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Friday, February 23, 2018

Mathias Nazca: why is the main asset of Vienna is the audience, not the musicians

…Many mysteries conceals musical Vienna. The only city where music as a local (not tourist) audience — not a smaller domain than the artists themselves. And it is a great art with the audience to work, to plant her on the throne, to hear her motivation. In Vienna, as you know, the two main concert hall. King for tourists — all in gold Musikverein, where, as in the Bolshoi theatre all go see crystal chandeliers and ceiling murals. And king for local Vienna Konzerthaus, thinner and riskier, a kind of escape from the musical goods.

At the moment almost of bankruptcy (2013) artistic Director of the Konzerthaus was elected Mathias Nazca (Matthias Naske), who managed to leave the crowns of Vienna, not seduced by pop music, although he was pushed into it by circumstances. He rarely gives interviews, but the reporter “MK”, fortunately, did not refuse. Moreover, unexpected interpreter made famous pianist Victor Yampolsky, the founder of the Trio. Rachmaninoff.

“And encore will be sent you by SMS

Three years ago, barely taking his post, you publicly announced the Konzerthaus bankrupt, the amount of debt which reached six million euros… Say, subsidies were reduced to the impossibility and cannot live this way on. The situation changed?

— When I lead and there was minus to be capitalized. And to declare openly about problems is already half the battle. Now, of course, was better. After all, before the crisis over the Konzerthaus was the glory of the institution with a very high quality musical product. However, the previous management lacked a clear position on cultural policy. I came precisely in order to change that. The fact that 100% of all our spending per year — 86% we make ourselves, and only 14% are subsidies from the outside. And, interestingly, the Konzerthaus — a private organization (although the building belongs to the national Society of the Vienna Konzerthaus). During this time, we started 10 new passes (55), because my main goal is to be useful and interesting for those who live here.

— What is the average occupancy of the hall?

— Today we have Gergiev’s sold out! And so I don’t keep statistics because it is lying all the time. The percentage, of course, very high. Quality is our brand.

— What audience do you rely on? It’s 50/50 tourists and locals?

In this house a lot more crowns. We are not so far from the Musikverein, with its elegant Golden hall. So there is more tourists. Gold what to do (smiles). And we are the true mirror of the cultural diversity of the city. So our programs are much more aesthetically diverse than in the Musikverein. We have a lot of jazz, chamber music, many orchestras.

— And you want to say that in the Musikverein, from the “sharpened” for tourists, shackled hands?

— There is an objective thing: tourist attraction M. are much higher than ours. They have amazing concerts, and, dominated by the romantic repertoire. And we have, excuse me, 30% of today’s new music! This is a very significant number, it is not enough. Take it out the concert of Goran Bregovic — a sort of balkanski pop, and the stalls cleaned, the chairs were all standing. I mean, I want to be closer to the people who live here. To understand their musical tastes.

But you feel the competition Musikverein?

— There are things in which we are competing — for example, an invitation by the Vienna Philharmonic, and acting here and there. But Barenboim, for example, Mahler is playing only for us. Or you project with the German conductor Thomas Hengelbrock that the programme manages a capella choir, and his wife, actress Johanna Wokalek — recitative speaks-sings the lyrics? This Musikverein you will not see.

Recently the concert hall turned 100 years old. How has the music business during this time as suggested? It has become, to a greater extent, interteymenta?

— Each hall looking for his own mission. So the mission of this house for many years — to enable good music and good people find each other. To bring them closer. Here much depends on the mediator, that is, from us. Well, it is not enough just to bring great musicians. It is necessary to organize contact these guys with their listener. We live in a period of total individualization, the greatest selfishness; and this means that we have to find their own, only we have music suggestions. The public needs to understand that you love her. And we are trying. We fall, this service is opened: when a person buys a ticket via the Internet, it makes your data phone number. And after the concert he receives a text message with the names of the encores played after the main speech (encore concerts are not announced and, of course, are not included in the program).

Bravo. Dubbed dessert…

— This is good if the musician himself will declare. But many do not wish to speak in the voice: for example, the pianist Grigory Sokolov plays 6-7 encores, it is not surprising that students want transcripts. And this is just one example. Or pay attention to our musical newspaper — it’s not a dry concert calendar, but a collection of various Muzykantsky stories, sort of a visual accompaniment audioread.

Yeah, but we have such a practice that the conductor likes to tell the scene that is now going to play. You allow such things in the Konzerthaus?

— I welcome any communication, in any form, tight to the listener’s perception. But otherwise, especially if we are talking about contemporary music?

“In the wardrobe happens all the innermost”

— Should be cheap tickets? This is a social mission?

— It is always a question of balance. Bullied high price — cut is an important part of the public. You’ve got to be extremely careful not to make any sudden movements. Although 52% of our revenues is the sale of tickets…

— How the audience changed in recent years? Aging or getting younger?

— First, we have the true backbone of our public — 31 000 subscribers, that is, people who buy tickets regularly. To maintain their interest you need to work in new formats. Here is an example. There is the famous Vienna Philharmonic orchestra, which everybody loves, everybody knows; but there is not less beautiful Vienna Symphony (based in our Konzerthaus), but if sinfonici” will do what “filarmonici”, they will never come out of their shadows. So we come up with interesting things: Friday in seven traditionally begins the concert hall, is little more than an hour — 70-80 minutes, and then continues in the wardrobe — the soloist and the conductor, for example, can get together to portray something, or ensemble of woodwind (taken from among the orchestra), or eight cellos…

— And the audience?

— She’s standing around, drinking champagne. Laid table. Whoever wants to can leave, but people are terribly fond of such things, because in a relaxed atmosphere chatting with the stars, with soloists who have just been on stage, and now — at arm’s length. Present violinist Joshua bell or conductor Vasily Petrenko? Sometimes a conductor (if it is for first class piano player) sits down at the piano. Where else can you see? “Changing the concert continues for another 30-40 minutes.

— What is the practical meaning in this form? The democratization of art?

— No, on the contrary. The Vienna audience needs personal, intimate contact with the music, shall we say, informal. This is a higher level. We do not artificially implanted, it is a natural need that has deep national roots. On the other hand, who is tired can go home.

— You said about the content as much as 30% of modern music in the repertoire. How difficult it is to keep this bar, because many of the Philharmonic with the percentage just be burned: “Mozart give Mozart!”.

— There is a wonderful ensemble of over twenty musicians — Klangforum Wien, who specializes in contemporary music; here they will have seven concerts in the Mozart hall… the success of the stable. But, of course, until the perfect form is when you listen to traditional classics, which are sure, but not necessarily includes one entirely new work. And then the premiere of “shoots”. Or do we have a festival called “mixed music”, and the idea we used in the wine industry, when a special drink is grown and blended the grapes of different varieties (the so-called Gemischter Satz). There are different genres mixed into one: for example, the singer first performed the famous Schubert song, then you listen to people’s motives that Schubert himself when writing inspired, and the final is unexpected of a modern allegory on the same theme. Three-in-one. The audience sits on the stage, before we deployed three centuries of musical fabric of the…

— And you do composers order works?

— Of course, please note on this sheet essays — are all the first executions in the world. Alas, without sponsors it would be hardly possible…

“Our strength is to take the audience into accomplices”

— Are you satisfied with the acoustics of the Konzerthaus? It does not need to be adjusted?

— The acoustics in here are wonderful, though different from the Musikverein. Orchestral music to Brahms in the Musikverein sound great, then start the nuances. Shostakovich’s much better to play it with us, more opportunities. I’m not talking about chamber music…

— Today we often hear about the destruction of certain European orchestras; orchestral form, in principle, does not meet the spirit of the time?

— In Vienna the number of orchestras is shrinking: here unusually vivid environment. You know, I think that if you work well, you will be in demand and, as such, and orchestras. The question of honesty. To themselves and the public. Here you have the conductor Teodor Currentzis. What do you think?

Something that bloomed Perm Opera and ballet theatre. He is in his place.

— Correct: I Currentzis and the concept of Perm was not. And now you know. He conducts us on 12 September the orchestra MusicAeterna. Have a personality — have music. And from there the reputation of the whole city.

Before Vienna — there isn’t a surplus of musicians?

— Of course, the competition is very serious. It is a heavy bread. But then again, the most important thing is to position ourselves, to find freedom and scope for action.

— And what causes the error in positioning?

— For example, the error of my predecessors at the Konzerthaus was the fact that they were closed in themselves, focused only on our own musical tastes. Forgetting that the Konzerthaus is an important element of a great cultural life. And my position is different — we are not alone, but part of the whole. Part of a larger cultural picture. And when you widely open your eyes and see the whole process, you becomes easier to put in order their economy.

— But expanding the scope of, you may lose your face.

— Such a danger exists. But this is art. And it helps that Vienna cultural expectations are very diverse, to the point that one man found a mass of musical tastes. On this we rely, and people like it when they are trusted. Before the audience, coming to us, knew about one particular concert. Now they see the style, you know about a lot of concerts, and each waiting for them, this is their home. The only problem is that I want everyone here worked like clockwork with or without me; but while there is some helplessness. Need another 2-3 years to perfect the system.

— You play music?

— I don’t, but my wife Elizabeth is a composer and writes children’s Opera. I’m lawyer by education.

— This is an interesting and challenging thing to attract baby in the womb classical music…

— We have 127 children’s concerts in the season, plus another 60 — exclusively for schools, plus 18 master classes for teachers. The concerts are graded from 1 to 3, 3 to 6, from 6 to 9 and so on. It is clear that children not only play, but also telling. Young audience shows us the true state of Affairs: they have no courtesy, and if the child is bored, he will not listen. Concert for children is always an indicator of quality. Not everyone can work with this audience. For this I have special musicians. We are preparing our future audience, and throw everyone on it.


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