I was born in 1963 and thanks to my father and my grandmother, I was introduced to classical music at an early age. They both took me to concerts from the age of 10 years old. I clearly enjoyed this and at 15 I started going to concerts by myself. One of the first masterworks I heard was Beethoven’s Fourth Piano Concerto in October 1978, played by Nikita Magaloff.
In 2002, just for fun, I started interviewing pianists. The first musician I spoke to was Cyprien Katsaris. Right from the beginning I loved doing this, since it allowed me to combine several interests: music, languages and journalism. Since that moment I have had the luck to speak to many other great pianists and I have been amazed how many of them actually said yes to my requests! This is definitely something I would have never expected! Over the years, I thought about the idea of building a web site where these interviews could be found and read. I think the Internet is the best way to reach wider potential music lovers and other interested readers. I am extremely happy that my site has been launched and hope to do a great deal of other interviews, I haven’t finished for sure!
Another incredibly impressive experience was a recital (I now realize even more how unique this experience has been!) by Martha Argerich on 25 April 1979 in the recently opened concert hall Vredenburg in Utrecht, the Netherlands. This concert left a life long impression and I became a fan forever of the Argentine pianist.
Piano has always been one of my great interests and like some music lovers do with singers, I love to listen to a lot of different pianists for pleasure. I often think I was born at the right moment, since I was lucky enough to hear a lot of legendary pianists who are no longer alive or who stopped performing before the public (Just a few names: Kempff, Arrau, Magaloff, Cherkassky, Bolet, Richter, Gilels, Larrocha, Ashkenazy, Berman, Egorov, Brendel). I have relatively few regrets, although I will never forgive myself to have missed Michelangeli in concert in 1984 when I didn’t bother to get tickets for his Paris appearances (at that time I worked there). I knew his reputation as a pianist who frequently cancelled his concerts, and unfortunately that time he played all three scheduled performances, as I read a few days later in Le Monde......
I studied French and German and obtained my master’s degree in French language and litterature at Utrecht University. Later on, I worked for several years as a teacher. I also studied Journalism and wrote articles on various subjects as a free lance journalist.
I play the piano myself, but on a rather low amateur level. Since 2002, I have had a great teacher, Robijn Tilanus who lives in Amsterdam (For those who read Dutch, her book Kwintessens is a must!). She taught me so many invaluable things and is such an inspirational teacher, I am forever grateful to have met her! Still, I think that I may be more gifted for writing and teaching than for playing the piano... The only composer I seem to have some affinity with as an amateur pianist is Scarlatti, whose music I dearly love.
There are a lot of pianists I like to listen to, but some of my most favourite artists are Richter (The greatest I heard live up till now), Gilels, Cherkassky, Argerich, Ashkenazy, Lupu, Perahia, Zimerman to mention just a few names. Despite negative comments and rumours that the golden age of piano playing is over, I have heard a lot of excellent, interesting and individual artists like Braley, Tharaud, de la Salle, Neuburger, Sudbin, Trpcescki, some of whom I interviewed aswell.
First of all, I’d like to publish my interviews and make sure they will be all translated intoEnglish. Later on, I also hope to include CD and concert reviews, news, CD recommendations and articles.
I hope you will enjoy my site!