RSS feed RSS Twitter Twitter Facebook Facebook 15 Questions 15 Questions

15 Questions to Some Handsome Hands

img  Tobias Fischer

Hi! How are you? Where are you?
Anne Salié: At home... in Berlin.
Xenia Kourkoumeli: I am fine thanks, and I'm in Greece.

What’s on your schedule right now?

Anne Salié: A little bit of everything: Enjoying the holidays, meeting friends and preparing for the next concerts with Some Handsome Hands.
Xenia Kourkoumeli: Summer vacations in Chalkidiki, Greece.

What is your earliest musical memory?
Anne Salié: Mussorgsky‘s pictures of an exhibition... I was 5...
Xenia Kourkoumeli: A cassette recording of Beethoven's fifth Piano Concerto.

Was there a deciding moment, which made you want to become an artist?

Anne Salié: I've wanted to play the piano ever since I first heard one as a little child.
Xenia Kourkoumeli: Not that I remember...

How satisfied are you with life as an artist?

Anne Salié: I couldn‘t imagine being anything else.
Xenia Kourkoumeli: Things could always be better, but I'm not complaining!

What constitutes a good live performance in your opinion? What’s your approach to performing on stage?
Anne Salié: 1. To have the freedom to react spontaneously in the spirit of the moment. 2. Good preparation.
Xenia Kourkoumeli: A good live performance is a succesful blend of taking risks and enjoying your performance, at the same time, on stage.

How do you balance your personal emotions and the intentions of the composer in your interpretations?
Anne Salié: It's hard to tell. What I consider to be the intentions of the composers, is already my personal interpretation, affected by, and based on experience, tradition and personal emotion.
Xenia Kourkoumeli: In a way that the loyality to the music doesn’t disturb my musical freedom.

In which way, would you say, is your cultural background reflected in your

Anne Salié: Of course I‘m a product of my environment. I grew up with classical music, my idols were Martha Argerich, Glenn Gould, Dudley Moore, Gerard Hoffnung, Victor Borge etc. etc... These impressions influenced my taste, or maybe my innate predilection caused me to seek them out - in any case, you can see the preference for classical music and musical comedy.
Xenia Kourkoumeli: If it is, let the others speak about it.

How would you describe and rate the scene for classical music of the country you are currently living in?
Anne Salié: I live in Germany, there is a large audience for classical music, but it is shrinking. You see mostly older people in long-established classical concerts series. Maybe younger listeners, lacking the background, feel insecure when confronted with a music and an environment they perceive as stuffy and elitist.
Xenia Kourkoumeli: Unfortunately my home country Greece is frustrated and disapointed right now - and not just because of the state of the classical music scene... There is a lot to be done and a lot to be learned...

Do you consider it important that more young people care for classical music? If so, how, do you think, could this be achieved?
Anne Salié: Sure it is important. It is our audience we are talking about. And how to get young people in concerts? First of all, don‘t cancel music education in schools. Teach everybody an instrument, wherever his talents may lie, at least for a short time. And most importantly - teach with fun. If you enjoy what you're doing, others will, too.
Xenia Kourkoumeli: This is a point where every musician would agree! Youth is power and the power of the classical music can move and reach the young people if only the organisators and programmdirectors would present classical concerts in new contexts - meaning extraordinary venues, new modern campaigns for festivals etc.

How would you rate the importance of the internet and new media for you personally?

Anne Salié: It is ingenious. It is so easy now to watch and see artists, get in touch with the world. But there is a dark side as well - we are all a little overloaded with information.
Xenia Kourkoumeli: It has helped us promote our work at low costs and with maximal results. 

What’s your view on the relationship between musical education and music?

Anne Salié: With or without education, music will touch you. But with more understanding, your interest will be deeper. Musical education is important.
Xenia Kourkoumeli: It's the weapon for the “war”. 

You are given the position of artistic director of a concert hall. What would be on your program for this season?

Anne Salié: ;)))))) Some Handsome Hands - of course...
Xenia Kourkoumeli: It would consist of 50% strictly classical for the traditional audience, 30% mix and match of classical and jazz and the rest for the avantgarde and progressive music for a younger audience.

How would you describe the relationship with your instrument?
Anne Salié: Complex.
Xenia Kourkoumeli: I would say that, as with most musicians, it's a love and hate story.

Have you ever tried playing a different instrument? If yes, how good were you at it?
Anne Salié: I wanted to, but never actually tried it...
Xenia Kourkoumeli: Unfortunately not...

Image by Bert Loewenherz

Some Handsome Hands

Related articles

15 Questions to Ali Wood
With both a full-on solo ...
15 Questions to Marta Erdei
While the war between the ...
15 Questions to Gerhard Oppitz
When Gerhard Oppitz talks about ...
15 Questions to Mihaela Ursuleasa
Good taste is important to ...
15 Questions to Herbert Henck
Herbert Henck has been campaigning ...
15 Questions to Oksana Kolesnikova
It's a fascinating contrast: Oksana ...

Partner sites