PAUL

“Trust Your Ears”

Educated in Hanover, Berlin and London, Paul Cibis has performed on five continents and established an international presence. He has been invited to international festivals in the UK, Germany, USA, South Africa, Hong Kong, China, Taiwan, Australia and New Zealand. In addition to his many concert appearances, he has been featured in radio and television programs around the world, including the BBC, WDR, 3Sat, ORB, HR, RTHK, and CCTV.

Paul has released several albums, including a collection of French mélodies and piano works by Berlioz, Fauré and Debussy, in collaboration with German mezzo-soprano Barbara Senator. His latest album features a collection of solo pieces by Taiwanese composer Kai-nan Huang.

Paul has also been involved in various film projects. He penned the music scores for several short films, and was the initiator and music supervisor of the international award-winning documentary PIANOMANIA.

A committed pedagogue, Paul has taught at Trinity College of Music in London and frequently gives master classes in Germany, China, Hong Kong, Taiwan and South Korea.

ANDREAS

“Stay curious!”

Born in South Africa, Andreas Kern studied piano in Cologne and Berlin with Günter Ludwig and Pascal Devoyon. As a soloist and chamber musician, he has extensive experience in Europe, Canada, Hong Kong, China, Japan, India and South Africa.

Keen to present classical music in unconventional ways, Andreas has developed concert projects and formats that often feature unorthodox venues, or whereby musicians collaborate with artists in other fields, such as theatre and dance. Such performances have successfully drawn a much wider and younger audience than traditional classical concerts.

Andreas Kern has also created the critically acclaimed “arte lounge” for the French-German TV channel Arte. As the show‘s co-host, he has performed with musicians including Mischa Maisky, Renaud Capucon, Sol Gabetta, Sarah Chang, Vadim Repin, Nils Mönkemeyer, Elina Garanca, and Jörg Widmann.

He was also the architect of the Piano City Berlin Festival 2010, which featured more than 100 piano performances held in Berlin within one weekend. Since then, Piano City has branched out to other cities such as Milan, Naples and Rome.

Meet PAUL in 27 questions:

1. Some basics first: How tall are you?
187cm

2. How old are you?
27 years younger than my mother.

3. What is your favourite food?
Thai Curry and Chinese dumplings.

4. What is your favourite movie?
Once Upon A Time In The West by Sergio Leone and Les Enfants Du Paradis by Marcel Carné.

5. What is your mobile phone ring tone?
A rehearsal recording of Andreas messing up the beginning of the first Chopin Etude.

6. What is your favourite classical piece of music?
It’s impossible for me to define a few, let alone just one. But among my all-time favourites I would name Schumann’s Kinderszenen, Liszt’s B-minor Sonata, Schubert’s Die Taubenpost, Brahms’ 1st and Mahler’s 2nd symphonies. There are also Mozart’s D-minor Piano Concerto, Beethoven’s 4th and 8th symphonies, Wagner’s Tristan and Isolde… Don’t get me started!

7. What is your favourite piece of pop music?
Michael Jackson’s Man In The Mirror.

8. What music would you like to be played at your funeral?
Methamorphosen by Richard Strauss, and some Swing standards.

9. Which famous composer of the past would you like to have met?
Chopin.

10. Which deceased pianist would you like to take a lesson from?
Rachmaninoff, Haskil, Friedman, Horowitz. And Mozart.

11. Is there a female pop star you would like to accompany on the piano? If yes: Which song should she sing?
Adele with “Cry me a river”, Rihanna mit “Blackbird” (Beatles), and – if she was still alive – Eva Cassidy with “Autumn Leaves”.

12. Which famous person of the present would like to meet for dinner?
Eva Green.

13. Which was the first piece of music that you mastered on the piano as a child?
I cannot remember the first piece I played, but I do remember that performing “Waldesrauschen” by Liszt gave me the first experience of “performing”.

14. If you were not a musician, what would you be?
A photographer.

15. Where is home for you?
Where my laptop is.

16. Your favourite place on earth?
Home.

17. If you could choose, in which period other than present would you like to live
Around 1900 in Paris.

18. What does the term “concert” mean to you?
For me it’s a time for the audience to enjoy the beauty of classical music … not necessarily in a traditional format.

19. Is playing the piano more satisfying than sex?
Hah, maybe playing the piano is more “sustainable”? At least, one can still do it for hours in old age.

20. Do you have power over the audience?
“Power” is probably the wrong word. There are powerful moments though, moments of full concentration and a feeling of “unity” with the audience. But these moments are rare, and they lay maybe more in the hands of the audience than in mine. A musician is more of an initiator, hopefully inspiring the audience and providing them a kind “canvas” for their feelings, wishes and expectations.

21. What was your most exciting experience on stage?
Whenever there is one of those wonderful silent moments at the end of a piece. It’s mesmerising with an audience of several hundred people being so actively quiet. Only a live concert can create this kind of concentration and atmosphere.

22. And the most embarrassing moment on stage?
Naming the wrong town when talking to the audience during a Piano Battle concert tour.

23. What do you do to keep fit?
Playing billiard, chess and Piano Rundlauf.

24. What in your life would you change if you suddenly had 10 million euros in your bank account?
Nobody would notice. I wouldn’t change.

25. What is your greatest extravagance?
Holidays.

26. If you could choose, who would you like to be?
The first person on Mars.

27. What is your present stage of mind?
Clear and sunny, and busy with partly gusting wind.

Any last comment?
Don’t forget to vote for black when you come to see us!

Meet ANDREAS in 27 questions:

1. Some basics first: How tall are you?
185cm

2. How old are you?
Less than a year older than Paul.

3. What is your favourite food?
Pancakes and shrimp dumplings, but not together.

4. What is your favourite movie?
Too many. Maybe Tin Tin In Tibet, The Lives Of The Others, Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon, or 2046 by Wong Kar-wai. And films by Almodóvar.

5. What is your mobile phone ring tone?
Don’t know, most of the time it’s on silent.

6. What is your favourite classical piece of music?
Michael Jackson’s She’s Out Of My life.

7. What is your favourite piece of pop music?
Bach’s piano concerto in D-minor.

8. What music would you like to be played at your funeral?
Haha – which funeral?

9. Which famous composer of the past would you like to have met?
Schumann.

10. Which deceased pianist would you like to take a lesson from?
Bei Bill Evans, the master of the “left hand voicing”.

11. Is there a female pop star you would like to accompany on the piano? If yes: Which song should she sing?
Shakira with “This Time for Africa”. As I was born in South Africa I still feel a strong connection to that continent.

12. Which famous person of the present would you like to meet for dinner?
Woody Allen.

13. Which was the first piece of music that you mastered on the piano as a child?
“Für Elise” when I was eight. “The Entertainer” was the first piece which gave me some sort of “success”.

14. If you were not a musician, what would you be?
A racing driver.

15. Where is home for you?
The people I love are my home.

16. Your favourite place on earth?
Far away from Paul.

17. If you could choose, in which period other than present would you like to live?
1920s, or, better still, in 2250.

18. What does the term “concert” mean to you?
It’s the opportunity to make new and interesting musical experiences, to go home with the feeling that you did not only have a great time but have also expanded your artistic horizon.

19. Is playing the piano more satisfying than sex?
Well, strictly speaking – yes!

20. Do you have power over the audience?
Not as long as the audience is able to leave the hall.

21. What was your most exciting experience on stage?
A true story: once when I was performing Beethoven’s Sonata op. 111 in Bangalore, India, there was a power cut. I continued to play. Then I started talking to the audience about the piece although I couldn’t see anything. In the end a little boy came on stage with a candle and I resumed playing.

22. And the most embarrassing moment on stage?
Never had one.

23. What do you do to keep fit?
I play the organ: Manuals for my arms and pedals for my legs.

24. What in your life would you change if you suddenly had 10 million Euros in your bank account?
I would buy a racing cycle.

25. What is your greatest extravagance?
My 20 children.

26. If you could choose, who would you like to be?
Casanova.

27. What is your present stage of mind?
I’m flattered and amazed that after a long period of being forgotten, my music is now being played and admired in virtually every country around the world.

Any last comment?
It cannot be my last comment, so “no comment”.

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