You are currently preparing for the world premiere of Bruneau-Boulmier’s new piano concerto, Terra Nostra, to be performed on October 17th with the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester and Kent Nagano in Berlin. You are also organising a Beethoven Sonatas Marathon in San Francisco, where all 32 Beethoven Sonatas will be played in 24 hours. Can you tell us about these upcoming projects? What are you looking forward to about these?
Bruneau-Boulmier is a young French composer. Up until now, he mainly composed for piano. He has an extraordinary language, which is his own. It can be hard to find your own language today, but he has his own personality, and his music is very well-written. It’s also exciting and fun to listen to. So, I wanted him to write a concerto for me. It’s not a standard concerto in terms of instrumentation. It will be for piano, small ensemble, three trumpets, and three percussionists. The colour will be pretty amazing. It will have a beautiful mix of colour with the strings and piano, and the trumpets will add a lot of counterpoint as well as rhythm from the percussion. Terra Nostra is a book by Carlos Fuentes about the creation of Spain. In his book, he goes from one period to another, and it’s a superposition of different times.
Bruneau-Boulmier’s composition is superposition of different colors. The underlying theme is that we have to take care of our Earth. It’s a tribute and hope to our Earth. It will be his premiere as a concerto composer and his first premiere in Germany. The piece is dedicated to me, so I’m very excited.
The 32 sonatas marathon is a testament to the piano’s development and the possibility of the instrument. You can hear that development when you hear them one after the other. Beethoven never repeats himself in all 32 of the sonatas. So, I wanted to do this with the help of my colleagues because I cannot play 15 hours of sonatas on my own! We had to postpone this project due to the pandemic. Unfortunately, we will do it over two days due to sanitisation breaks. There will be fifteen pianists in total from ages 10 to 81. I have several really wonderful pianists in their 20’s from North America and Europe, and I’m so excited to present them because I believe they will continue to carry our musical future.