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15 Questions to Linus Roth

img  Tobias

Hi! How are you? Where are you?
Thank you I am very fine. Right now I am at home in my apartment in Munich.

What’s on your schedule right now?
I am preparing for my concerts next week. I will perform twice the Mozart Violin Concerto Kv 219 and also twice the "8 seasons". 4 by Vivaldi and 4 by Piazolla. A lot of stuff to practice....

Your next concert at Spectrum is up soon. Anxious to get up on stage and play already?
I am not anxious, but very excited. Actually I am never nervous or axious to go up on stage, but always very excited!

If one takes a look at the success of Spectrum Concerts right from the first season, it seems as though these concerts filled a need in music lovers. What do you think they provided audiences with that they had been missing?
I think it is the right mixture of known and unknown pieces, performed on a very high level. Besides that I think that the Berlin audience is a very special one, that it is also eager to get to know new pieces.

Would you say you feel part of a “Spectrum Family”?
Actually I am rather new to Spectrum. But I can feel already now a very welcoming  atmosphere within the Spectrum Family, and I am very curious to get to know all the members even better.

A question in the same vein: Do you feel it to be important to not only share a common musical understanding with your on-stage partners, but also to get along on a personal level?
It is great if you meet somebody and you get along musically so well that you almost don´t have to talk about for example a phrasing. But it can also be a nice challenge to exchange completely different ways of making music. What is way more important for chamber music is definetely the personal level. I hardly can make good music with somebody whom I don´t like at all! Luckily that never happened.

What’s your relationship to Chamber Music in general? Would you agree that it may well be regarded as one of the most contemporary forms of music?
Chmaber music is indeed very important to me. It is a great inspiration to meet others, sit down and find together the best way to make a piece of music sound good. And every time I learn so much from others.

What’s your view on the classical music scene at present? Is there a crisis?

Maybe there is a crisis, in sales of CDs. But that has a lot to do with the fact that people can copy music at home on their computers. Maybe even more people listen actually to calssical music since that is possible? Concerning the audience of classical music: I think it has always been and also will always be that most concert goers are a little older. To make sure that classical music will always have an audience in teh future there are some nice projects. In one of them, "Rhapsody in School" ( I am also taking part. Whenever I am in a city to play a concert, I try to visit a school in the morning and talk about music, violin and my profession. The kids are actually extremely interested in all that and often you can find some of them in your concert the next night.

Some feel there is no need to record classical music any more, that it’s all been done before. What do you tell them?
Not everything has been done, just all major works. When somebody can say something new and record once more the Mendelssohn Violin Concerto with some fresh musical ideas, then I think there is the need to record it.

What constitutes a good live performance in your opinion? What’s your approach to performing on stage?
A good live performance should be alive, and it should awake my emotions. When I perform I want to touch people through music.

What does the word “interpretation” mean to you?
The interpretation is how one sees a piece of music and thinks it should be played. Ideally it should respect the original text of the composer.

True or false: It is the duty of an artist to put his personal emotions into the music he plays.

True. It should be forbidden to make music without putting his personal emotions in it!

True or false: People need to be educated about classical music, before they can really appreciate it.
False. Everybody can enjoy calssical music, if he or her is open and willing to let all the impressions happen that music can produce.

You are given the position of artistic director of a concert hall. What would be on your program for this season?
Lots of Beethoven and Brahms, some new works, also some forgetten works. I would let myself play a concert too. But I guess that would look rather strange...

Have you ever tried playing a different instrument? If yes, how good were you at it?

I had to play the piano during my studies at the Musikhochschule. No, I am really not too good in it. But I passed the piano exam!

Picture by Georg Thum

Violin Sonatas/ with Jose Gallardo (EMI) 2005

Linus Roth

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