tue 21/01/2020

Interview with Pianist Hélène Grimaud | reviews, news & interviews

Interview with Pianist Hélène Grimaud

Interview with Pianist Hélène Grimaud

French pianist saved by music - and wolves

The wolfchick in action: 'I have no problem with classical music disappearing if it's too safe'

Hélène Grimaud, the pianist whom Le Figaro dubbed “perhaps the most fascinating artist of our age”, apologises that her overalls smell of deer meat. She has, she explains, been feeding her wolves. While she goes back into the fenced compound with them, she suggests I stay outside. “They’re actually not as dangerous as you might think. But they are socially ambitious, and might attack if they sense you are weak". I feel weak, suddenly.

Without music, I could easily have been a delinquent of some kind. Music changed my life - it saved me. The wolves saved me too.

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I have to say I found her theatrics while playing Beethoven's Fourth Concerto at the Barbican in 2006 intensely annoying and anti-musical, which would have been fine had the playing made up for it but it didn't (only the second movement shone out, which was largely down to Teminakov I felt). In a similar vein, I don't think going on about Wolves has much to do with good piano playing - though perhaps the distraction is welcome!

@Toby You're missing the point.

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