The pianist Martin Kohlstedt is artist and entrepreneur, musician, and at the same time boss of his own record label employing more than ten people. This was not anticipated, because he only started playing the piano at the age of twelve, however, the native Thuringian has published three solo albums and performs at international festivals. In our conversation, he tells us how he balances the contradictory purposes of artistic freedom, musical-industrial necessity, and business administration concerns into a harmonious overall context.
Michael Spencer played for 14 years with the London Symphony Orchestra, before he decided to give up his career as a professional musician and become an education director at the Royal Opera House. In this job, he started to look at how he could give children a better understanding of arts, or the artistic processes. Nowadays, as a coach and consultant, he is basically doing the same thing. The difference being that he shares his experience primarily with adults in organizations and he has created a close connection to Japan and the people living there.
“I never thought of doing something else than music”. Truly passionate about music and raised in an artistic environment, Lubnan Baalbaki started by studying violin at the national conservatory of Lebanon, before pursuing musicology studies in Lebanon at the Saint-Esprit Université with the aim to become a conductor.
The opportunity to reach his goal appeared when he travelled to Romania and met Petre Sbârcea, a maestro who would be his first teacher and mentor.
SAFI is a musician and eponym of the same-named band; the band’s work can be identified somewhere between punk and poetry. After a graphic design education in Halle and Leipzig, and various jobs in that area, SAFI’s dream to become a full time musician became more urgent and she decided to concentrate on that genre while continuing to work as a graphic designer.
Because of her concerts and meetings with clients far away from her hometown of Berlin, she told us that to “work on the fly” is one part of the creative process.
Composer Ludger Bruemmer was one of the first of his generation who turned towards digitally produced acoustic-electronic music. He is one of the pioneers of a music genre that is beyond growth and several transformations. Did he know that already when he started? “Artists are always associated with the present. The reception is in the past. This means that art, or what we understand as art, is always art of yesteryear. Artists also live in the present world, so it doesn’t make any sense that they should live fifty years ahead.
Imagine yourself a career where you play in a rock band as a teenager before starting an apprenticeship in a bank. Being a qualified bank employee only causes you one problem: You don’t feel challenged enough. So why not mastering the entrance examination at the music conservatory in Karlsruhe to become a pianist and music teacher?
Well, this career exists and marks just the beginning of Sabine Schaefer’s journey that continues further today.
How do you describe a musician that plays over 30 instruments and in order to get feedback from his audience “locked the room, didn’t let anyone out, and then just made big noise”. Nothing fancy you think? But what if the person telling you this with a smile is also an engineer and an official employee of the ministry of culture of his home republic of Slovenia? We think it is best to try to stay as close as possible to the core: Peter Tomaž Dobrila is an electronic and information technology engineer as well as a musician who focuses on the creative use of the new technologies.
Jazz musician Wolfgang Schmiedt has worked with numerous artists, and he derives his most important message for non-artistic fields from these joint efforts: “How you can build something based on communication, if you listen to each other, this is a trait you may be able to learn from improvising musicians.”
The stage is a platform for communication in many ways, both with the public and between the active musicians. Wolfgang Schmiedt has come to appreciate exactly this during his stage career: “If that [form of communication -Ed.] can take place, you have achieved a great goal.
I was intrigued and very skeptical at the same time when I came across the Shakespeare project by Belgian pianist and singer Caroll Vanwelden, who published an album containing her own musical interpretation of sixteen Shakespeare sonnets in 2012. While the next album was devoted to jazz standards, the very productive artist delivered her take on another sixteen sonnets only two years later when she published a second Shakespeare album.
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