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15 Questions to Mihaela Ursuleasa

img  Tobias

Hi! How are you? Where are you?
Right now i am at home, in vienna, but never for too long, i travel a lot!

What’s on your schedule right now?
I will go to Ireland, westcork; to a chamber music festival, and then i will come to the ruhr festival, last time i was there it was a very beautiful experience for me, so i am very happy to come back!

The Klavier-Festival Ruhr is right ahead. What can you tell us about your performance?

I love to play mozart! This year i had a few opportunities where i played mozart concertos, and it is always a joy, mozart gives you always good energy! The two concertos i am playing at the festival ruhr are two of my favourites, especially the kv 451, because it has so much of the opera style which makes mozart so unique.

Which of the other performances will you definitely attend?
I would love to attend any of the performances, if i will be able to. But as you know perhaps, we musicians are always on the road, and we get very little chance to stay in one place for a longer period, even if we would like it. ...

One of the Festival’s ideas seems to be that the perception of (Classical) music be altered by the use of unusual locations. What’s your point of view on this?
Good music can be performed and heard no matter where. I agree that it has become more difficult to attract young people to classical music today, so sometimes a more "special" idea of presenting the music, like a special location, or unusual combinations of programmes, as long as they suit both performers and audience, might be very helpful.

On a more general level: What constitutes a good live performance in your opinion? What’s your approach to performing on stage?
To create a very strong level of communication between you and the audience. Sometimes that does not depend just of the player. And to be unpredictable, even to yourself, ´because a good musician never repeats himself.

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

The same like being a human being, whatever one chooses to do in life has good and bad parts. Maybe as a musician one has the wonderful chance to speak one more language that expresses what words cannot. On the other hand, a musician can be swallowed in today´s world of stress and is easily exposed to that stress, so there is a danger of lack of expression versus survival.

What’s your view on the classical music scene at present? Is there a crisis?
As i pointed out in my answers above, i think there is a general crisis in the world at the moment. We all have too much of everything, we all have to be fast, perfect, according to a scheme that someone has set up. in the music world you can find this in the recording industry, in managements, in the life of musicians themselves. But nonetheles, somehow music belongs to human nature, and even if there is a crisis, i believe it is only a period of passing from one era to the other. music will never die out.

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 want to sell fast, then you better have very original ideas. If you want to record beethoven sonatas for the love of it, do it! Nobody has ever played it like that before, or will ever play it that way, that is the beauty of change. You see, classical music develops itself too, it is like a metamorphosis that gets passed from generation to generation.

What does the word “interpretation” mean to you?
I could look it up in the dictionary and give you the exact translation. but what it actually means to me, it is something that you feel in a very personal way when you play a piece of music, or read; or look at a painting; and that feeling is so convincing to you that you want to share it with others. without interpretation music becomes lifeless.

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

The main reason why music is being written, performed, attended etc, is emotion, or the desire for that emotion. we all try to understand music; or to understand what the composer meant. But unless we feel it, like celibidache said, we will never understand.

True or false: “Music is my first love”

Until i met my first "human" love, i used to say i will get married to my piano! I might still do that...

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

True. You cannot choose your taste for something unless you don´t know about it.

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

First of all, the programe must be liked by the people performing it. Nothing is more boring than having to play something you don´t like. Then i would make sure there is a balance in the program, see also what the audience likes, i don´t want to scare them off! I have made the experience that people like  "well-known" programes, but at the same time they are open to new music, if it is given in an interesting way.

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

I never had the chance to. but i had wished i would be able to play a string instrument, cello for example. That would open my sound view. perhaps i will still do it, just for myself.

"Beethoven/Scarlatti/Schumann/Liszt" kdschmid
"Concours Clara Haskil" Claves

Mihaela Ursuleasa

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