martes, 30 de marzo de 2010

Interview with Cornelia Herrmann (pianist)

Photos: ©Gabriela Brandenstein; Ariette Armella / FMX
Ramón Jacques

Born in Salzburg Austria, pianist Cornelia Herrmann is a bright and alluring performer who studied in Salzburg, Vienna and Budapest, and attended master classes with Alexander Lonquich, Murray Perahia and András Schiff. She received accolades at important piano competitions and since her début at the 2002 Salzburg Festival, she has toured Spain with the Camerata Salzburg and Sir Roger Norrington, and has played as a soloist with the NHK Symphony Orchestra under James Judd, the Salzburg Mozarteum Orchestra in the KKL Lucerne, and opened the Innsbruck concert season with the Tyrolean Symphony Orchestra under Sir Neville Marriner, among many others. She has performed at the Zurich Tonhalle, Victoria Hall in Geneva, Large Festival Hall in Salzburg, Brucknerhaus in Linz, Museum of Art in Tel Aviv, Suntory Hall in Tokyo, Vienna Musikverein and Vienna Konzerthaus, and in Istanbul, Leipzig, Stuttgart, Tokyo, Washington, Boston and Mexico. In this brief interview Cornelia reveals interesting facts and more insight into her prolific, yet still promising career.
How did you become interested in pursuing a career as a pianist?
My parents are both musicians playing in the Mozarteum Orchestra in Salzburg. I started playing the piano when I was 4 years old. There has always been music in the house and rather than deciding to become a pianist I grew into the life of a musician very naturally.
You won several international competitions, how relevant do you think piano competitions are to a young artist´s career?
I think that for a young artist piano competitions can be very helpful in several ways. You do have an important goal to practise for which can make preparation much more intense. I also think it is important to listen to other good and talented people and last but not least if you are lucky to win a competition it opens you possibilities to play many concerts.
What composers and pieces do you feel a closely related to?
I have always felt a strong connection to Bach\'s music. Maybe because in my family Bach has always been very present. Last January I have played Brahms 1st concerto which is one of my favorite pieces. Schumann is another composer who I admire very much.
What did you gain from working and studying with Murray Perahia, András Schiff?
Mr. Perahia has a very deep insight into the analysis of Heinrich Schenker which he conveyed to me in his Master Class. András Schiff has got a perfect economy within the movements of his hands and an unbelievable mind. I think that by only observing him playing, one can learn incredibly much. I have worked with him several times and it was always very inspiring and encouraging. What are the composers and pieces, concertos to which you feel a close related to? I have always felt a strong connection to Bach\'s music. Maybe because in my family Bach has always been very present. Last January I have played Brahms 1st concerto which is one of my favorite pieces. Schumann is another composer who I admire very much.

Are there any pianists from the past or the present, that you admire?

For a certain time I would buy every CD or Video of Glenn Gould. I admired his individuality, his originality, his ability of hearing different voices at the same time which makes his polyphonic playing so wonderful. Now I am still very often listening to the pianists of the \'Golden Age\' - Cortot, Rubinstein, Arrau... I love the sound and atmosphere they create and the natural music-making without putting too much emphasis on \'technique\'. From the younger generation I like very much Alexander Lonquich.
Is there a concert or a situation that has occurred to you in a concert hall that stands out in your memory?
Once I was playing a concert at a university. Only students were in the audience and they were not very much interested in classical music. So I decided to say a few words before starting to play hoping to awake their attention. (I said some words which I had read in Peter Brooks’s books on theater). And suddenly there was a very attentive atmosphere in the hall which made me play even better. That experience showed me how much the audience can influence and support a performance.
What are your future projects, recordings, concerts or dreams?
I have several chamber music projects when I get back to Vienna and I am going to play Mozart piano concertos KV 271 and KV 466 in Salzburg. I will also be in Japan to play recitals with a Schumann/Chopin program. I am planning a solo recording with works by Bach which has always been my dream!

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