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15 Questions to Karin Schaupp

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Hi! How are you? Where are you?
Hi, I am at home in Brisbane, Australia, on holidays after a very full year of 110 performances and recordings in between.

What’s on your schedule right now?

My next plans are a tour to the US in January/February, then some concerts in Australia solo, with Saffire and with Genevieve Lacey. In between this, I have some new recording projects ( solo and with the Tasmanain Symphony Orchestra)

If you hadn’t chosen for music, what do you think you would do right now?

I would be an actor (I do a little acting anyway)

What or who was your biggest influence as an artist?

I would have to say my mother, Isolde Schaupp. I heard her play even before I was born and over the years she has been my teacher, mentor and more recently, my record produce.

What’s the hardest part about being a musician and what’s the best?
The hardest part is the constant travel, being away from loved ones and missing birthdays, family get togethers and other events. The best part is performing, no words can describe the amazing rush you get on stage when you are in true communion with the audience.

What’s your view on the classical music scene at present? Is there a crisis?
Things have changed a great deal in the last few decades. I don’t think there is a crisis, but we are in a period of major flux and it is too soon to say what the outcome will be. The future lies in the hands of all practising artists. I don’t think it out of our control. We have to go with the times and shape things along the way.

Some feel there is no need to record classical music any more, that it’s all been done before. What do you tell them?
I think it’s important to have something new to say about existing works, or to say them in a new context and of course most importantly, to say new things with the new music of our time, new cross-overs and integration among different artforms.

What constitutes a good live performance in your opinion? What’s your approach to performing on stage?
You have to give everything so that time stands still and it becomes quite a spiritual experience. A performer should open the doors to their soul.
The audience can only be deeply moved when the performer explores his/her own deepest feelings and experiences with courage and sincerity.

What does the word “interpretation” mean to you?

Bringing the music to life in a way that resonates with the performer’s internal experience, much in the same way that an actor bring the letters and words on a page to life. Our aim is to communicate with the audience, so interpretation is about the story we will tell and how we will best bring it across to the audience.

True or false: It is the duty of an artist to put his personal emotions into the music he plays.
True. This is the only way it can be meaningful, though personal emotieloos means drawing on the full repertoire of all the emotions and experiences of our life, not just how we feel at the moment of performance. In fact sometimes, we have to put this aside and delve much more deeply into our past, our dreams and so on.

True or false: “Music is my first love”
Music is my life’s work and I can’t imagine doing anything else. It fulfills me completely.

True or false: People need to be educated about classical music, before they can really appreciate it.
False. I find it so sad when people think they don’t have the “right” to just sit back and enjoy.

You are given the position of artistic director of a concert hall. What would be on your program for this season?
A mixed programme above all. I would look for ways to create a series which can appeal to a wide audience, young and old. I would look for passsionate performers, dedicated to their craft and who have something new to say. Also, I find collaborations between artforms quite fascinating, so there would defintiely be some of those. I would also create some programmes for children. The future of our industry is very much dependent on how much of an opportunity we can offer our children to enjoy music and to enjoy seeing a live musical performance.

What’s your favourite classical CD at the moment?
One of my all time favourites is Julian Bream playing Granados and Albeniz.

Have you ever tried playing a different instrument? If yes, how good were you at it?
I played the flute when I was a teenager and was quite good at it. It is helpful for a guitarist to have the experience of playing a single-line melodic instrument.

Picture by Monty Coles

Lotte’s Gift
Songs Without Words - Karin Schaupp & Genevieve Lacey
White Ghost Dancing - Karin Schaupp with the TSO
Quamby - Karin Schaupp with the TSO

Karin Schaupp with Saffire, the Australian Guitar Quartet:

Karin Schaupp

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