Winner of the 61st Ferruccio Busoni International Piano Competition, Ivan Krpan shares his thoughts on influences, inspirations and performing
Who or what inspired you to take up the piano, and pursue a career in music?
My parents inspired me to start learning about music when I was a child. My father is a violinist and my mother a musicologist so I have been surrounded by music my whole life. When I was six years old I started to go to Blagoje Bersa music school in Zagreb and for some reason I liked the piano more than other instruments so that’s how it started.
Who or what have been the most important influences on your musical life and career?
My parents had a big influence on me especially during the first years of music school. My first teacher, Renata Strojin Richter, taught me all the basics of piano playing and music in general so I am really grateful to her. And of course, my current teacher, Ruben Dalibaltayan, taught me a lot during our piano lessons in the Music Academy in Zagreb.
What have been the greatest challenges of your career so far?
I cannot really say but I think that the greatest challenge in life of any artist is to pursue and develop your ideas every day.
Which performance/recordings are you most proud of?
When I look back I see that every performance has its own place in my musical development and that every performance is a representation of my state of mind at that point. All my performances make a big picture for me so I appreciate them all.
Which particular works do you think you play best?
I like to think that I play best any work I am currently playing.
How do you make your repertoire choices from season to season?
I play works I like or works I am interested in. And when I play works I am interested in, I start to like them. Also, I am still studying so I have to play what is required for exams.
Do you have a favourite concert venue to perform in and why?
No, I don’t have a favourite concert venue. I enjoy playing in lot of different places. Also, I think that people who I play for are more important than the hall itself.
What is your most memorable concert experience?
I don’t know because every concert is different, so I remember them because of all those different things I encounter. For example, I remember some concerts because of the beautiful pianos I played and some because the awful pianos that I played on! Also I remember some when the audience was very noisy during the concert and at some other concerts I had the feeling that people were really interested in what I was trying to give them.
As a musician, what is your definition of success?
I think that you are successful if you are going forward following your ideas. The most important thing in art and in life in general is that nothing ever stays the same. Everything is changing and so we should also change and evolve. It is not easy but if you manage to do it then you are really successful.
What do you consider to be the most important ideas and concepts to impart to aspiring musicians?
The most important thing for anyone is to be yourself without pretending and to do what you love to do.
What is your idea of perfect happiness?
Perfect happiness is when you do what you love to do and when you can help others live that way.
Ivan Krpan’s debut recording is available exclusively on IDAGIO and juxtaposes two giants of the Romantic era: Robert Schumann and Frédéric Chopin.
Ivan Krpan was born in Zagreb in 1997. He began studying the piano at the age of 6 at the Blagoje Bersa Music School in Zagreb, under the tutelage of Renata Strojin Richter. From 2013, he has been studying piano with Ruben Dalibaltayan at the Music Academy in Zagreb. He has won several first prizes in national and international piano competitions: first prize in the EPTA International Piano Competition in Bruxelles in 2014, 1st prize in the International Piano Competition Young Virtuosi in Zagreb in 2014, 2nd prize in the International Danube Piano Competition in Ulm (Germany) in 2014 and 1st prize in the International Piano Competition in Enschede (The Netherlands). In 2015 he won 4th prize in the 1st International Zhuhai Mozart Competition in Zhuhai (China). Recently he won the annual Ivo Vuljević prize awarded by the Jeunesses Musicales Croatia for the best young musician in Croatia in 2015. He has participated in masterclasses of Dalibor Cikojević, Siavush Gadjiev, Ruben Dalibaltayan, Djordje Stanetti, Kemal Gekić, Pavel Gililov and Klaus Kaufmann. He won a special prize from Dean of Zagreb Music Academy in 2014.