking my cello!

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