12 Nov 2013

Q & A With Pianist Ronald Brautigam

Ronald Brautigam, Piano
How do you get your mind prepared right before a performance?
I find that the best way to concentrate before a concert is to sit down in my dressing-room with a cryptic crossword from a British newspaper, or a New York Times crossword.
How do you spend your free time when you’re not on tour?
Most of my free time is spent in Scotland hill-walking and enjoying the sound of the Highland Bagpipes; I’ve tried to learn to play them myself, but so far have not been very succesful.. And, most of all, I enjoy spending time at home in Amsterdam, together with my Scottish-born wife and our four cats.
Musical Notes on Beethoven’s Third Piano Concerto
Beethoven’s third piano concerto has to be one of my very favorites. It is the first piano concerto where he truly finds his own language, shrugging off Haydn and Mozart’s influence that is still very noticeable in the first two concertos.
What always strikes me when I perform this concerto, is how much of ‘late-Beethoven’ there already is in the slow movement, one of the most vulnerable and reflective movements ever composed by the great master. Between the two dramatic outer movements, time suddenly stands still, allowing us to reflect upon our most inner thoughts. No small achievement for a 30-year old composer…