12 ene 2013

Johannes Tonio Kreusch INTERVIEW III

New ideas for classical guitar (III)
Fernando Bartolomé for MGE

What would you say to a solo guitar student to encourage him to play with people on chamber music? What does a musician gain with it?
Especially for us guitarists it is very important to make early experiences in playing with other musicians. It helps to get a better feeling for rhythm, agogic and music in general. The initial idea of music is communication and not playing all the time alone. Playing with other instruments helps you as a guitarist also to broaden up your horizon and gives you new performance possibilities.

How did you entered in chamber music? What teacher has influenced more in this sense?
Since I come from a musical family it was always natural for me to make music with others. In fact one of my first active musical experiences was playing together with my brother on self-made instruments.
Sharon Isbin
I had Sharon Isbin and Eliot Fisk as guitar teachers and both have great experience with chamber music playing. Both had a major influence in increasing new chamber music repertoire for our instrument. Their work definitely inspired me to also put an emphasis on chamber music playing.

When you play with other people, what is the most effective way to use the time in the rehearsals?
The major thing is: be well prepared for the rehearsal!  And you should know as much as you can about the piece you are rehearsing before the first rehearsal starts. So you save time and you will get the best out of it.

Can you talk us about the Guitar Festival that you organize and lead in Germany?
Since several years, I´m the artistic director of the InternationalGuitar Festival in Hersbruck, Germany. In the past years we had guitar stars like Tommy Emmanuel, Leo Brouwer, Pepe Romero, David Russell, Carlos Barbosa-Lima, Alvaro Pierri, Eliot Fisk or Hopkinson Smith – to name just a few, but I´m always also presenting young exciting artists, which might be not so know to the general public. Over the last years I was also proud to present artists, which had never played solo in Germany before like Bill Kanengiser or Carlos Barbosa-Lima. Also the astonishing Brazilian guitarist Yamandu Costa played one of his first concerts in Europe in Hersbruck and received a record contract after his Hersbruck performance.

Johannes Tonio Kreusch
Next to the concerts and guitar classes, all over the week there are exihibitions, lectures, sessions, master classes, workshops and lessons at the festival center
My idea of the festival is to present a melting point of different styles and inspiring artists, where students and musicians all over the world can learn from each other and benefit from the different musical approaches. We have always also a great Jazz ensemble at the festival, which is available at the final night to jam with. It is always great to see, if also Classical players are open for this experience. One time for example, we had the great lutenist Robert Barto at the festival playing a wonderful all Weiss program. It was absolutely memorable, when he took up the electric guitar at the final night to jam with the jazz-band!
If you are interested to get more informations about the festival, than please visit www.gitarre-hersbruck.de

Next to my work as the artistic director of the International Guitar Festival in Hersbruck, I also founded – together with my brother the Jazz Pianist Cornelius Claudio Kreusch, the Munich based concert series OttobrunnerKonzerte.This series is not a guitar series – although we had guitarists like Ralph Towner, LAGQ, Pepe Romero or Badi Assad performing. We have great artists or ensembles from Jazz to Classical like The Hilliard Ensemble, Klaus Doldinger or The Berklee Allstars performing. The idea is to present contrasts between different styles. We contrasted for example a classical pianist playing Bachs “Goldberg Variationen“ in the first part with a great Jazz pianist improvising in the second part. Next to the concert we also have Meet the Artists conferences as well as workshops and masterclasses. This year, for example, the Berklee College of Music visited our series and they also hold 3 days of auditions for European applicants at our venue.

What about your concert activity and future projects?
Within the last years my touring schedule became much more demanding and I frequently publish recordings and scores.  Just recently the English version of my technique book was published.

Hommage à Heitor Villa-Lobos CD
Concerning my concert schedule, I have several projects, which I do perform with. I´m doing concerts with my own music, which is a mix between composition and improvisation.  Another of my actual solo-projects is my Hommage à Heitor Villa-Lobos program.  As I described before, over the last ten years I did researches with all different manuscripts of Villa-Lobos and all kinds of other sources related with his works. I first recorded his 12 Etudes and based my interpretation on this research. From this research I developed a lecture, which I hold at universities and festivals. I just published a new CD containing his Preludes and some of his widely unknown pieces from the manuscripts. Other programs of mine are the duo with my wife the violinist Doris Kreusch-Orsan or the crossover trio I have with my brother Cornelius Claudio.

You can get all informations about my current projects through my website: www.johannestoniokreusch.com

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