Playing the ‘music of friends’

By: | Published: September 24, 2017 3:00 AM

Chamber music is a fantastic musical genre because one has the possibility to share the stage with others.

Fejérvári, the winner of the 2017 Concours Musical International de Montréal for piano and recipient of the Borletti-Buitoni Trust Fellowship, was in the capital recently, where he played at The Imperial hotel in association with the Hungarian Information and Cultural Centre.

Chamber music is a fantastic musical genre because one has the possibility to share the stage with others. This is also one of the reasons why people call it the ‘music of friends’,” says Zoltán Fejérvári, an award-winning pianist and chamber musician from Hungary. Fejérvári, the winner of the 2017 Concours Musical International de Montréal for piano and recipient of the Borletti-Buitoni Trust Fellowship, was in the capital recently, where he played at The Imperial hotel in association with the Hungarian Information and Cultural Centre.

For the uninitiated, chamber music, a style of classical music, is composed for a small group of instruments—traditionally a group that could fit in a chamber or room. It includes any art music that is performed by a small number of performers, with one performer playing one unique part, unlike an orchestra. “Of course, different musicians often have different ideas and ways of approach, but that’s the nice thing about it—how to create a complete performance, giving up a little bit of your own ego,” says Fejérvári on the uniqueness of this genre of music. Austria’s Joseph Haydn is credited with creating the modern form of chamber music as we see it today in its contemporary form. And Mozart is known to have taken the art forward by adding more vocabulary to it. Fejérvári believes that although chamber music was at its peak in the 19th century, it will always be a part of world music, thanks to its private and intimate atmosphere.

Coming from a family of musicians, music was an innate calling for Fejérvári. He started learning at the age of eight years, he says. For him, the inspiration lies in the music itself. Being a classical musician also gives Fejérvári the extra edge. “We, classical musicians, have the possibility to play a huge range of styles, from the baroque period to contemporary music… It involves many centuries,” says Fejérvári, who played in Pune before playing in New Delhi. Since this was his first tour to India, the musician was naturally anxious, but enjoyed the experience. “It felt really good, the audience was great and enthusiastic,” he says.

Next on the radar is Mumbai. “I am flying to Mumbai to play with my fantastic cellist friend, István Várdai,” Fejérvári says. Currently a teacher at the chamber music department of the Liszt Academy of Music in Hungary, Fejérvári has a busy recital season. “During this season, I am going to give recitals in Italy, Germany, Switzerland, Canada and the US, among other countries,” he says. Speaking about The Imperial hotel’s legacy in promoting niche forms of art, Vijay Wanchoo, senior executive vice-president and general manager, The Imperial, says, “We have always worked towards promoting art and culture at The Imperial. These niche luxury recitals are designed to wield magic and make one experience exclusive repertories by award-winning pianists. In the past, coveted pianists like Karl Lutchmayer from the UK, and Marouan Benebdullah and Balazs Fulei from Hungary have created ripples with their art.”

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