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15 Questions to Romana Goumare

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Hi! How are you? Where are you?
I am at home in Amsterdam and I am fine, thanks!

What’s on your schedule right now?
Now I am preparing for recitals in august: Grachtenfestival in Amsterdam and Musikalische Sommer in Groningen. I am playing several programs: one is all french with soprano, flute and piano, another japanese/french with music by Takemitsu, Debussy, Satie and Miyagi for flute and harp and the other program is entirely for flute solo.

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

Difficult. Something with languages, writer, actress or maybe web-designer. Anyway I am very happy to be a musician.

What or who was your biggest influence as an artist?

The biggest influence is the experience I draw from life. But my teachers Eline van Esch and Michael Cox influenced me a great deal, as people as well as musicians. Also, I learn a lot of great flutists like Emmanuel Pahud, Jacques Zoon and many others. And, of course, conductors with whom I have worked, especially Claudio Abbado.

What’s the hardest part about being a musician and what’s the best?
The hardest part is the responsability and the administrative side of the music world. A lot of time is spent worrying about things that have nothing to do with playing. The best part is the freedom, the performing and to express your feelings in a language without words.

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

Depends which way you look at it. There is a general crisis in the world and people aren’t easily satisfied. In connection to classical music; the record industry is having a hard time and musical life is really competitive. But personally I feel that the inner value of music will never be in crisis, because it is art.

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 do see the point, since it’s nearly all been done.

But there are a lot of very talented people out there and everybody is unique with his own interpretation. As long as it has a certain value, it would be a shame if we could not buy a recording of them. Many people including me love to have several recordings of one composition.

What constitutes a good live performance in your opinion? What’s your approach to performing on stage?
A good live performance on stage should touch the listener and should be based on the relationship between the performer and the public.

What does the word “interpretation” mean to you?
Interpretation means to perform a composition with respect towards the composer and period of time when it was written.
But it is also very personal, nobody else can tell you how to do it.

True or false: It is the duty of an artist to put his personal emotions into the music he plays.
True! If not we could never distinguish ourself from other musicians.

True or false: “Music is my first love”
Life is my first love, but I couldn’t live without music.

True or false: People need to be educated about classical music, before they can really appreciate it.
True and false. Music is an emotion of the heart, so it is about feeling. But sometimes it can help a lot to know more about the music you listen to. Anyway I think it is of great importance that a child should be educated in classical music, so he or she will have a greater respect for it the rest of his /her life.

You are given the position of artistic director of a concert hall. What would be on your program for this season?
Well, that’s a hard one! I can think of the artists who I would like to see perform and I would give some of them a ’carte blanche’ - Repertoire. Probably a mix of everything, but I would love to hear some modern stuff.

What’s your favourite classical CD at the moment?
To name a few: Beethoven Ouvertures by Chamber Orchestra of Europe and Harnoncourt, Mozart Arias by Gruberova with …again COE and Harnoncourt, Ravel Daphnis and Chloe by Concertgebouworkest and Chailly and several recordings by Cecilia Bartoli.

Have you ever tried playing a different instrument? If yes, how good were you at it?
I played the piano for several years, but was not very devoted.

Romana Goumare & Dessy Radeva (2003)

Romana Goumare

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