New Detail

Interview to Leonel Morales and Juan LagoBack

Leonel Morales and Juan LagoAfter the eliminatory round of the First Paterna International Piano Prize, we review with Leonel Morales and Juan Lago, member of the jury and Art Director, the clues of the selection process of the future piano concerts.

Today we have heard a dozen pianists, what elements does the jury take into account?

The truth is that in the eliminatory round, the pianists are the ones who eliminated themselves. The level is very high in this first edition, even for the most modest competitors, so we try to sift through the contestants in terms of what they transmit the technical mistakes they commit and the passion they show in front of the piano. After all, during the eliminatory round a lot of participants are discarded, so you do not apply very strict criteria, which you do in the semifinal.

The difficulty of the piece, how does it determinate the evaluation?

Obviously the complexity of the work is taken into account, - explains Juan Lago- but the execution and the passion with which the participant performs the piece can be equally important. In fact, a simple piece can be sublime if, when you play it perfectly, you make the people evade while listening to it. That is making art with the piano.

So, it is not enough with having a perfect technique?

Obviously. It is not about playing the keys of the piano in a millimeter way, but to interpret a work in its context and feel it just like the author wrote it. We are used to listen to classical music under the cultural conditions of our time, but we must have in mind that many works were composed centuries ago, and when we perform them on the piano, that fact should be taken in consideration in the execution. Therefore, the program of this contest requires performing classical, baroque and free election plays, to demonstrate the versatility of the contestants in all disciplines.

This conservation of original essence of music does not allow much space to transgression ...

In any case in those pieces of free choice. However, as we said before, it is about keeping the spirit of who composed the work and recuperate all of its nuances. That does not mean you don´t have great players who dare to break with the past, but in piano competitions a conservative valuation primes.

Succeeding in the universe of piano is very difficult, but what essential features do you need?

I always point out the same - says Leonel Morales-the four basic pillars to achieve success as a pianist are talent, study, family support and the teacher. Environment should be as favorable as possible, so that from very little they are imbued in classical culture. That's why you should never stop encouraging them and be firm when they study and practice.