Piano Prodigy Nicholas Van Poche Shines at 39th Fajr Music Festival

Piano Prodigy Nicholas Van Poche Shines at 39th Fajr Music Festival

TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Nicholas Van Poche, dubbed a "musician poet" by a Dutch media outlet, took the stage at the 39th Fajr Music Festival in Tehran, two years after his trip was cut short by the pandemic, which prevented him from participating due to travel restrictions in Europe.

Van Poche captivated audiences with his renditions of Chopin's compositions on the piano during 39th Fajr Music Festival on February 14th, 2024 as he took center stage at Roudaki hall in central Tehran.

Enthusiasts and classical music aficionados eagerly anticipated Van Poche's performance, marking his long-awaited return to the festival circuit. Tasnim had the opportunity to interview him, providing insight into his musical journey and perspectives on various topics.

When asked about his choice of the piano despite his parents' musical backgrounds in trumpet and violin, Van Poche humbly replied, "My parents chose this for me."

Reflecting on the impact of studying music on an artist's success, he expressed, "Studying music, living with music, trying to understand music, and playing music is the most fulfilling part of my life."

Sharing his admiration for Beethoven's Concerto No. 3, Van Poche remarked, "Oh I love this piece very much. Beethoven seems very well aligned with the key of c-minor."

Regarding his successful performances of the concerto at prestigious venues like the Royal Festival Hall, he attributed it to his passion for the piece and years of dedicated study.

Delving into his affinity for composers like Schumann and Chopin, Van Poche emphasized the importance of understanding their languages and fantasy, which contributes to his successful interpretation of their works.

Addressing the path a musician should take to interpret a composer's works, he emphasized the need to immerse oneself in the music's spirit and integrate it with one's own personality and playing.

Despite his global performances, Van Poche expressed a commitment to presenting concerts in his hometown, Amsterdam, at least twice a year, cherishing the opportunity to perform in its wonderful concert hall.

Reflecting on the events of 2022 when he was unable to travel to Iran due to the pandemic, Van Poche described it as a strange and unsettling time, expressing excitement for his first visit to the country for the Fajr Music Festival.

Asked about his familiarity with Iranian music, he admitted, "Not very familiar, but I would love to learn more about it," expressing openness to incorporating Iranian pieces into his repertoire in the future.

Regarding his title as a "musical poet," Van Poche humbly accepted it as a compliment, expressing his fondness for poetry and its influence on his musical interpretations.

Nicholas Van Poche elaborated on his performance of Schumann's "Dichterliebe," highlighting the deep connection he feels with the work. He expressed his admiration for Schumann's ability to capture complex emotions in music, particularly in this piece, which he described as a cycle of songs that delve into the depths of human experience.

For Van Poche, performing "Dichterliebe" is a deeply personal experience. He shared that he spends a considerable amount of time studying the poetry of Heinrich Heine, whose poems are the basis for the songs in the cycle. By immersing himself in the text, he is able to convey the nuances and emotions of the poetry through his piano playing, creating a profound and moving musical experience for the audience.

As the interview concluded, he was wished success for his performance at the Fajr Music Festival, marking a significant moment in his musical journey.

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