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15 Questions to Marta Erdei

img  Tobias

Hi! How are you? Where are you?
Hi! I'm well, thanks, currently in Columbus, Ohio.

What’s on your schedule right now?
I'm teaching Chamber Music at a summer course at Capital University.

If you hadn’t chosen for music, what do you think you would do right now?
Probably something with languages.

What or who was your biggest influence as an artist?
My Chamber music teacher, Marta Gulyas at the Liszt Academy.

What’s the hardest part about being a musician and what’s the best?
Hardest: Blowing your own horn when necessary.
Best: The whole thing. Being creative on a daily basis, and being absorbed in beauty.

What’s your view on the classical music scene at present? Is there a crisis?
Yes, there is a crisis. We have to change our upper-crust attitude about classical music, we have to remember that music is a form of entertainment even if classical, and we have to bring it closer to people by talking about  why we love it. Media has such an influence on our lives. A serious classical recital in which you must behave and you must clap whether or not you like what you hear, might not appeal to many. We have to make classical recitals more fun.

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 don't know what I'd tell. It is true that main stream repertoire has been recorded zillions of times. People who attend our recitals will still be quite happy to own our recordings, because if they enyoyed the evening, they'll also enjoy the token they take home at the end of the evening.

What constitutes a good live performance in your opinion? What’s your approach to performing on stage?
Originality, which is getting lost these days. Originality in programming, and in interpretation.

What does the word “interpretation” mean to you?

Funny, I just used that word. When I learn something new, it is likely that I have heard the piece before. I have another person's interpretation in mind. I try to avoid hearing the work while I work on it so the other interpretations fade out and give way to mine. I only consult recordings when I don't know how to solve a certain musical problem. I wan't know how other artists treat the same problem.  

True or false: It is the duty of an artist to put his personal emotions into the music he plays.
True. However, not without regard to the intensions of the COMPOSER. Our job is to recreate emtions or moods. We can't do that unless we have experienced those feelings and moods.

True or false: “Music is my first love”
Although I could not live without music and I gain quite a lot emotionally from it, I can't say music is my first love. Love means more to me than that.

True or false: People need to be educated about classical music, before they can really appreciate it.
It certainly helps. However, I have met people who weren't previously educated musically and suddenly found themselves captured by a composer as Shostakovich.

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

I would cast a wide net. As wide as possible, in genre, ensembles, nationalities and eras. I would certainly include more early music than I heard recently, I would have more lieder and chamber recitals, and would keep the solo and orchestral music concerts. Some jazz and world music.

What’s your favourite classical CD at the moment?
That depends on my mood.

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

Recorder. I was ok. I sang for years and years, and was good, my teachers thought I should pursue a career in voice.


Janos Vajda - Piano Sonata (1999) Hungaroton

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