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15 Questions to Imke Frank

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Hi! How are you? Where are you? 
I’m  fine, it's a wonderful autum with warm, sunny days. I’m Imke Frank, a Cellist from Switzerland, performing around the world mostly as a chamber musician and teaching at the Landeskonservatorium/Hochschule Feldkirch.

What’s on your schedule right now?
I’m working on a piano trio programm with my group, the “absolut trio”. We have concerts next week with music by schönberg, beethoven and others. We'll be playing a programm with the title: "In the middlel of the night". Wonderful music!!! Then I ‘ll play with my Cello Duo a programm inspired by Offenbach. Two young composers wrote a kind of a dialogue in dependence on the virtuose cellomusic from offenbach. Sparkling! (we recorded a CD last year with this program) And there is also the planning of our next piano trio project with a dancer.

If you hadn’t chosen for music, what do you think you would do right now?
I would perhaps be a singing cook with a small resaurant – I love cooking for people! But  actually – I can’t imagine to live another live.

What or who was your biggest influence as an artist?

Difficult to say – I had from the beginnig a strong wish to express myself through music. Music is mouvement and music is a moment. When you play or listen to music -  the moment is unique and never comes back twice. That is fascinating. My teachers, Boris Pergamenschikow, Heinrich Schiff and Thomas Demenga were very important. They showed me entirely different visions of playing the cello and thinking as a musician.

What’s the hardest part about being a musician and what’s the best?
Hard is the schedule, which changes every day as well as practising every day .....and lot of work for sometimes not enough money. (Should you choose to also play contemporary music.....) It's hard to plan holidays!!

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

Well, it depends on the public. If the public is willing to open its ears and if the public becomes more curious for small things, unknown combinations in concert programs -  then we are on the right way

Some feel there is no need to record classical music any more, that it’s all been done before. What do you tell them?
If you are convinced of your interpretation – why not record it? It's nearly all been done, yes that is right. But it's interesting to enjoy all those differnt views. And a recording should be a moment of your live, its not made to be the one and only version.

What constitutes a good live performance in your opinion? What’s your approach to performing on stage?
Freshness and good vibes in the hall. A public that is open to sharing a special moment in life. A musician who feels entirely ree to expose the real meaning of a composition.

What does the word “interpretation” mean to you?
To be serious. To try to understand the composer's language – to try finding a way to show his ideas on your instrument, and perform it with respect  and fun.

True or false: It is the duty of an artist to put his personal emotions into the music he plays.
I don’t know. The composer is the first I have to respect – and if I can transport the idea to my public then I give them the real essence of the music.

True or false: “Music is my first love”
What a question. No – I loved running, moving, reading, painting, skiing, music ....

True or false: People need to be educated about classical music, before they can really appreciate it.
No, that is  false. Sometimes it can help a lot to know more about the music you listen to, but you should be able to appreciate it instantaneously as well. If this works, then it is also a sign of good interpretation.

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

Beethoven. Xennakis Nunes, Bach and Schumann

What’s your favourite classical CD at the moment?
Mozart Pianoconcerts in all versions. Just to hear all the different interpretations.

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

I played the piano and a little bit the viola. But I always loved playing the cello more as well as the cello's sound – that's it.

Aus den Fugen (1999) en avant
Celloduo Frank/Schucan (2004) Musiques Suisses

Imke Frank

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