The US plays Dvorák concert with the OBC in “L’Auditori”
Sarah Chang, this prodigy of classical music, just turned 34 while staying this week in Barcelona. The star face Violin stops in L’Auditori to play by the OBC the Dvorak Violin Concerto, a piece that once recorded with the now defunct Sir Colin Davis and the London Symphony. For Chang, though young, has done much history since its debut eight years old at the New York Philharmonic.
The American concert of Korean origin has worked with great directors and the most prestigious formations. Now it gets into the hands of Russian Vassily Sinaisky, which will complete the program in front of the OBC with Symphony no. 11 Shostakovich. Avantgarde talks with Chang backstage Auditori after a trial. He is delighted to return to Barcelona. “It’s a very sexy city,” he says. “I feel more free.” His last time was in 2009, when he left trail with one of his favorite concerts, the Shostakovich.
What is it about the Dvorak concerto for violin violinist kill everything by touch?
Magnificent and for some reason unknown to not programmed often as Brahms and Tchaikovsky -es. It is a virtuoso concert, a monster, from beginning to end there so many notes, is very technical and very beautiful. The Czechs themes are there, it’s clever, wonderful. I am glad to do in Barcelona.
But it is very Central. And you shine much in hits such as Tchaikovsky and Shostakovich concert.
-What is certain is that I grew up doing these powerful concerts like Tchaikovsky or Shostakovich, one of my favorite pieces. In fact, the last time I played with the teacher Vassily Sinaisky was that piece in the London Philharmonic. It is a very sweet and feminine at times and in other very dramatic and powerful sections very unique piece, and the contrast is very interesting. I would play it more often. And this does work because Sinaisky Shostakovich Symphony then what a good balance.
-¿Decide You the repertoire?
-The First thing when I arrive discuss the proposals is the repertoire and who will direct. And then the managers do the rest of details that do not interest me. Di L’Auditori several options: Bruch, Vivaldi and Dvorák, but Vivaldi did not fit, it’s for string chamber orchestra, and Bruch had already done when I came last time. And a couple of years before I did Tchaikovsky. So it was to do something more unique than rarely program. Dvorák wrote that for violin only. That and Romances. As with the cello, right? It was a concert and that was it.
How conceives an American as you Dvorák a figure like that was linked with the United States and indeed led the New York Conservatory?
‘I find it interesting how other musicians composers and other schools are linked. The history of Dvorák, for example, is also the story of Brahms, who had in turn all that relationship with Joachim. And interestingly my favorite concerts are linked to Joachim School (Bruch, Brahms …), someone composers who were not violinists be directed to hear their parts and advice. The links are important. Without going any further, before coming to Barcelona now made a series of concerts by Samuel Barber. Not that no violin concertos written by Americans among which I choose, because the range is huge, but Barber went to Curtis to study, and I grew up right next door, in Philadelphia. It’s great to have that connection and not just the score to study. Read about who was, relationships, psychology is very interesting.
But compared to those who are no longer living one can never be sure I understood his personality, his psychology.
‘Of course. I would really like at some point to make a couple of questions. Only if they are sufficiently contemporaries can perhaps find someone who came to work with them or had some connection. I remember learning Shostakovich concert, we recorded a few years ago with the Berlin Philharmonic, Simon Rattle explained us great stories about the composer, which luckily wrote this book called Memo. There you realize how was it working in this communist regime with someone always watching over your shoulder, and how Shostakovich wrote the concert under the regime but afterwards he changed the number Opus to avoid problems.
-¿Consigue Affecting your mood?
-In The case of Dvorák is different, because this concert is all joy and light and even dance. But when you get into something as powerful and painful as Prokofiev and Shostakovich or what you’re playing, takes you to the dark area in which you must dive. And stay there for a while: you can not finish touch and go running, because you’re still in that emotional state, a part of you. And that I have in mind when I set my concert schedule: if I do a few times a concert by Shostakovich then I have to do something totally different that I return to real life because otherwise leaves you in the dark, that loneliness. There are composers who have that magic, that talent to get into the depths of your soul. And when you feel connected in this way is a great responsibility onstage: want to do a portrait of what the composer wanted but also putting your personality to give the public the most honest interpretation.
His personality, not your ego. How easy is to finish putting the ego on stage or in the studio?
Ohhh, is easy. The ego is so work because you work with these great orchestras with the most renowned teachers usually are always older than me and have much more travel, and have strong personalities, their egos, while I have my own way of think, so if you do not put carefully and if you are not sensitive to other musicians on stage, never want a concert sound as if they were three different interpretations, or battle three egos. In the end it is the respect for others. I’m not exactly old-indeed, it was my birthday this week- but I’ve been in this world of music enough to know what I Avengo directors and which are not. And it’s nothing personal, just musical chemistry.
Tell me a few directors I really feel you fit.
-Zubin Mehta, of course. For me is God. Almost can not explain what it does. Has this seventh sense in playing it even without looking at any time. It fits like a glove. And then there are a series of directors who have unfortunately died, as Sir Colin Davis, Lorin Maazel, Kurt Masur … are people who helped me build my career. And yes, part of another generation because when I started was so young they say grandparents adopted a role and helped me grow. I am very grateful. Because often when you get to a place you play with an orchestra and a director and then go their way and maybe do not see you for a year or two. But these key directors, Mehta, Maazel, Davis, Masur … when I was a kid somehow they adopted me and took time to sit with me, not only to address musical matters, but also matters of management, agents … I taught him important it was done with a good team. They wanted to make sure that did not fall into the wrong path, I started to play with should not.
Do you remember any advice you really change your perception of things?
-Some Yes. I remember for example playing with maestro Placido Domingo: did … pieces for violin and orchestra opera Carmen, Thaïs. And at the first rehearsal I said, “you play as a violinist.” And how am I supposed to play ?, I said. And told me that in those parts of opera have to think like a singer. When you go from one note to another including half a leap, if you do as a violinist going to be is clean and refined, but the singers take their time and enjoy the journey entering the new note. I found so fascinating …
That with regard to songs, but personally I placed well in what to expect from a publicist … you do not press. Because I signed my first manager at age eight and was nine when I recorded for the first time. And they warned me not to let me do play a hundred concerts a year, because all you would get would burn and disappear as she entered adolescence. They suggested that I take the time to go to school, to study new pieces … Because when you are starting out and have a New York Philharmonic and Berlin inviting, you want to do everything at once because you think otherwise you no longer call.
And they warned me now if you tell them you’re sorry but no, sure you invite the following year. That made me patient.
Because the only possible plan was to have a career in the thirties and forties, and not just being a child prodigy. As Isaac Stern, who basically told me I should surround myself with good business professionals, you give them guidelines and let them do. At the end of the day, I am music, not a businesswoman. And it’s not easy. I’m a little crazy control and delegating bad happened.
How has affected his career being a child prodigy?
If you force yourself to go into a public career, fast spades. at eight years and had two lives: the school with kids my age and birthday parties and pool hours, and then boarded a plane and went to play for Queen Elizabeth at Buckingham Palace. And yet I was at school, and was it was still the fax because internet was just starting to work, traveling sometimes with a tutor who gave me classes, and before the concert studying for the role, but after the concert and parties, dinners and such fun things that followed him, I returned to my hotel and I started to do homework. And then had to pass by fax. It was not any fun, but having such a structure helps you grow. And I think having started so young now I can really enjoy my life and not be still discovering things.
‘And it being a virtuous girl who left people with mouth open with his technique … came a time when he thought that the technique took up too much space for sensitivity?
They’re things that go together. The virtuosity and technical aspects are learned, but you have to be born with the musicality and win with life experience. Musicality and emotional strength is not studied. You have to go incorporated into your heart. And it is important not to be locked in the room practicing, but get out, enjoy the beauty of the buildings and art, meet new people, other cultures, and that your heart broken … is all of those things where it comes from genuine musicality
. People want the excited and that is something that can only be given if life experiences. My teacher gave me a good base, but the big challenge is always emotional, and it changes every day, it’s not something you can decide or plan. Today you feel different tomorrow as you has passed. It’s just open your heart and be able to share with the audience in those 30 minutes that concert. It has to be spontaneous.
He feels very American but what about his Korean roots? How have influenced their interpretation of Western classical music?
My parents are Korean, and moved to the United States two years before I was born, so I was born and raised there. But they were careful to convey the language, and costumes … my brother and I we speak Korean to my parents, which is great because it means we can go to Korea and talk with my uncles or grandparents. When you’re young it’s true that you do not want to be different from anyone want to dress like the rest, wear the same hairstyle. I went to a private school where she was the only Asian … and when you get older you realize it’s okay to be something different. Although what is America but a sum of cultures. In the end, my violin is older than America. This piece of wood is a Guarneri 1717. But multiculturalism is superb: even a teenager I studied in Germany … gives you the option to choose and build what eventually think is the best version of yourself.
But is there any possibility that part of his musical finds its basis in the Korean culture?
‘Sometimes I ask developers to make Korean Korean projects. And I try to explain that I have no idea. I have never lived in Korea. Believe it should automatically understand Korean music and learn traditional instruments, but I do not know nor the lyrics. At the end you are what you studied and the influences that have received. For me it was at Juilliard, with Dorothy DeLay, and grow with Beethoven, Brahms, Bach, Tchaikovsky. Try to understand it, to understand that I am open to learn, but in any case be learning.
-¿Sus Parents were well positioned when they came to America?
They lived comfortably. He was a violinist and my mother composer, both in classical music. My parents have been one to give everything for the children. My mother two or three times a week had me drive to New York to study. Canceled its own plans to come with me, a sacrifice which then did not understand … just want to leave, do not want to travel with your parents. But then you realize what they did for you.
This week has celebrated his birthday in Barcelona, inviting friends …
-Sííí, And people were delighted case of coming to Barcelona. Everyone was ready to cancel everything and leave their children. It’s a great city with so much culture, these beautiful buildings … and the people are so friendly, I think it’s more pleasant than anywhere else. Maybe it’s the Christmas spirit, I dunno, it may seem stupid to say, the fact not go hanging coats and deep in snow makes you enter a natural happiness.
‘And is gone shopping?
-of Course. If I have a free afternoon I like to shop, depending on the city. And it was my birthday, Christmas is near, so I’ve done my Christmas shopping here. I arrived with two suitcases and now I have to go shopping again for another two.
What about the obsessive control you have of your image, which has not allowed that Avantgarde you take pictures?
Look, the technology is not my forte. I’m the only person on earth who continues his BlackBerry and I still communicating by mail with people. A few years ago my agent told me … “are not on Facebook, you’re not on Twitter, you’re not on Instagram … something must be done”. So I opened a Twitter account. And I see other artists how obvious it is that tweeting his office, does not seem right. So I tweeted it. But I am nothing fan of YouTube. Nothing nothing fan. Ten years ago, if a professional concert were creating the project with you, spending on television was recorded. Now you just photographed or recorded with your iPhone and hang it on YouTube, with a terrible picture and sound even worse and there it is. I understand it’s another era and we must learn to live in it, but that’s why I try to keep some control.
But are the media.
That’s true, but to meet the press I leave free specific days when I’m not stuck in concerts. On concert days, my rules are somewhat different: I do not go shopping, not as friends, do not answer reporters … well, only you.
I’m told that brought three beautiful dresses, one for each day of L’Auditori. What has chosen to Barcelona?
Do you know ?, climate greatly influences my mood, and Barcelona is very sexy. You feel that you can wear whatever you want, and the colors you want. People liked the color, glamor, fashion comfortable living. But I have to find a balance between taking what I want but keeping a respect for the composer. What we do not want to hear after a concert 40 minutes is people saying … what was that dress? But what is it wearing?
How dominatrix dresses Yuja Wang?
No, Yuja has very straight, has a greater plan, not just that you like a miniskirt and wear. She’s very smart and knows what he is doing. But for me, I do not want people not remember the music first and Dvorák but my dress. And in this sense, if I play Bach I will not wear a sexy red dress that does not fit, all it does is distract. Well, carrying certain heels or certain dress, you already walk differently, you behave differently, which already has an influence on the piece you’re going to play, even before he played the first note. And I want the spirit is right, my mood is right, and that I control the color and shape of the dress.
-And Dvorák …?
It’s a fun piece with explosion of colors, you do not have to put in a box and be very serious. When you hear it makes you want to dance. So I would wear colors when I play this concert. They are dressed in long, single line, and although I really like the pompous faults, I think that may distract musicians. And then you have to consider the fabric, which is not noisy, especially if it is a concert recorded. I try to be respectful of the work of others.
So … feel glamorous in Barcelona.
I’m sorry that people here appreciate women.
That sounds terrible.
-People In Barcelona appreciates sincerely appreciate women who go to fashion, independent and strong women. You see seeing them on the street.
‘More than Paris?
-Paris Is different: it is one of those places where women are beautiful and stylish but are very concerned to pretend it does not matter, do not spend hours in front of the mirror. As if there had been an effort behind, like so naturally. And whereas in Barcelona there is a desire to show: that’s trendy, it’s glamor, that’s style is what we are. And I think it’s more honest. Here I feel freer.
And when I finish the concert, will you go out or what will?
‘I love hanging out with friends, but when I’m in a city that does not come often, what I want is to go out Spanish tapas and do things. Sit and chat with friends who live here, connect with them. It’s what life is about to end.
Musicians’ Are these friends?
Well look, they are not! It’s great to have friends that do not talk about music.
Courtesy Avantgarde Limousine Barcelona