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15 Questions to Eva Fampas

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Hi! How are you? Where are you?
I am fine, thank you. I am in Athens, Greece, working on new repertoire. The weather is very hot now  but the city is beautiful and very interesting so I love living here.

What’s on your schedule right now?
Vacations......The 2004-5 season was extremelly busy for me with a South America concert tour, the world premiere and presentations of the FOR EVA guitar concerto by Yiu-kwong Chung, concerts in Europe, a new cd release on the Italian AULIA label..... The only thing I can think of right now is to go for a swim! The nearest artistic activity in my schedule is in August. I’ll be teaching in the Velingrad Summer Academy in Bulgaria. Next season’s plans include a concert tour in China among others, which I am already very enthusiastic about.

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

I’m sure that I could be a designer and/or a journalist but when I was young I wanted to be a mathematician! (Too much work!) OR I could spend all my energy and sensitiveness for humanity, to serve the community as a member for the Parliament or as a Municipality Counselor. I’ve been candidate for both anyway.

What or who was your biggest influence as an artist?
LIFE is my big influence. And although I do not speak about that it is for sure that I am/was influenced  by my father Dimitri Fampas, who was a great artist. But it was H. Villa-Lobos music – Study no 11 for guitar that forced me to take the guitar seriously and then the gifted personality of the Cuban guitarist – composer Leo Brouwer was/is a big influence for me. So life,  today I might discover once more Tchaikovsky’s music or look the beauty of a flower or I’ll be moved  by this unfair world. My biggest and only influence.   

What’s the hardest part about being a musician and what’s the best?
For a soloist musician, the hardest part is the time of practise. Being alone so many hours every day, concentrated, working hard with your mind, heart and body. Sometimes, this can also be very pleasant, but it's hard nevertheless.

The best part: this magic moment during a performance when a communication with the audience has been established and then comes the applause!!!!! For me it is also the time when I realise the emotions, ideas, pictures that the music I choose to perform give me, when  my imagination starts to work and the music becomes a part of myself. I feel very very happy. AND this is wonderful.

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

There is crisis everywhere, due to economical, financial problems. What exists in the classical music scene today is just a reflexion of what happens in other parts of life. There are lots of talented artists and inspired musicians. There are also businessmen who make a lot of money from classical music. We are very lucky because they make much more money from rock-pop-heavy metal and popular music, so we still have the right to choose, but on the other hand we have less opportunities for concerts and we usually do things with a lot of effort.

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 will always be place for new innovative performances, new / different approaches and the challenge for artists to offer a personal seal in the interpretation of wellknown music strongly exists.   LET’S  BE OPTIMISTS. Otherwise, it is not only that there are lots of good performances, it is also that it costs less to reproduce the existing recordings than to make new ones. 

What constitutes a good live performance in your opinion? What’s your approach to performing on stage?
Good understanding of the music or in other words to be in love with the music you are going to perform. To be able to transfer your thoughts, your feelings which the music has created in you to the audience and/or to allow the audience to feel and discover the composer’s world which becomes alive in a performance through the inspiration and talent of the musician-interpreter. A Good live performance for me is when, as a member of the audience, I can enjoy the music and admire the artist/s. 

What does the word “interpretation” mean to you?
It is the way that the musician – soloist understands and presents the music, the form, style of the score, the emotions that come from different phrases etc. Interpretation  is a new creation of a work, which exists alive only in the composer’s mind and which is becomes alive in a performance with the colors, feelings and personality of the artist – performer.   

True or false: It is the duty of an artist to put his personal emotions into the music he plays.
FALSE. No, it is not a duty but it is an advantage for a good performance.

True or false: “Music is my first love”
FALSE.   At this moment of my life, it is the best way for me to discover and express myself.

True or false: People need to be educated about classical music, before they can really appreciate it.
Yes, it is true, but it comes as a conclusion of a conversation about why there are not so many people in the audience of a classical music concert. It is even more true that people need to be more openminded and less prejudiced in order to enjoy classical music. And then comes the education part which is a must for a better life as it is with literature-poetry etc.

You are given the position of artistic director of a concert hall. What would be on your program for this season?
First of all, a festival “Music around the world” with performances of works with influences from the traditions of composer’s native country.  Let’s  say Ethnic – Classical!!! Discover Spain through the music of Albeniz, Rodrigo, De Falla, Granados, the Russia of Shostakovich, the France of Ravel and Debussy, the Brazil of H. VillaLobos. etc. Then lots of guitar concerts in order to have a balance with other instruments, solo, chamber music and orchestral  performances. A series with presentation of film music and another with contemporary music. I think I would plan plan a concert  for people to know my friends composers (!!!!!) the Brazilian ANDERSEN VIANA, the Italian MAURIZIO COLASANTI, the Chinese-Taiwan YIU-KWONG CHUNG, the Russian IGOR REKHIN and more (!!!!!!!!!!!!!!) just wonderful. 

What’s your favourite classical CD at the moment?
The .......JAZZ & BALLET  SUITES by Dmitri Shostakovich. (National Symphony Orchestra of Ukraine-Theodore Kuchar) Ok classical TCHAIKOVSKY Symphony no.4 / Marche of Slave with London Symphony Orchestra conducted by Gennadi Rozhdestvensky.

Have you ever tried playing a different instrument? If yes, how good were you at it?
Yes, I’ve played the piano. Of course I was obliged to study the instrument because I’ve also done studies of music composition and conducting, but I was pretty good. I’ve also tried to play violin and flute with no luck. They're all very strange to me.

Thank you very much for the interview and the chance to talk with you. 


Music for guitar by Dimitris Fampas (Motivo)
Tarrega ~ Sor ~ Villa--Lobos (Wave music)
A Guitar Portrait of Fantasy (Wave music)
Plays Fampas (Aulia)

Eva Fampas

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