Q: Which was your way to come to music?

A: It was by chance. The local music school were offering a piano course for beginners. And there was already a piano at my parents’ home, because my elder brother played the piano.


Q: Was there anything that set the course for you to become a musician once and for all?

A: There was some success with “Jugend musiziert” (the German national competition for young musicians) to make me realise that a professional career might be established. I had this idea already pretty soon, supported by my first teacher, Ruth Weiss, who supported my development at a very early stage; it became more realistic when I was between 14 and 17 years old.


Q: Which would be your alternative, if - all of a sudden - you would for some reason no longer be able to play the piano?

A: If I was not unable to move my fingers I would certainly consider going into conducting. I was always interested and curious about that and have had some experience in it. Apart from that I would like it very much to be a teacher or probably write about music. As I am no longer at the beginning of my twenties, it should have to do something with music, I suppose. In my earlier years it could have also had something to do with other subjects (e.g. in the fields of Science, History or Politics). I do not know if I would think to be able to do such a thing that late as someone from a different field.


Q: Do you still have occasional or regular artistic control with a teacher?

A: Yes. Due to lack of time unfortunately no longer regularly, but I’m still in contact with my deeply redeemed teacher Professor Karl-Heinz Kämmerling. I’m used to see him from time to time - especially with new pieces of music. I find it very important to have a critical “control” from outside who you trust. That helps you also to "keep your feet on the ground".


Q: Do you teach young musicians?

A: I do so extremely seldom in one-day master courses at the places that I travel to on my tours, when I´m being asked for it. I really enjoy teaching very much though. It might become more important for me in the future.


Q: Is it necessary for you to have a leisure time activity in contrast to music which makes it possible for you to relax and to forget about music for a while?

A: Yes it is. For instance do I no longer play football myself (unfortunately it seems to be too dangerous for my hands), but I do like watching a match on TV or keep my fingers crossed for my  favourite club (which doesn´t seem to help so much at present, Borussia Mönchenbladbach aren´t doing terribly well...). I like watching films or English and American comedies (Blackadder, Fawlty Towers, Friends etc.). When most of the time I deal with things that are so important and deeply linked to my soul and inner world, things that take a lot of inner energy to explore, it is important to have lighter things in your life that take you away from that and allow you to relax. 

Q: Do you experience any stage fright before a performance; and if you do: how do you deal with it?

A: Yes, I do have to deal with that, sometimes more, sometimes less. I try to canalize my stage fright in a productive way in order to “change” the special subjective feeling at a concert into a special mood. It is obviously this phenomenon that produces the peculiarity of a concert performance. It is something that starts in the artist´s room, but it does not come automatically nor can it be “switched on”.I now know some ways how do deal with stage fright, more or less successfully. The ability to deal with it, however, grows with the experience that you gather year after year.