Elisabeth Sombart: with “Résonnance” I bring piano in the places of solidarity

2012_Elizabeth_©Sheila McKinnon

Dear friends, it’s my pleasure today to announce this special woman and great pianist: Elizabeth Sombart. We had a very lovely conversation by phone and let me say how she is wonderful, humble and pretty. Here you can find a short biography about her carrier:

She began studying the piano at age seven. She entered the Conservatory in his hometown and performed for the first time in public at age eleven. After getting the first prize in piano and chamber music at sixteen, she decided to leave France to perfect his art in Buenos Aires with Bruno Leonardo Gelber before completing his training with masters such as Peter Feuchtwanger in London and Hilde Langer-Rühl in Vienna where she deepens work on the use of breathing in piano playing. In the ten years that followed, she began with the great Sergiu Celibidache at the University of Mainz, musical phenomenology studies that allow him to develop a phenomenological pedagogy built on the basic principle of reducing the multiplicity of sound phenomena to unity.

Alongside her solo activity, Elizabeth Sombart is the founder and president of the Resonance Foundation, created in 1998 and present in seven countries (France, Italy, Belgium, Romania, Spain and Lebanon). The mission of the foundation are one hand “to provide classical music in places where it is not played” (hospitals, nursing homes, institutions for the disabled, prisons, businesses etc.) and Second, “to create and manage Resonance schools” Free piano schools without examination and without age limit.

http://website.resonnance.org/resonnance/presentation-resonnance

 

How did you come in you a passion for the piano?
In childhood, my mom and I spent the days playing the piano.I remember that I liked when she was playing, I hide under the piano, like a secret hideaway. Mine was a ‘tough childhood and the this instrument  I found a place of solace. My reality.

Who are your favorite composers?
The thing that touches is what they communicate and their common suffering. I love them all.
 An important moment of your career, a story you want to reveal to our readers?
Everything starts from my Foundation “Resonance”, which brings music to the places of solidarity. And here is revealed the mystery of the phenomenology of music. Often I perform in these places, such as prisons and nursing homes, in that places there is a great need for music. We do about two hundred concerts all year. I remember a concert in particular, in a nursing home. When I entered the large hall where I should start to show in the middle of the room surronded by beds of the elderly were all arranged around the piano. One in particular, however, was the one belonging to a black lady, attached to a machine that produced a sound, regular as metronome, “beep … beep …”. The nurse told me that she could no longer speak for some time, but had expressed a strong desire to be present at the concert, with her eyes full of passion. I still remember it now. I played a Berceuse of Chopin, with closed eyes, as always, by integrating the “beep” as an onomatopoeia in music. At the end of the lullaby, the “beep” has stopped and she had become golden. I opened my eyes and saw a tear on her face, just on the last agreement. The music allows us to a sanctuary, knows no boundaries materials.

Elizabeth Sombart

How many hours do you train a day?
I always play my piano four hours a day.  In the others  four hours I dedicate my time  to the foundation. The rest of the time is dedicated to  writing of my books that I recently published, on music ( here one of those amazing books:http://www.amazon.ca/MUSIQUE-AU-COEUR-DE-LÉMERVEILLEMENT/dp/2709617323 n.d.r)

What is your relationship with social media? Do you think they can contribute to the popularization of classical music?
With the I-phone I am perfectly at ease, I can keep in touch with my audience. But, you know, for a musician  the relationship with the “virtual” world is very different, very particular.The relation of the musician is with the public is vital and for me the concerts are essential just to create that energy that you can feel only  with physically participating and living  the event, to create emotion. In this historical moment we are inundated with videos, Youtube in particular and I think this may  create a distance-type of  energy. As long as the music is a metaphor for God. A life choice. Relationship alive. But I don’t want to   be categorical and as I told you in the right measure also I use these new technologies for sharing purposes, but anyway I believe it is essential the contact with the public.

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How much beauty has influenced your career?

During the difficult period of my childhood I had no awareness of being beautiful. During a competition I remember, I entered the room and sat at piano.A  gentleman of the jury said c”With that face she does not need to play.” And in that moment I felt almost hurt, I began to ask to myself some questions. I honestly do not understand why the world give so much weight to a thing I did not care as much.
I remember, when I was 22 and I did a TV interview and they asked me a question just like “What is the relationship I had with the beauty” and I said that for me the beauty is primarily the result of an inner movement. The presenter then took me aside backstage and told me why I said it so, because I was pretty, for him sure it would have been misunderstood by the public, in a way. Instead, because I was very young, I had so little confidence in myself!  It’s all in the report and in my books and I have suffered a great deal, especially  I remember some envy , even when I dedicated a special on television” from Bach to Bartok”. I lived all this without understanding, passed by without giving me an answer. I lived next to this without understanding. The sense of this then I wrote in my book, “On m’appelle Plume”(http://website.resonnance.org/resonnance/elizabeth-sombart/56-le-shop/book-shop/218-on-m-appelle-plume). The music is the heart of the enchantment and its synopsis.

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( In the picture Elizabeth performs agains violence under woman,she is fighting for this cause for many years with associations)
What is never missing in your suitcase when you’re on tour?
A book and lipstick.
 Future projects?

I recently visited a Palestinian camp in Lebanon, these projects are very important and after the Masterclass in Rome ,that I’m doing these days, I’ll make a retreat of silence for eight days and then I will hold a concert with the Philharmonia of London.

 

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Thanks a lot to Elizabeth for give me the pleasure to interview her and a spacial thanks to Resonance Foundation:

http://website.resonnance.org/resonnance/presentation-resonnance