Hello music and art lovers!
Today I have the great pleasure to host in my website the super talented composer and pianist Vincent Corver. We met on Instagram a few months ago, and we started to talk about music and arts (… How I love technology!!! You can always find “precious” people!). So here we go, just some lines of introductions and let’s start with the interview.
Vincent is an International Award-Winning Concert Pianist & Producer and he was nominated for the 2013 Grammy Awards for his Warner Music CD recording of the Steve Reich arrangement “Piano Counterpoint”, published by Boosey & Hawkes.
His recordings and performances received global, five-star acclaim from The Gramophone Magazine, BBC Music Magazine, The Guardian, The Independent, American Record Guide & many others. His Debut CD on the CPO label received the “Diapason D’Or Record Award” in 2009. In November 2013, Corver wrote the music to the film “One Moment” by Alex Klim, winning Triple Platinum at the Marcom Film Awards, including 1 Platinum and 2 Gold Awards at the AVA Digital Digital Awards.
There is also a particular thing that fascinated me so much, about one of latest work of Vincent Corver the amazing work he made about Vincent van Gogh. The clue was in their first names. For the eyes, legendary Dutch artist Vincent van Gogh’s painting came to life on a big screen. For the ears, Grammy-nominated concert pianist Vincent Corver’s piece, unsurprisingly titled Vincent, pulled the audience into a mesmerising melody. “Music in synergy with animated painting film projections” a commissioning project by the Dutch government on the 125th Anniversary of the Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh and you can watch it on line (just click the pictures below)
Hello Vincent and thanks a lot for accepting this interview. We are met on Instagram, and my first question is about your relationship with Social Media.
I truly appreciate social media a lot. Perhaps more so than some of my artistic friends would dare to admit. I guess some may observe the “social media frenzy” as something that may appear as superficial, condemning the era of the “selfie” and everything that surrounds an obsessive nature of those who choose to flee from reality into an addictive, alluring façade of fictitious imagery. I personally strongly believe the strength of social media is in the introduction of something greater. A springboard which may lead to a genuine source of inspiration, if used properly. I believe Instagram has a nature that allows individuals and companies to communicate in a unique manner through visual content unlike any other social media platform.
How did you start with your passion for the piano?
I had a dream at the age of 5, winning a piano competition and receiving a grand piano as the winner’s price. It was at this moment I decided to be a concert pianist. I never deviated from the commitment to achieve this.
What advice can you give to a young person who wants to pursue concert pianist career?
The same advice I’m giving to all my students, to enjoy the journey and not to focus too much on the destination. There are no shortcuts to becoming a great musician. A lot of passion and simply the right work ethics are vital to any musician’s existence. It is all about committing to the difficulties but in the meantime finding the relaxation required to solve the complex problems without too much tension. A simultaneous two-way dedicated process of approach versus release constitutes the very ‘Art of Listening’. The moment one achieves is the moment one lets go. There is no given recipe to success nor fame, other than to persevere in sharing one’s talent and musical creations. I believe to be amazing shall always attract amazing.
How important is, for a pianist, the technique and how important is the heart when you play?
One can play with a 100% heart, but without an excellent technique there will be no excellent piano performance. Perhaps a fine musician may also achieve for both heart and technique to melt into one. In a way where both cannot be distinguished from each other and where the artist actually ‘becomes’ the composer itself.
You favourite classical composer and a contemporary one.
I believe most musicians will always have special connections with certain pieces, but to point out a favourite composer is almost like pointing out your favourite colour. As a 6-year old boy I was most fascinated by J.S. Bach and the wonderful orchestral music by Igor Stravinsky. I have had the privilege of working with some wonderful musicians, composers and artists in my life, most importantly the composer Steve Reich, who I hold very close to my heart.
I saw on your website that you recently participated on a project fro commemorationg the 125th Anniversary after the Death of the Dutch Painter “Vincent van Gogh”! Would you like to tell to our readers something more about this wonderful experience?
Yes, I was approached by the Dutch Government in Qatar to write a piece commemorating the 125th Anniversary after the Death of Vincent van Gogh. My mother is a professional painter and holding being a life-long admirer of Van Gogh’s work, she named me after him. I felt this artistic journey was a perfect opportunity to do something I always wanted – synergising the arts together in a single live experience in front of an audience. The piece is a part improvisation which is performed live in sync to an animated video-projection of the Van Gogh Sunflowers painting. The painting starts from scratch as an empty canvas together with the first notes of the piece and gradually develops itself into completion whereafter the piece ends. The brush–strokes are accompanied with the moving lines in the music. Vincent van Gogh’s life despair, loneliness, sickness, but also devotion to his art may be recognised in the music, starting with a single repeated G, moving up through various chord sequences in g minor versus G Major (Happy vs Sad) and the G of Van Gogh.
What do you do in your spare time?
I’m an active Music Producer and composer thus free time is limited, although I truly enjoy being outdoors in Switzerland’s beautiful nature. I’m a fencer, I love to bike and play tennis.
A book you’ve read recently read and a museum that you visited?
I’m actually a very fond writer. Earlier this month I received two official global publications of my written work, one for the European Council for High Ability — ECHA and the other as a co-author at the TESOL International Association on a book called: “New Ways in Teaching With Music”. I feel fortunate things are moving in the right direction. I’m currently in preparation of writing my upcoming book; “Facing the Music”.
Secret dreams and future projects? Where we will see you in future?
That is a very hard question as there have been so many fortunate, unexpected changes in my life over the recent years. I believe the best opportunity is always the next one. I try to work as hard as I can but I don’t always have a rigid plan or strategy. Life truly hold beautiful, unexpected surprises and by sharing one’s creations through various different creative avenues, new challenges with renewed possibility for success may appear simply in front of you. For me personally, it’s all about making a difference, keep redefining myself as an artist, keep writing and keep reaching out to those who have a willingness to exchange thoughts and ideas. “Curiosity is King!”