Feeling has no limits between us all, worldwide. Interview with Luis Fernando Pérez

Anna Kruszyńska: This year’s edition of ‘La Folle Journee’ Festival in Warsaw is dedicated to dance. Spanish music, and culture in general, as I think, is very much connected with dance. What role dance and music play in modern Spanish society?

Luis Fernando Pérez: Spain is among the richest countries all around the world in diversity of folklore. Spanish music as a general title could be too general. Every region has it’s particular music, folklore and dances of course! Dance is then, most important. In all villages we dance our regional typical dances, which I insist are very different in every town. Popular examples are Flamenco Sevillanas in the south and Jotas. I think we, like Polish society, are very musical!

A.K.: You teach the piano class at the Marshall Academy in Barcelona and at the Centro Superior Katarina Gurska in Madrid. How does the Spanish music education system look like? What place, among other subjects, takes music education, not only in music schools, but also in comprehensive ones.

L.F.P.: Well… The Marshall Academy was founded by Enrique Granados himself. It is very probably the only place where 'Spanish piano school’ could be taught. Like in Salzburg Mozart’s Mozarteum. So the institution can’t be more important! There all Spanish music is taught, all composers. And both in Katarina Gurska and in the Marshall Academy we have a very specialised official Master in Spanish Music! And outside these two Schools, music is getting more and more relevant in Spain. Many new Conservatories, many new fantastic Concert Halls, and an increasing number of new young generations of fantastic musicians who are appreciated internationally.

Luis Fernando Pérez  / fot. Serwis Orkiestra Sinfonia Varsovia

A.K.: You specialised in the interpretation of Spanish music, and your repertoire includes many Spanish composers and compositions. Is it for you a way to promote  Spanish music and familiarize with it a wider group of listeners?

L.F.P.: After the death of my beloved teacher Alicia de Larrocha, the goddess for Spanish music, and after winning the Granados International Competition in Barcelona I feel myself an ambassador for this music. Not so many people play it and many times they do very incorrectly and have no idea about it. So I feel I have to play it worldwide for everybody to know it and have the opportunity to listen to it, following the best tradition for it.

A.K.: People often feel barriers connected with going out to a concert – like  problems with proper understanding of pieces, especially contemporary ones, a distance between an artist and an audience. Do you find similar barriers from your point of you as a musician?

L.F.P.: Not at all. I love my profession. It is my luck, my dream and a part of me. And yet for the public… we sometimes forget understanding is not so important…. but TO FEEL!!! And feeling has no limits between us all, worldwide.

Luis Fernando Pérez  / fot. Serwis Orkiestra Sinfonia Varsovia

A.K.: We are talking in connection with  ‘La Folle Journee’ Festival in Warsaw. The idea of the Festival is to bring people, both adults and children, closer to classical music, in an attractive way which is different than traditional concerts.  Do you have more ideas, how to interest people with music, maybe not the easiest one, but worthwhile listening to?

L.F.P.: I think LFJ is an amazing formula for all types of public. It is very successful and welcomed in any city where it’s done! I don’t think people have to be more interested in music. We all demand music a lot. Everybody listens to music.

Then, the only task is to make cult music nearer to everybody. School education and home education since very young I think is the most important. State and private sponsorships for cheap tickets is also very important, to make culture accessible to everybody.

Luis Fernando Pérez  / fot. Serwis Orkiestra Sinfonia Varsovia