In the world of music, some artists hit their peak fast and decline while others make incremental improvements throughout their career.
French pianist Jean-Efflam Bavouzet is a good example of the latter. He won the International Beethoven Piano Competition in 1986 but it was in 1995 that he received the international spotlight by performing with the legendary maestro Georg Solti, who invited him to perform Bartok’s Piano Concerto No.1 with the Orchestre de Paris. Bavouzet holds the title of the “last discovery of Solti.”
Since then, the pianist hasn’t looked back. He won several Gramophone Awards, the Elite Prize for Best Concert Series in Beijing 2009, Choc Classica 2010 and was named International Classical Music Awards 2012’s Artist of the Year.
|Jean-Efflam Bavouzet. (Seongnam Arts Center)|
Korean classical music fans will finally be able to listen to him perform on Saturday at the Seongnam Arts Center Concert Hall.
In his first recital in Korea, the pianist will perform Haydn’s Piano Sonata in C minor, No.33; Ravel’s “Gaspard de la Nuit”; Bartok’s Sonata for Piano; and Debussy’s Prelude Book 1. The pieces have mostly been recorded by Bavouzet before, have him won critical acclaim and are regarded as his specialties.
“Although I am not a believer of a more particular capability of interpretation of the performer’s own national music, in my case of Ravel and Debussy, I did have the luck to study this music in depth with Pierre Sancan, one of the most enlightened and inspired pianists and pedagogues of the French repertoire,” Bavouzet said in his email interview with the Korean press ahead of his visit.
“At the same time, Haydn and Bartok, the two central Europeans on this particular program, also belong to my musical language for personal as well as purely affinitive reasons.”
Bavouzet said he wants to change and enrich the lives of his listeners by opening up new horizons. He expects such magical moments to happen in Korea.
“I feel it tremendously rewarding to receive very moving feedback from people in all sorts of difficulty in life who tell you that a concert gave them strength, hope, insight to better deal with their problems. Or to have great fun with a particularly mischievous turn of a Haydian phrase!
“Music, like paintings throughout time, is full of semi-hidden, mostly amusing, personal messages that are hugely entertaining to decipher. The mixing of the highly serious and the outrageously funny is source of great pleasure for me,” he said.
The piano master seems restless, with future plans to explore different composers. He is currently recording Prokofiev and Beethoven and has Stravinsky, Pierne and Janacek pieces waiting in line.
“The constant traveling leaves very little spare time, according to my wife even in my sleep my fingers play! I listen a lot to old and new recordings and if there is still a little time I think out new plans for my model train in Z scale, the smallest scale, 220 times smaller than reality,” he said.
Tickets for the Bavouzet recital are priced between 30,000 won and 100,000 won. Reservations can be made at ticket.interpark.com. For more information call (031) 783-8000.
By Bae Ji-sook (firstname.lastname@example.org)