The Art of Song: A Conversation With Andrea Katz
What was your first experience with live music?
I was born in a musical family. We go back some 5 or 6 generations of string and woodwind players, conductors and impresarios so I was surrounded by music even before I was born. I am the only pianist and I like it, it makes me the black sheep of the family.
Who or what has been a major influence on your music making?
I’ve always loved literature and some great books have punctuated my musical development: Jean-Christophe by Romain Rolland taught me all about Romanticism and French decadence, Decameron by Boccaccio ( a bit naughty at age 14) introduced me to Italian prose, but probably the most relevant was The Glass Bead Game by Hermann Hesse, with its idealistic society ruled by music and chess and its wonderful descriptions of meditations through Bach’s music.
There have been some musicians too!! My piano teacher in Paris Vlado Perlemuter, a great pianist and pedagogue heir to the Schnabel and Cortot traditions and my piano teacher in Israel, Alexander Tamir, who introduced me to the great art of piano duets.
Working with conductors has given me a great insight into the mind of symphonic and operatic composers and working intimately with orchestras has molded my approach to tempi, musical pulse and especially colours and nuances.