60 seconds with ... Matan Porat
What is your earliest musical memory?
When I was 2 years old, my mother had taught me to put on LP records and I was listening by myself to Brahms and Bruckner symphonies.
What are your techniques to cope with performance anxiety?
There are no techniques, really. I have a similar routine on concert days, though- practicing at the venue in the morning, having a big lunch, sleeping a few hours and then performing in the evening.
What piece of advice do you wish someone had told you while you were training?
In hindsight, I would have liked to have worked more on concertos rather than on solo pieces. As a performing musician, time to learn new repertoire is rather limited, and starting your career with few already polished concertos is a big advantage.
What is the make and model of your signature piano?
I have a Yamaha C3 at home.
What has been your favourite venue to have performed in, in your career to date?
There are few favorite venues: The Philharmonie in Berlin has spectacular acoustics, Wigmore Hall gives a nice cozy feeling to the performer, but by far my personal favorite would be Les Bouffes du Nord in Paris, for its magical atmosphere and feeling of wonder and beauty.
You are both a pianist and a composer, how does leading such a music-filled life enrich your world on a personal basis?
I passionately love music, and in a way, being a professional for me has the danger of becoming just work and less pleasure. I need to remind myself to get excited and feel lucky that I make my living by doing the thing I love most.
What are you passionate about?
I am very passionate about arts in general- whether it is music, film, visual arts or literature. Whenever I feel a bit masochistic, I am also passionate about politics, but this usually lead to a big depression.
Which composer, contemporary or from the past, would you most like to have dinner with and why?
I would have loved to have a dinner with Schumann, above everybody else- although my German would not suffice for it to be a memorable evening- because he is the ultimate creative genius, a man combining literature and music, creating new forms and being a romantic hero.
Also, he has been described as a nice, generous man. A meeting with Beethoven, as interesting as it may sound, might not be that pleasant...
What kind of music do you listen to when relaxing?
As I strongly object to the modern common view of classical music as "relaxing music", I never listen to classical music in the background. I like various types of music, including Jazz, Brazilian music, Rap and various rock bands, and I listen to whatever I please when I have free time.
In an alternate universe, if you were not a classical musician, what other profession would you go into?
Film, without a doubt. I am a movie enthusiast and would have loved to create something in that field.
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