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We started our series "5 questions for an artist". We will pose five questions to one of our artists.

Florian Uhlig, 15/01/2021

Florian Uhlig made his orchestral debut at the London Barbican and has appeared at leading concert halls across the world, performing with renowned orchestras and conductors. The hänssler classic label has released around 20 of his CD recordings, including the complete Schumann and Ravel piano solo works. Florian Uhlig is Artistic Director of the Johannesburg International Mozart Festival and Professor of piano at the Musikhochschule Lübeck/Germany.

- Who inspired you to become a musician?

"When I was young there was always music at home. My father was a fairly confident pianist and organist. My mother loved Elvis Presley as much as Mozart, and my grandmother was an opera fan. Things took their way, I guess..."


- Name one artist that has had a profound influence on you.

"There are so many! But I reckon the most important encounter was the one with the legendary German baritone Hermann Prey. I was fortunate to become the last piano partner in his life when I was 22."


- What is some advice you would give to young pianists? 

"Love music, love what you do! It was never an easy profession and it has become more challenging and complex. Be curious, be open minded and versatile, and love what you do!"


- Something special about your new album Schumann Variationen?

"It’s a double disc that features a few premiere recordings and brings to life the huge spectrum of Schumann’s workings on the variation genre. The variety of invention is staggering. Some sections even seem to pre-echo Edward Elgar and Arvo Pärt!"


- Do you need the connection with an audience to play music?

"Yes, for sure! Can the Corona crisis be over soon, please?!"

Friedemann Eichhorn, 30/10/2020

Friedemann Eichhorn has performed as a chamber music partner with Gidon Kremer, Yuri Bashmet, Boris Pergamenschikov and many others. In addition to an extensive discography for the hänssler classic and Naxos labels Friedemann Eichhorn is Professor of violin at the Hochschule für Musik “Franz Liszt” in Weimar and Artistic Director of the Kronberg Academy.

- Who inspired you to become a musician?

"Yehudi Menuhin, the first violinist I ever listened to on recordings. As a child I immediately fell in love with his sound and expression. Till today he is one of my greatest idols in violin playing and musicianship in general. Later on I had the chance to play for him and to perform with him together on stage. These encounters belong to my most beautiful memories."


- Name one artist that has had a profound influence on you.

"Next to Menuhin I mention Gidon Kremer whose creativity, uniqueness and personal sound are always an inspiration."


- What is some advice you would give to young violinists? 

"Love for music is the most important. If you are in real love you won't suffer under countless practice hours. Because these long hours are necessary. Practice time ideally should be quality time."


- Something special about your new alboum ALBUM with Fazil Say and Christoph Eschenbach?

"Fazil Say has a very personal compositional style, unmistakable. His pieces tell stories. He is a great inventor of sounds and timbres that you won’t find in other music. And the rhythmic conciseness is phenomenal. That is what makes his music so exciting and an experience to play! The expression in his music has an immediate effect, the emotions are transported very directly and clearly. And I always notice from the audience reaction: even audiences that rarely listen to music by living composers react frenetically! Working together with Christoph Eschenbach and the Deutsche Radiophilharmonie on Fazil's violin concerto was a real treat."


- Do you need the connection with an audience to play music?

"I believe strongly in "teaming up" of performers and audiences. This exchange of energies enables special performances. Although there might be great moments in the recording studio as well. But the connection with a live audience is what I always look forward to."

Peter Hoerr, 16/10/2020


Peter Hörr is also a sought-after chamber music partner, notably as founding member of the Mozart Piano Quartet, an ensemble that performs worldwide with a catalogue of recordings for the Dabringhaus & Grimm label. He was awarded the ECHO Classic Prize and has been Artistic Director of the Hofkapelle Weimar since 2010. Peter Hörr is Professor of cello at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater “Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy” in Leipzig.


Who inspired you to become a musician?


"Well, I come from a musical household. Music making was just the order of the day. As a child I already had the opportunity to play a lot of continuo and was even able to earn money with it. And I have to add that around my 12th birthday I was overwhelmed by Brahms’ Symphony No 2 and felt sure about following the path to become a musician.."



Name one artist that has had a profound influence on you.


My main teacher finally was Heinrich Schiff, an exceptional teacher, musician and cellist. He not only encouraged me to critically question all traditions in music and always try to be truthful in content and expression in performing music.



Something special about Beethoven ?


For the beethoven year we have recorded all works for cello and piano. The process of recording it felt like being in an ancient laboratory. As soon as we entered the Weimar castle to climb up the stairs to get started in our provisionary „recording Studio“, we heard ourselves in the classical hall of the Weimarer Schloss, playing on original period instruments. A journey quasi through a time machine…

The aim had been to reconstruct original conditions und most possible aspects to experiment and use latest knowledge about how to perform at Beethoven's time around 1800, the dawn of the romantic period. We are very happy with the results undertaking such so to speak „artistic research“,concerning the questions „How did one play at these times“, „Which instruments were really in use!“, „which setup did a cello have „, and so on… Finally we could give an example on cd of some few years of preparation and research.



Do you need the connection with an audience to play music?


No doubt about that! Making music is an interaction between performing musicians or artists and the audience. Being alone without an audience is close to something like it just never happened.. I see light at the end of the tunnel since there are popping up endless little initiatives around the globe to ask the right questions, finding possibilities to hold concerts with needed care for health. I feel obliged to follow that path instead of just waiting for better times..



What is some advice you would give to young cellists?

Is there any teacher's advice? Human beings are sufficiently self learning. So I feel a deep contradiction in still taking a teacher’s position…
If there is any advice that i can make, first of all it can be just articulated if someone is asking.. my impression is more and more, that your own experience is of highest value to get an idea of some musical phrasing or so. However, What teachers and other musicians tell you may influence your view but your own deep idea is what carries a truthful expression in music.

Miguel Colom, 09/10/2020

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"5 questions for an artist" with our violinist Miguel Colom, concertmaster of the Orquesta y Coro Nacionales de España.


The international press has written that, “Miguel Colom plays with great distinction”, and has stressed his “narrative strength, vitality and passion”. Great respect for the works he performs, elegant playing and communication with the audience all make Colom an exceptional violinist.


1. Who inspired you to become a musician?


"I come from a musical family as my mother is a profesional cellist. That made a big influence in my first musical years. Since then I have met so many musicians, teachers, friends, soloists, conductors that have inspired me throughout the years. The list is too long to start mentioning..."



2. What is it like being the concertmaster of one of Spain's most prestigious orchestras?


"On one side it is an honor to be part of this orchestra and on the other hand this position conveys a big responsability. It is a fantastic orchestra and I want to grow with them as well as contribute to make it better. It is a big opportunity and challenge."



3. Name one artist that has had a profound influence on you.


"It is very difficult to mention just one...I would allow myself to mention more. My teachers in Berlin Antje Weithaas and Eberhard Feltz have been an enormous influence to me, as well as nowadays my trio colleagues Fernando Arias and Juan Perez Floristan."



4. How is your orchestra adapting to the covid-19 pandemic?


"We perform with a reduced orchestra, two meter distance between musicians, always with mask, less public. Everything makes it more complicated and each concert feels like a challenge and as a very special event."



5. Is it worthwhile for you to play concerts without an audience? Do musicians need live audiences?


"We do need the audience. We are story tellers, therefore we need conection with our audiences. Online streaming can be a suplement but never a substitute."

Tony Rymer, 02/10/2020

Cellist Tony Rymer has performed major concerti to critical acclaim with the Atlanta Symphony, Boston Pops, Cleveland Orchestra, Detroit Symphony, and Pittsburgh Symphony, among others. He was the first prize winner in the Washington International Competition and the Sphinx Competition Senior Division, Second Prize Winner in the Enescu Competition, and took 3rd place in the Stulberg International String Competition. Today we will speak with him about music and life during the pandemic.


What does playing the cello mean to you?


"I started playing the cello when I was 5 years old and it has become an integral part of how I express myself. Language is capable of being specific in a way music cannot be; however, music allows us to skip the verbalization of our thoughts and use purely sound to express ourselves. The cello allows me to communicate in a medium free from linguistic constraints which allows for unique ways of interacting between both musicians, audiences, and within myself."



Who is an inspiring artist for you? Why?


"Steven Isserlis. He strives to interpret each piece he plays in the way he believes the composer would want."



What is some advice you would give to young cellists?


"Practicing intelligently is more important than practicing a lot. Sometimes planning exactly how and what you will practice before you even pick up the instrument can save you much time and effort."



How many of your concerts were cancelled because of Covid-19?


"Probably around 50 concerts have been cancelled so far. It has been a difficult time for many people in many professions. I hope that the global situation improves soon."



Do you need the connection with an audience to play music?


"I've played several online concerts and there is definitely something lacking compared to having a live audience. Every audience gives off a certain aura which affects the performers to some degree. I imagine all musicians have had a concert where they felt a special interaction taking place with the public while playing. Certain concert halls are also more conducive to allowing for that electricity between the performers and audience."

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