Irina Botan, pianist & festival director

work should not be limited to the practice room and the office, as being curious about the world and allowing oneself to experience life to fullest is the only way to become a complete artist

Daniel Ciobanu, pianist

I feel that basically the people make “the venue”. Their energy, interest, respect and vulnerability to be touched and create this sort of tension of curiosity in the hall is what feeds me most

Marouan Benabdallah, pianist

Who or what inspired you to pursue a career in music? Zoltán Kodály said that child’s education starts 9 months before birth. It certainly applies to me. My [Hungarian] mother is a music teacher and choir conductor. My [Moroccan] father, a physicist, used to play classical guitar at a very advanced level, so I must…

Nafis Umerkulova, pianist

Who or what inspired you to pursue a career in music? My mother, Gulnora Umarova, who was herself a talented pianist and a piano teacher at the Uspensky Specialist Music School. I listened to her playing, which sounded beautiful and I assumed I would start learning the same pieces as soon as I began. Naturally…

Gabriele Baldocci, pianist

Who or what inspired you to pursue a career in music My father. Although he had nothing to do with music (he was a street cleaner), he bought an old upright piano, years before I was born. He is an extremely sensitive man, an obsessive music collector and an avid consumer. When I was a child, I was exposed to a wide range of…

Christian Ihle Hadland, pianist

Who or what inspired you to pursue a career in music? To sound a little pompous, I think the choice made itself. I never thought of anything else I wanted to do. When I went to gymnasium [secondary school], I chose mathematics, physics and biology to have some sort of backup, but I realized very…