November 22, 2018

Katrine Gislinge: You have to trust your artistic DNA

Katrine Gislinge: You have to trust your artistic DNA

Mihaela Yordanova


This week on Backstage we are talking to Katrine Gislinge, one of Denmark’s best classical pianists. With her special Low-Fi concert coming up soon, we wanted to know what are the differences between playing in a living room and a big concert hall, what advice she has for young musicians and what keeps her passionate about the piano, among other things.  

Both Katrine’s parents are classical musicians, but she claims they never pushed her into playing the piano. It was, in fact, an accident that made her realize that she wants to become a classical pianist. She started playing when she was 5, but it was when she broke her left arm at the age of 16 and couldn’t play for a couple of months, when she knew that this will be what she will do for the rest of her life.

Here is Katrine in her own words.

Naturally, we also had to ask about her upcoming Low-Fi concert and what her thoughts are on the different concert formats, both from her perspective, but also for the audience. 

The intimate concert format

Katrine: Playing in a living room is not something I do very often. But on the other hand, I actually do it every day, because I sit in my home and practice. It’s another intense kind of concert, you almost get too close to the musician: you can almost see the sweat, see the muscles working. You are all the time reminded that there is a musician sitting in front of you playing, and somebody is working here. Whereas, if you go to a concert hall, you can maybe go into the illusion that the music is existing around you. Both have their place. Playing in a small space is a very fine, intense, and real experience, I think.

Actually, you have to remember that most of the music, I play, was composed for a small room for an exclusive group of people. Most of the concerts took place, if not in a living room, then in the living room of a king or an emperor. So, there is an intimacy and exclusivity you can feel at that type of concert.

The big concert hall compared to the living room 

Katrine: I think there is an art to playing in different halls. Every time I go to play a concert, it’s a new place: big place, small place, great acoustics, not so great acoustics. So, it’s always about finding, as soon as I can, how can I make the piano in this room sound as free and beautiful as possible. And how, when it is a great big concert hall, can I make the music sound intimate, so that people feel like they are sitting in a living room. And on the other hand, when they sit in a small room, how can I make them feel like they are in Carnegie Hall.

Katrine Gislinge is playing a Low-Fi show on Nov 28 at the beautiful The Villiage Recording studio. The video interview with Katrine was created together with Juhl-Sørensen and Steinway & Sons

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