Who or what inspired you to take up the piano, and make it your career? 

I cannot pin point where the inspiration came from, I guess I was just very passionate and still am about the piano.

Who or what were the most important influences on your musical life and career? 

My first teacher, Edvin Alamshah, who was a former student of Arturo Michelangeli, was a huge influence in my younger days.  But I think the greatest influences are the great composers, and great music.

What have been the greatest challenges of your career so far? 

I like to think of the challenges more like journeys; however I think for most pianists the greatest challenges are communication.  Once you have the ability to communicate with your audience you have overcome one of the greatest challenges.

Which performance/recordings are you most proud of?  

I haven’t recorded a CD yet but I have made many videos for YouTube and radio broadcasts. I think my favourite performances/recordings have to be the Scriabin and Janáček piano works.

Which particular works do you think you play best? 

It depends on how the coffee tastes in the morning!  There is no work I think of in that way, each piece of music has a soul and its own personality which breathes like we do, and on many occasions I’ve been proven wrong with a work I thought I could play best. However, Janáček sits very closely to me and agrees with me.

How do you make your repertoire choices from season to season? 

By reading lots and lots of music and seeing what speaks to me. I never listen to recordings to make these decisions.

Do you have a favourite concert venue to perform in and why? 

I have to say the Sydney Conservatorium of Music Verbrugghen Hall. It has lots of memories and a huge acoustic which fits my personality on stage.

Favourite pieces to perform? Listen to?  

I absolutely adore Haydn and all of his works, and I have so much fun with him while I perform.

Who are your favourite musicians? 

Really don’t have favourites, just very open/honest interpretation from many musicians young and old.

What is your most memorable concert experience? 

I think my most memorable was a recital where I performed lots of Galina Ustvolskaya’s chamber works. She was a student of Shostakovich.

What do you consider to be the most important ideas and concepts to impart to aspiring musicians? 

My friends and colleagues will laugh at this, but I always believe you must spend more time outside your practice room, meet people, go to concerts, classic or not, drink lots of whisky and take it easy.  I am not saying you should never practice – it’s very important: however some people really lose the sight of how it really is in real life. Spending 8-9 hours in a practice room can get very lonely: how are you supposed to communicate with people on stage when you can’t do that in real life?

What are you working on at the moment? 

I am working on the complete works of Janáček to perform and record in 2015.

Where would you like to be in 10 years’ time? 

Where I am now, happy and healthy.

What is your idea of perfect happiness? 

Where I don’t feel happy 24 hours of the day.

What is your most treasured possession? 

My piano scores

What do you enjoy doing most? 

Eating

What is your present state of mind? 

Panic (about to start teaching)

Vatche Jambazian performs works by Shostakovich, Mozart and Ustvolskaya at the 1901 Arts Club on Friday 16th May as part of the South London Concert Series. This concert is now **sold out**. Details of future South London Concert Series events here

Vatche Jambazian recently completed his BMus at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music and is now based in London performing many recitals in the UK and abroad. He has been a prizewinner in many international piano competitions such as The Russian Music Piano Competition in San Jose and the Australian National Piano Award. He is a highly dedicated piano teacher who aims to bring enjoyment as well as discipline to the lessons.

Vatche has recently been appointed Ambassador for the Commonwealth Piano Foundation.

Pierre-Arnaud Dablemont

Who or what inspired you to take up the piano, and make it your career?

What an embarrassing question for me! I could say that I immediately fell in love with the instrument, that it was inside me and so on, but that would be a big lie. The truth is I can’t remember how I came up with the idea to learn how to play the piano. I remember I wanted to take a ballet class, but it didn’t work out and I never had my ballet lessons. Next thing I know: I’m playing the piano. But one thing is absolutely sure: my parents didn’t force me. They had no musical background and were pretty scared by my aspirations to be a professional musician. Concerning my career choice, I can’t remember whether someone or something specifically influenced me; I think it grew in me and finally became obvious in my teens. I started studying mathematics alongside my studies at the conservatory; finally I stood up for myself and came out of the closet as a full-time music student!

Who or what were the most important influences on your playing?

My teachers Véronique Menuet-Stibbe and František Maxián. They are very different pianists and both brought me what I needed at the time I met them. I only recently discovered how much I owe them for the pianist I am now and how deeply they influenced me. Of course, some world-class famous pianists played an important role in my development as well, like Schnabel, Michelangeli, Gould, Pollini or Pogorelich, among others.

What have been the greatest challenges of your career so far?

Being happy with what I do and finding out who I really am as a pianist. It takes time to find your repertoire, to understand who are the composers you’re able to understand and play well, and who are those you like but shouldn’t play. It takes time to get what’s important for you in music, which direction you want to give to your work. And I have the feeling that giving yourself space to think is a real challenge in today’s music business.

Which performances/recordings are you most proud of?

Well, my first album was released 3 months ago and I’m very proud of this achievement. It was a difficult project and I’m happy I managed it from the beginning to the end. It was very important for me to understand the whole process and I gained a immensely valuable insight. I’m also very proud I can offer it for free.

Do you have a favourite concert venue to perform in?

Not really. As long as there is a good piano, the basics of a concert hall and an attentive audience, I’m happy with the venue.

Favourite pieces to perform? Listen to?

Of course I love performing Ravel’s Gaspard de la Nuit and Janáček’s On an Overgrown Path as well as In the Mists, and that’s why they are part of my debut album. I have also a special thing for performing Beethoven and contemporary music: both feature in my next recording projects. I don’t listen to a lot of piano music (I used to) but in my current playlist, you’ll find Brahms’ Violin Concerto (C. Ferras/ H. von Karajan), Brad Mehldau’s Elegiac Circle, Dvořák’s ‘cello and piano concerti (Dupré/Barenboim – Richter/Kleiber), Beethoven’s Symphonies (Fürtwangler) or Bach’s Goldberg Variations (Gould – 1981).

Who are your favourite musicians?

Those who make me think, those who make me want to play the piano.

What is your most memorable concert experience?

Performing in the dark, with just one little reading lamp for me to see the keyboard. This was a difficult Messiaen/Berio/Takemitsu program: the experience was amazing both for the audience and me. I’d like to do it more often, maybe with a more standard repertoire. I think it really enhanced the performance and was really interesting, musically speaking.

What do you consider to be the most important ideas and concepts to impart to aspiring musicians?

Never take anything for granted. Find your own truth and stand up for it. And remember that piano playing can’t only be based on goodwill, feelings, intuitions or piano practice. It is much more than that.

What are you working on at the moment?

I’m working on my next recording dedicated to Beethoven’s Sonatas op. 27, 28, 109, 110 and 111, so I’m diving into his piano works, especially the Sonatas and Concerti, and it’s a real pleasure to go back to this music I haven’t played for a long time. And alongside this work on Beethoven, I’m learning Bach’s Partitas, quite new repertoire for me, and planning several multimedia projects for next year.

Where would you like to be in 10 years’ time?

I hope I’ll keep the same attitude towards life and music, the same amount of insane musical ideas, the same passion for my instrument, with a little more free time and easiness to realize my projects.

What is your most treasured possession?

I don’t own much things, I don’t really connect with objects. My piano is certainly the best answer I can provide here.

 

Pierre-Arnaud Dablemont has built a reputation as a unique recitalist with an unusually broad repertoire. His multifaceted musical personality and insatiable curiosity have led him to exciting new directions, going beyond the beaten paths of the usual conformist thinking and giving him a particular view on the works he interprets.

His album Introducing Pierre-Arnaud Dablemont, released in July 2012 is Dablemont’s first solo recording and includes works by Janácek and Ravel, two composers who have a particular resonance with Pierre-Arnaud Dablemont and reflect his path in the music world.

In 2013, Dablemont will release two new albums featuring six piano sonatas by Beethoven op. 27 n°1 & 2 “Moonlight”, op. 28 “Pastorale”, op. 109, op. 110, op. 111. Alongside these two recordings, the pianist will issue an essay on piano and interpretation. In the course of 2013, he will also appear in a documentary film about his work and point of views and release video recordings of several recitals.

Actively involved in the expansion and promotion of contemporary piano repertoire, Dablemont has premiered new works by composers Pavel Trojan, Petr Pokorný, Edith Canat de Chizy. In 2013, he will perform and record two new short pieces by British composer Steven Berryman: …brightly illuminated, vividly seen and Can it be such raptures meet decay?.

Born near Paris, he grew up in a non-musical family. Dablemont received his first piano lessons at age 8. Showing a talent for music, he quickly became more serious about piano and began his education under Véronique Menuet-Stibbe. He later studied with the eminent pedagogue and pianist František Maxián at the Prague Conservatory, who particularly influenced his playing.

Pierre-Arnaud Dablemont keeps a widely-read blog. There he writes about his concerts, practicing as well as he publishes detailled essays on music or analysis of works.

www.pierre-arnaud-dablemont.com