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04 June 2021

Mutual Curiosity

von Lydia Rilling

Artist in residence
Isabelle Faust

Isabelle Faust in conversation with Christoph Gaiser (2019) and Lydia Rilling


Since 2012 you have appeared seven times at the Philharmonie Luxembourg. Is there one among those concerts which you remember in particular?

I have always felt very at home here, both in the main and the smaller hall. The acoustics are excellent in both cases, the audience is very atten- tive, and behind the stage one is very well taken care of and comfortable. I enjoy remembering the Schubert Octet, for example. It was the first time we were all playing on historic instruments. It was a very intriguing and happy concert, which opened new sound perspectives to my colleagues.

A residency always aims for a more intense connection with the listeners. What would you wish for from the Luxembourg audience in this regard?

I think it can be a chance for the audience to understand a musician and his intentions better and with greater differentiation if it can encounter that artist in very different programmes and formations. Ideally, curiosity about the musician should be transformed into curiosity about the music I have chosen.

Which of the works scheduled for Luxembourg are you looking forward to most?

It is truly impossible to single out one of these fantastic works! They are indeed all favourite pieces of mine… Perhaps I am particularly looking forward to the evening of Bach and Westhoff, since we have not had so many opportunities to programme it so far.

The past year has almost brought cultural life to a standstill. Has this year changed you as an artist?

The year of the coronavirus was a great challenge for all of us, especially the artists and freelance artists. Many saw craters suddenly opening and threatening their existence; some were actually forced to give up their art. Even a year later, the situation remains precarious and the future uncertain. For me personally this was a very depressing year, as the role of music was questioned and doubted in many different ways, and I also had ample opportunity to question and examine the necessity of the arts and music in our society. During this time, my conviction that music must have a fixed and important place in our lives has only grown, and that every musician should take their role as ambassador even more seriously than they have done so far. Every single one of the few concerts in the presence of an audience that were possible during this time of corona has only strengthened my conviction.


Cover photo: Felix Broede