Sabine Weyer is an accomplished concert pianist who has performed in packed concert halls as well as smaller intimate spaces. She loves performing in front of an audience, and this is what she misses most during this time (of pandemic lockdown). She recalls how she became interested in music, chose the piano, and never looked back. She has advice for parents who want their children to take piano lessons.
AT WHAT AGE DID YOU DECIDE THAT YOU WANTED TO BE A MUSICIAN? WHY?
I asked my parents, when I was five years old, to play the piano because I had been attracted very much by the sound of that instrument (my parents listened to a lot of music at home but they are no musicians). I never really decided to become a professional musician, I always knew that it would be like this, I have been living for and thanks to music from the moment on I discovered it, and if anyone would have tried to take it away from me, I would have been very unhappy. Since that moment of revelation, it was obvious to me that I would be a musician and everything made its way in the most natural and obvious way. I had the feeling that I could discover myself as a person, only through music.
WHAT EDUCATION HAVE YOU COMPLETED?
I have been trained first in my home country and city, in Luxembourg (the city is called Esch-Alzette), in the music Conservatory, until the age of 16. Then I finished the last piano diploma, but still had to go to school, so I decided to enroll in a nearby Conservatory in France and went once per week for piano lessons (in Metz, Conservatoire National de Région). I completed there my « prix de perfectionnement » in 2007 and afterward, I enrolled in the Flemish Conservatory in Brussels (Belgium) to do my bachelor and master-studies (in the class of the exceptional Serbian pianist Alexandar Madzar).
WHAT PROJECTS ARE YOU WORKING ON NOW THAT BEST SHOWCASE THEM?
I am a particularly curious person and I think that one can understand this by seeing my discography so far, and what I have as discographical projects for the future: I just recorded an album with rather unknown composers (the Russian Nikolai Miaskovsky and the french Nicolas Bacri). I love unfolding the new, the undiscovered pearl that is worth being listened to by the whole world. I have the feeling that with this album, I managed to reveal something big to my audience.
In the future I would like to do more of this: record and play composers that are as good as the ones we all know, but that didn’t get the chance yet of being as famous as those we know for centuries already. I am thinking for example about my next project which will be a recording (with DVD) of the complete sonatas for piano by M. Weinberg. And I have many ideas in my mind, also chamber music projects, of world premiere recordings that will really be worth listening to!
WHAT OBSTACLES HAVE YOU OVERCOME TO GET WHERE YOU ARE TODAY? AND WHAT ESSENTIAL LESSONS HAVE YOU LEARNED FROM SOME OF YOUR MISTAKES?
The most important thing that I have learned in my career is that, if you want to achieve something, you have to trust yourself, be self-confident, and listen to your inner voice which tells you, always, the truth. I knew from a very early age that my mission would be to be a musician and I trusted this inner voice, despite the « problems » that occurred during my starting years. I knew I would never give up. And here I am. But, on the other hand, despite this determination, I am a quite sensitive person, always asking myself the question if I am good enough, what others think about how I play, etc.
I started to learn, in the last years, that this does absolutely not matter actually. And I learned to trust myself much more and to become much more confident, also in my artistic choices. I started daring to do things that I would never have dared before (for example recording a full CD of « unknown » music and still knowing it would be successful. If you are very convinced by something, you will, no matter what, manage to convince also the rest of the world, that’s what I learned). Somehow, I trust the universe much more now than before and know that life is always right with the options that it presents to you.
After some awesome years of training with Vassil Guenov, he, unfortunately, passed away, much too early at the young age of 39 and I was, from one day to the next, very alone, having lost my mentor, my guide, my light, my everything. This was one of the hardest moments in my career (I was 19) because I absolutely didn’t know what to do next. I had promised to him to always go on searching for « perfection », to always keep looking for the light that would guide me to the « Music » as we both understood the word, i.e as a very high and noble form of refined elevation of the soul. But the years following his death were terribly difficult because I wasn’t used to be on my own. Somehow, I survived this, the music helped me. But it was hard.
WHAT CAREER SUCCESSES ARE YOU MOST PROUD OF HAVING ACCOMPLISHED?
I have been very happy and thankful when my CD « A light in the dark » (Shostakovich 2.Piano Concerto) was rewarded with the « Pasticcio Prize » by the Austrian radio ORF. That meant a lot to me, as it was my first CD with a symphonic orchestra and represented thus a milestone in my career. One of the other highlights was also my first prize at the « Grand Prize Virtuoso Competition » in London, with the prize ceremony taking place at the Royal Albert Hall.
And I remember with a lot of positive energy my collaboration with legends such as the cellist Gary Hoffman or the violinist Pavel Vernikov. Playing with such amazing musicians is one of the best things that can happen to me (or to any musician, I think!)…My last album has been rewarded with international recognition by music critics in many countries (Supersonic Prize in Luxembourg, « Grand Frisson 2021 » from Audiophile Magazine in France…), and that makes me more than happy!
Learn more about Sabine Weyer:
Learn more about Applause to the Musician Interview: http://bit.ly/2UaIuxf
Join Applause to the Musician Facebook: http://bit.ly/2Fq49Ii
Join Applause to the Musician Instagram: http://bit.ly/2HSByOE
Good stories are meant to be shared, click the button below and share with your friends.