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Matthieu Bergheau
Q) You started so young on both piano and violin. What made you focus on piano, and what influence did your parents have on this?

A) I suppose my parent’s piano had an influence. It was an old Pleyel, and i was impressed how beautiful this instrument was, and how big! Moreover, it was easier for me to play with pleasure than playing violin. Violin is so hard. My parents never influenced me to play classical music, I always played piano, and my passion for classical music grew up with years. However i decided to become a professional pianist very recently, a lonesome and very reserved person, until one good friend convinced me to be a professional.

Q) What concerts do you attend, and what other musicians have you met? Hélène Grimaud, for example? She has a love of wolves, and is quite unique. Your engineering study and optics are unusual too. And there's an Espen Berg who's a solo jazz composer and pianist. Ever played jazz or composed?

A) I attend concerts in England soon especially in London. And i can't wait for my Spain tour this summer. I met Evgeny Kissin several times. He is one of my heroes. Each of his interpretation inspires me a lot. I never met Hélène Grimaud, but would love to. I can play jazz but to be honest this is not my favorite repertoire, and I am not good at it. I compose too, but am a bad composer too, and prefer to keep my compositions hidden. I am still finding myself! 

Q) You love Russian composers, plus Chopin and others like Bach and Schubert. What pieces do you like most from French composers like Debussy, Ravel, Faure, Satie? 

A) I do love Russian composers, and the Russian music style and melody. The music fits my personality the most. Nevertheless my favorite French composer is Maurice Ravel. In my opinion he composed the greatest masterpiece of the 20th century, which is Daphnis and Chloé. However I love Gaspard de La Nuit, les Miroirs, the piano concertos, la Valse, Les Jeux d’eaux, from Ravel. Moreover I love Les Images, Les Preludes, and a lot of piano pieces from Debussy. Not a big fan of Fauré, but am in love with Les Gymnopedies and Les Gnossiennes from Satie. Also like Francis Poulenc, Darius Milhaud and Henri Dutilleux.

Q) You own an expensive piano, like a Rolls Royce of instruments. Why did you choose it, and describe your albums and label.

A) I have a Bösendorfer. When I was a little child I visited the Bösendorfer showroom in Austria, so I guess it’s one of the reason why I bought one. The last pieces I recorded were from Bach, Chopin, Liszt, Scriabine and Balakirev.

Q) Why did you decide to be a pianist so late?

A) I didn't have the choice. I had several health problem during the last 15 years, so my two first priorities were to take care of myself and earn money. When i fixed all these health problem i decided to enjoy my life and play piano, which is the same in my mind.

Q) Do you have hobbies?

A) I love animals especially horses. Today I can't ride anymore but I can't live without seeing horses during a week or seeing friends in horse competition. 

Q) You talk every time about yoga, and meditation. How long do you work on your piano per day?

A) To be honest I don't work on the piano more than one hour or two hours per day. But I do a lot of Yoga and meditation. I can even do qi gong, acupuncture too. In my opinion this is very important to work on your piano, but it’s also important to take care of your mind, breath, and your focus. It helps me a lot to keep my mind open. My way of working is divided in two parts: piano works and mind and body works. In my opinion this is 50/50. My motto is we must not live to work but work to live. 

Q) Has music been important in your family education?

A) Oh yes. When i was child, I ”forced" my parents to buy me a lot of scores every time, and a lot of books too. Moreover my parents have a lot of friends who are very good musicians. So I always discussed with them and they gave me a lot of advice and support too.

Q) What's next for you?

A) I want to grasp the opportunity to open myself up to the world of classical music and increase my notoriety.