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15 Questions to Christiane Klonz

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Hi! How are you? Where are you?
Hi! I am very well. I am at home. I live in a really small village at the Plauer See in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania.


What’s on your schedule right now?
I am currently preparing for the next concert season. I am also working on finishing my next CD together with my producer.


If you hadn’t chosen for music, what do you think you would do right now?
I’d probably studied Medicine and gone on to become a doctor here at the Plauer See in my own country doctor’s practice.


What or who was your biggest influence as an artist?
It depends on the works to be interpreted: With Beethoven, I’ve mainly allowed myself to be influenced by the recordings of Wilhelm Kempf. For my approach to Chopin, Arthur Rubinstein and Krystian Zimmermann have been greatly important. My teachers have of course also been influential. I’d especially like to mention Professor Karl-Heinz Will (Academy of Music and Theater, Rostock) and Professor Jürgen Schröder (Academy for Music “Hanns Eisler” Berlin).


What’s the hardest part about being a musician and what’s the best?
The hardest part of life as a musician is to keep practising daily and continuously and to have to deal with your bad conscience if there’s not enough time for that. The best to me is feeling that I have reached the soul of my listeners with my music.


What’s your view on the classical music scene at present? Is there a crisis?
Naturally I, too, observe that the audiences in classical concerts are becoming increasingly older and that only few younger people are attending them. It’s a pity, really, because they don’t know what they’re missing.


Some feel there is no need to record classical music any more, that it’s all been done before. What do you tell them?
There’s a great amount of classical works, which have never been recorded yet, which would, however, deserve to be heard by a large public. Besides, every artist plays in a personal way, which justifies the re-recording of already published works.


What constitutes a good live performance in your opinion? What’s your approach to performing on stage?
A good live performance to me means thrilling the audience from the first to the last note and feeling that it understands, what I want to express.


What does the word “interpretation” mean to you?
I try to put myself in the place of the respective composer and his era, I study the music-theoretical background of the works to be able to measure up to the aims of the composer and to take listeners with me on this journey through time.


How do you balance the need to put your personal emotions into the music you play and the intentions of the composer?
The basis for studying a new work is being 100% faithful to the score. Keeping that in mind, each composition allows for enough freedom for individual accents.


True or false: People need to be educated about classical music, before they can really appreciate it.
Wrong. The deciding thing is that listeners allow themselves to be touched by classical music.


You are given the position of artistic director of a concert hall. What would be on your program for this season?
I’d try to program seldomly played works. If you’re looking for a spontaneous example, the “Warsaw Concert”  by Richard Addinsell comes to mind. This is a piece which will appeal to a young audience as well. With me, there would also be children’s concerts, just like Leonard Bernstein introduced them in his lifetime.


How would you describe the relationship with your instrument?
I can not imagine a life without my instrument.


Have you ever tried playing a different instrument? If yes, how good were you at it?
No. After all, already my mother was a pianist and since my earliest childhood, I have wanted to play this instrument. There is no alternative.


What are your plans for next year?
I have big plans for next year. These include my first concerts in Switzerland and Luxemburg. But the absolute highlight will of course be my concert at New York’s Carnegie Hall on the 21st of April in 2008, which will be part of my North American tour.


Discography:
Bach, Mozart, Chopin, Shostakovich (animato)
Bach, Beethoven, Schubert, List (claXL)
Romantische Werke (claXL)
Ballads /claXL)


Homepage:
Christiane Klonz


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