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15 Questions to Ingrid Fliter

img  Tobias

Hi! How are you? Where are you?
I’m fine thank you, practicing at home,in Milan.

What’s on your schedule right now?

For the next 2 months recitals in Germany (Freiburg), Italy (Ponte di legno), Spain (Valldemossa Chopin Festival) and a tour in Japan (10 concerts).

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

As music represents not only my profession but determines a way of living and thinking it’s hard to immagine myself without it, it wouldn’t be me. However in terms of a possible alternative activity, since I’m curious about other expressions of art like computer graphics and web-design, I could immagine myself doing this maybe.

What or who was your biggest influence as an artist?

In the course of a life you receive so many influences and stimulations from “outside” (persons and situations) that would be unfair to name just a few. However of course I want to mention my family, thank to whom I was introduced to the beauty of art. They play a fundamental roll in my life, incentivating me to persue my dream, being so lovely and supportive. My boyfriend, who is an  outstanding clarinettist, representes as well an important source of support and musical exchange. My first teacher in Argentina, who gave me such solid basis, all the teachers I studied with, who gave me deeply valuable advices and ideas, the trust and encouragement of Z. Kocsis, has been of vital importance for me, the support and help of some special friends, the contact with different publics and collegues of all the world, playing chamber music, enjoying the beauty of life and other artistic expressions like paintings, literature, theatre, cinema...  
I  can also mention some artist and master pieces towards which I have an special gratitude: among the interpreters, just to name a few, A.Rubinstein, V. Horowitz, M. Argerich,  A. Lonquich, J. Hoffman, R. Lupu, D. Fisher-Dieskau, C. Ludwig ; vocal music such as lieder by Schumann, Schubert, Strauss, Mahler and Wagner, and the Operas by Verdi, Rossini, Mozart and Strauss. Bach’s Passions, all the Symphonic repertoire specially by Beethoven, Mahler, Schumann and Brahms. The last Beethoven String Quartet, etc..

What’s the hardest part about being a musician and what’s the best?

The hardest: not always being able to express yourself in the way you would like or the way you would expect.
The Best: when you are able to succed on getting near to your ideal, contrasting my afirmation above...Also it is such a privilege to be in contact with the thoughts and lives of the great composers, to deal every day with beauty.

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

Fortunately the intrinsic value of music will never be in crisis, like the values of the greatest expressions of art. Nevertheless, I’m afraid at the moment we are living a big crisis regarding the priorities in life. We are dominated by the sense of emptyness, superficiality, materialism and by the “culture of the image” and  however the range of choices has become wider, the people preferences has shown conformism and confortness by choosing light enterteinment instead of intelectual challenge.   
That’s why the world music panorama is not looking very promising for me, although sometimes I have big satisfaction to meet audiences that still beleive and express their happiness to be part of the wonderful experience of music and recognize how important this is to enhance the quality of life. That’s why I think there will always be a place for music in the world.   

Some feel there is no need to record classical music any more, that it’s all been done before. What do you tell them?

Potentially everyone has something new and enlighting to say, therefore we should keep our mind opened to discover these new emotions. Otherwise, we risk to wish to abandon the road and do something else. Even if I agree on the fact that almost all the repertoire has been played or recorded already by wonderful musicians, I do believe each interpretation is unique and the process of re-creating it, gives a new ray of light to the music, a new wave of breath, a renovation to the circle of its energy, which I think is a vital component to keep music alive.

What constitutes a good live performance in your opinion? What’s your approach to performing on stage?

A proper combination between premeditation and improvisation, wiseness and innocence, respect and courage, all this put together formally coherentely, in order to deepend the composer’s soul and message and make it arrive in the most clear way to the listeners.    

What does the word “interpretation” mean to you?

It is to convert yourself in a kind of medium through whom the music turns into life again and through whom the message of the composer becomes a powerful instrument of comunication among people of completely different cultures, religions, languages, etc.    
Through the artistic experience, you can discover a large range of energies and colours that enriches yours and the listeners soul. It is such a huge privilege to be in pocess of a magic key that openes the doors of  paralell realities that you haven’t  suspected to discover.

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

False, is not a duty. They come out naturally. It is imposible and senseless to try to avoid your feelings when you play. You can just hope that your good taste, intuition, intellect and cultural background will drive you to the most “faithful”way of intepreting each composer.

True or false: “Music is my first love”

Cronologically or globally? I prefer not to give a numeric order to feelings or to define them so strictly. Music is my therapy, my refuge, my best friend, my everydays life. Is much more than just a “love”.

True or false: People need to be educated about classical music, before they can really appreciate it.

True. It would be ideal that everyone could have a musical education. Is really very important for the personal developement. It’s a pitty that the subject music is becoming less and less important in the schools programs. On the other hand, as a delighting surprise, I had the opportunity to play a couple of times for kindergarden and highschool students who have never had any classical music experience before. I was so enthused to see their reaction: at the begining they were not very concentrated, but then they were silently listening and their way of chearing me up and clapping revealled their appreciation and happiness.
This showed that originally everyone is potentially “gifted” to feel and enjoy art as it talks the language of emotion and individual sensibility, but the materialistic life and the desperate race for success, take, little by little, this innocence and need of beauty away. So it’s our duty to carry the flag of art, not as an empty propaganda, but as a real and accesible tool we have, to make our life better.

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

I would propose some wonderful musicians I know, that at the present don’t have the recognition and opportunities they deserve. Lots of chamber music, musical maratones, and most of all I would give free of charge or very low cost invitations for music students which often cannot afford the high prices of the big concert organizations. And to be completely honest, a very egocentric project: I would include the complete Beethoven piano concertos, with me as the soloist, because it’s my dream to play this! I hope you can forgive me for this.

What’s your favourite classical CD at the moment?

I don’t have a “favourite” CD. However lately I’ve been listening G. Mahler Symphony n. 3 with L. Bernstein, R. Wagner “Wesendonk Lieder” with J. Norman, Schubert and Schumann Lieder with Fisher-Diskau and Verdi’s Rigoletto, opera which I’m crazy about.

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

I followed a 3 years course of the fortepiano, the “ancester” of  the piano, which has a wonderful  misterious and inspiring sound. Besides this I haven’t seriously tried to play other instruments, yet...


Ingrid Fliter

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