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Horia Mihail on ‘The Travelling Piano’ Tour

Monday, 22 April 2013 , ora 11.30
Before leaving Bucharest with 'the traveller piano' for Moldavia and Dobruja for the last part of his tour, pianist Horia Mihail, accompanied by The National Radio Orchestra, rejoined the audience in Bucharest at the Radio Hall on Friday, 19th April 2013, where he performed Concerto No. 4 in G major for Piano and Orchestra by Beethoven under the baton of conductor Jin Wang. We learnt details about the tour, about how he came to choose the repertoire and also about the final destination from an interview with Horia Mihail.

What are your impressions so far about this year's tourand what expectations do you hope to meet till the end?

I shall begin by answering your last question. I expect things to go exactly as planned and The Travelling Piano Three to arrive well, after the concerts we will hold together at the final destination, in Tulcea. Good things happened on this tour. First of all, I was pleasantly surprised by the fact that more viewers showed up at my recitals and this happened in every single place that I visited. There were also major surprises in Sannicolau Mare, where I had made my first appearance on 'The traveller piano' number two. I remember that there were about thirty people who were on their feet and I thought they would leave during the intermission but they stayed. The parks were also a whole new experience to me, a very good one too, as both in Cismigiu and Herastrau, where I played Beethoven, hundreds of people who gathered, remained silent and listened very carefully. It brings me great joy to see that Romanians do enjoy this kind of events! I have already rehearsed with maestro Jin Wang three times. I must confess I prefer it this way. I think the more you practice the better, even though both the musicians of the orchestra and the two of us know the musical piece very well. We agreed upon many ideas and the Orchestra sounds exceptional.

With reference to Beethoven, you have chosen his music both for the recitals and for the concert with the orchestra. Why Beethoven? Why is this composer so special to you?

I have always loved Beethoven, whether we speak about his piano compositions, his quartets or his symphonies. I had loved his works prior to becoming a musician, before I began my studies. As an infant of 4 or 5 years old, I used to enjoy listening to Beethoven's symphonies with those once famous LPs, performed by the Bucharest Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by George Georgescu. Moreover, sometimes I even conducted the symphonies I liked the most and put together small shows at home. My younger sister sold tickets to the family members, charging two lei for a ticket, we both set up the chairs and I conducted. I conducted a pick-up with my grandmother's wooden knitting needle. So you can see that this composer touched my soul deeply. I have said this many times before: even though studying these sonatas-hits has been very interesting to me, it has not been really study as it was and still is an endless quest. Nevertheless, I feel extraordinary having Beethoven by my side.

Why did you choose Tulcea as your final destination?

This decision was made by Mrs. Oltea Serban-Parau, the editor-in-chief at Radio Romania Cultural. I was the one who chose Medias, the destination of the First Travelling Piano, while the President and Managing Director of Radio Romania at that time chose Sannicolau Mare, the second one, and now it appears to be the turn of the city of Tulcea. It is very interesting as I have already received messages from several people from Tulcea who asked us how they might get to use the piano for various shows. I am sure that this is a place where The Travelling Piano Three will be intensely used, thus, it will make it feel more alive than ever.

Andreea Chiselev
Translated by Morosanu Petronela and Elena Daniela Radu
MTTLC, The University of Bucharest