Piano Star Diana Brekalo Between London and Germany

Diana Brekalo

Diana Brekalo

Since the beginning of her career piano star Diana Brekalo has been performing regularly in Great Britain and in Germany, and in both countries she has recorded the albums. In May 2016, her second album was realesed with works by contemporary German composer Hubertus Schwinge, and in 2017 she will performe world premiere of Hubertus Schwinge’ s Enigmatica.

In December 2016 I spoke with Diana Brekalo about her new album, upcoming concert in London and about Fazioli pianos.

Jasna Lovrinčević: “Since September 2016 you have been performing frequently in UK and Germany. Alongside performances n Cambridge, Munich and Würzburg you have performed several times in London and Stuttgart. Could you say more about your performances in London and in the UK. Who das organize the concerts and how do you choose the program? ”

Diana Brekalo: “The past few months I’ve been several times in London and Cambridge, where I had a number of different projects. The concerts in London are organized mostly by the organizers I already have since my study time in London, and cooperation with them has always been a joyful meetings with nice people.

In Germany, one of the concerts was with my dear sister Dolores Brekalo, also a pianist. She won the second prize at Federal German Competition for Chamber Music in 2000 in Berlin. Dolores Brekalo studied music science and obtained her masters degree in history. Most of my concert programs I choose in consultation with my sister Dolores.

In a short time I try to select a program which is interesting and unusual for the audience. Sometimes I try to educate audience too and I don’t focus only on the standard, well known musical works. I like to include in my concert program also the works by Croatian and contemporary composers. Of course, such a program can be performed in the metropolis where audience is opened for contemporary music. I’m not supporter of mainstream concert program. By that, I mean the standard scheme of the music program.”

Emperor Concerto With Darrell Davison

Jasna Lovrinčević: “On 11 February 2017 in Croydon you will play the great Emperor concerto by Ludwig van Beethoven. Could you tell us more about it. Have you already had rehearsal? Do you have some new approach to this concerto regarding your interpretation of the same concerto ten years ago and your recent performance with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra? ”

Diana Brekalo: “In Croydon I will perform with the Croydon Symphony Orchestra under the conductor Darrell Davison. I have had great pleasure to perform five or six times with this extraordinary conductor. Concerts with the conductor Darrell Davison have been performed following my first prize at Contest Concerto Competition in Croydon and the winning aword included few performances with that orchestra. I have already performed Beethoven’s Emperor Piano Concerto, Rachmanjinoff ‘s Concerto No 2 and No 3, Tchaikovsky’ s concerto and Sergei Prokofiev’s Concerto No. 2. Rehearsal for a concert in February 2017 it will be just before the concert and it means I will have only one rehearsal.

My first performance of Beethoven’s No 5. piano concerto was 2007, in Coesfeld in Germany, under the baton of German conductor Alexander Scherf. My interpretation in relation to that concert will be certainly different because I am now ten years more mature and I have more routine and my motivation and inspiration are probably quite different. Now I can more deeper and more studiously go into details and I am now more independent and self confident. This is one of my favorite piano concerto so I think I’ll enjoy it.”

New Album

Jasna Lovrinčević: “Recently, in Stuttgart, you have performed Toccata from Rhythmiana by Hubertus Schwinge. Could you say more about the latest collaboration with composer Hubertus Schwinge, his Rhythmiana as well as Enigmatica whose world premiere you have announced for 2017. ”

Diana Brekalo: “The renowned German composer Hubertus Schwinge composed Rhythmiana when he was still active as a pianist, playing with dance groups in Scandinavia, so that the most of the works from Rhythmiana are dance music. In May 2016 I had recorded it and CD will be realised next year. World premiere of Enigmatica is also planned for 2017. It is quite demanding musical work with two movements. Hubertus Schwinge calls it Music Theatre. Enigmatica is divided on the scenes. The titels od the scenes are, for example: “Rumpelsstilzchen ” or “Dancer in the Arena.” The works last about 45 minutes and I really look forward to premier it. Unfortunately, I have had no enough time to go into details because I have been very busy: alongside teaching at the University of Music in Würzburg and at the musical school in Stuttgart, I had performances of my students and I adjudicated different piano competitions.”

Fazioli Grand Piano

Diana Brekalo, Paolo Fazioli (right), Slavko Brekalo - Diana's father (left)

Diana Brekalo, Paolo Fazioli (right), Slavko Brekalo – Diana’s father (left)

Jasna Lovrinčević: “In November 2016 you performed on Fazioli grand piano at the Piano Fischer Musikhaus in Stuttgart. It is interesting that you know prof. Paolo Fazioli, famous piano designer and producer, since your childhood, and several times you have met him. You have been always very happy to play on Fazioli piano. Could you tell us more details about Fazioli piano, when did you play for the first time on the Fazioli piano, what distinguishes Fazioli piano from Stainway piano ones and what is for you especially attractive abou this piano? Where have you played on the piano Fazioli and do you have desire to own one? ”

Diana Brekalo: “I met prof. Paolo Fazioli when I was six and a half years old. He was very favorable, and already at that time he prophesied and expressed desire for my bright future and trusted in me. In recent years I have met prof. Fazioli several times. During my studies at University in London I had a chance to talk with the masters – piano makers. They emphasized and praised the fantastic work of Fazioli piano producers. Fazioli pianos are made by hand not as a Steinway by machinery and the company produces about one hundred pianos a year. This is my favorite piano and I have always had a lot of pleasure when I performed and played on the Fazioli piano. Fazioli pianos do not “screaming” in the descant like a Steinway pianos and they are higly sophisticated and very balanced and how to describe; it is “a fascinating perfection of the art”. After the concert on 5 November on the Fazioli piano I described a feeling when you play on that piano as a driving a Maserati, a car with a perfect machine. A few times I have played on Fazioli piano in Munich and Stuttgart. In the year 2004, at Züblin- Haus I played on Fazioli piano Liszt’s 2nd Piano Concerto. Of course, I would like to own one Fazioli piano, but I need more space for it, and who knows how many times I’m going to move in the future. ”

Jasna Lovrinčević: “What did you performed on the Fazioli piano on 5 November 2016? Did you personally select the program for that concert?”

Diana Brekalo: “At the concert on November 5th 2016, I performed a couple of preludes by Alexander Scriabin op 11: No 1, No11, No 12, No 18, No 19 and No 24. I also played Romance by Jean Sibelius, because I consider that the Sibelius music for piano is unusual and very interesting. At the end, I crowned my performance with the first waltz of Franz Liszt’s Mephisto, so the audience listened something known as a superb piano work.”

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