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Interview with pianist Simon Trpceski
Inside the program Timișoara- the cultural european capital, on Tuesday, the 14th March 2023, is going to be held a concert by the Symphonic Orchestra WDR from Köln, under the wand of the main conductor, Cristian Măcelaru. The pianist Simon Trpèeski is going to evolve as a solist in the Concerto no. 2 op. 83 by Johannes Brahms.
You are already well known to our public as a guest of the musical stages from Bucharest!
Thank you, it is indeed wonderful to hear this! It's an honor!
I see that you already have a long collaboration with the conductor Cristian Măcelaru- I have also seen a CD with Șostakovici's music, which proves itdiscographically.
My collaboration with master Măcelaru stared, I think, ten years ago, when we sang together with the Symphonic Orchestra from Baltimore, in the U.S.A. I felt an instant connection through the balcanic mentality as well as through the cultural similarities we have - he as a Romanian and I as a Macedoian- which always facilitates communication between people. There are always such connections, but I think, first of all, this is about our vision of music, about our passion for music we both share. This has connected us in a special manner. We had the luck to meet on the scene at many debut concerts of Cristian Măcelaru with different orchestras from Europe, but also in Brasil, so I can say we continued to go deeper in this connection of ours through music. I would add it is a pleasure for us to also spend time together outside the scene, which is great when it happens spontaneously and on a human level, then you have the best results!
Analysing your discography, it might be said you interpreted a lot of modern music (from Prokofiev to Șostakovici and many other authors from the XX century) and now it seems you give more attention to romantic music… is it your intention or does it just happen?
I must say my musical education- and I proudly affirm I am completely the product of the Macedoean musical school, because I graduated in Skopje, the capital of Macedonia - I am actually linked to the Russian piano school because my teachers came to teach in my school when the Soviet Union and Yugoslavia disintegrated. In that period of my evolution I always tried to widen my repertioir but deep down, I can say I am romantic who always tried to explore different musical typologies; yes, as you said, XX century music, but also XXI music! But you see, romantism can be seen even in the Renaisance period or it can be easily talked about the intensity of the emotions in Bach's creations- in his own manner, of course! You mentioned the Șostakovici CD I made with Cristian Măcelaru in those difficult months from 2020, when, during pandemy, I recorded that CD in the Czech Republic. Now is going ti appear one dedicated to Brahms and I am grateful from the occasion and honor of recording these monumental pieces- the two concerts for piano and orchestra by Brahms- with Cristian and WDR Symphony Orchestra. It is not only a top orchestra in Germany, but also in the whole Europe. Before the nights in Köln from last week, I recorded the no. 1 Concerto, then sang the second one, and look, we are coming with it in Timișoara. Actually, when it comes to Brahms, I can say he has always been of interest to me, even if I didn't start too early with his pieces. During my studies, I sang solo pieces, Schumann, then Handel, then shorter pieces, such as Intermezzi these pages found their places on my CDs. The first to be recorded were those afrer Handel, then Intermezzi and the first I worked on- Schumann is on my last solo CD, together with Mozart and Beethoven, a CD that received great attention and that got a prize last year, in 2022. What can I say, now the Concertos by Brahms are coming as a natural continuation in my discography, but it is as a journey of a whole life!
I would like to mention I feel deeply honoured I attend to this concert of Cristian Măcelaru in his natal city, when it will be my first appearance on a poster in Timișoara, in such a context; there have been three years from the first invitation from Cristian to sing in Timișoara, at his first appearance here, but I remember the concert being cancelled at least two times and now, when Timișoara has the status of cultural capital, I am even more honored to be included in these extraordinary musical celebrations in a city rich in cultural history. On the other hand, I am glad to be able to sing in another beautiful city of Romania, a country I respect and appreciate a lor, having the chance to come more times in the last years.
Translated by Ema-Teodora Rădulescu,
University of Bucharest, Faculty of Foreign Languages and Literatures, MTTLC, year I
Corrected by Silvia Petrescu