Maksim: Always on the way to engage the classical music with the young
Maksim Mrvica, a Croatian pianist playing classical crossover music, has amazed the world by his musical talent. People are fascinated by the passion, the hint of sadness, as well as the never-falling belief embedded in his playing of Croatian Rhapsody, Still Waters, Exodus, Kolibre, Flight of the Bumble Bee and so forth. He has hold musical tours in China for years, with new surprises every year.
Ahead of his China Tour 2014, which will be launched at the end of November, he joined an interview with GMW.cn. His new album, Mezzo E Mezzo, will be released in China soon. Here is the full context of the interview.
GMW.cn: You suffered from warfare at a very young age, being trapped in a basement. In those miserable days, people would feel lost about the future, busy with sustenance and having no time for art or spiritual enjoyment. What kind of inspiration was it that to encourage you to keep practicing the piano in those tragic days and to hold your first concert?
Maksim Mrvica: The trouble was that I was fifteen when the war started in Croatia. And it was going on for five years. At the beginning, it was really dangerous. There were thousands of grenades on average falling on my city every day. And we were hiding in the basements. The trouble was, you know, it was the most difficult thing to stop living and you don’t have any interests. Your soul dies. Eventually, after some time, we all started to look for something which will occupy our minds, not to think about the war and everything was going on around us. For me, that was piano. It is like my escape, my oasis. So that is why I practice a lot and basically it probably helps me through that really difficult period of my life.
GMW.cn: You have been accomplished as a musician. Have you realized all your dreams then? Are there any other dreams that you are going to pursue in the future?
Maksim Mrvica: I always consider myself as a lucky person. Because you know, from where I came, a little town of Šibenik, to where I am today, I had a lot of success. I am very satisfied with what I did. But at the same time, I always think that one needs to do more, to achieve more. I don’t have a specific dream, which one to do and conquer. But I like challenges. When challenge comes, I like to take it.
GMW.cn: You must know that you have a lot of fans here in China. Compared with previous musical tours in China, will there be any surprises in China Tour 2014 for your fans?
Maksim Mrvica: Well, I think nowadays that, you know, every year, every tour in China is getting bigger and bigger. I think it is because of the interest for my music is getting bigger. Also this year we are going to bring much bigger production, much more interesting, much more lights and much more happening on stage. Also we are introducing a ballet dancer coming from England with us and I have a different much younger band. The energy will be very different and on a much higher level. Also, the news that I am presenting my latest album called MEZZO E MEZZO, which I have this here. It is going out in China maybe in two weeks and I am going to present some pieces from my latest album. So I hope my audience will like the new pieces.
GMW.cn: You seem to be very fond of the piece of music, Yellow River. Not only did you play it in China, in your hometown Croatia, but also you put it into your own album. Why do you like it so much? What is different of it?
Maksim Mrvica: You know, I have been coming to China for ten years now. I met so many people. And I am aware that there are a lot of people, younger people who like my music here. And I think the least thing that I could do, you know, is just to take and perform one piece that they like and they are attached. I know that every time I play here, everyone loves it. And I really like it. And I think that I have the opportunity to present this Chinese piece to other markets, to other territories where I play, because I think it is a beautiful piece and it deserves attention.
GMW.cn: Many Chinese artists try to combine classic art with modern performance skills. Unfortunately, many attempts like this are criticized by the public as to make classics vulgar. What do you think of this?
Maksim Mrvica: For me it is very simple. It is a matter of taste. There are people who like it. There are people who dislike it. I like it. There are a lot of people who like it. Then I am doing this music for them I believe. I think it is very different if artists really throw the belief in what he does and loves what he does. Then it reflects on music itself. At the same time, I am very aware that being a classical musician, we need to engage the interest for classic music among younger people. This is a good way to show the people that the classical music does not have to be, you know, very strict and strange. I think this is a good way to show them that classical music is beautiful and interesting and to gain an interest with them.
GMW.cn: There are great pianists in China, for example Li Yundi, Langlang and Kong Xiangdong. Do you know them? Who do you appreciate the most? Why?
Maksim Mrvica: I know of them. I don’t know them personally. It is very hard to pick one. You know, Langlang has an amazing technique. Yundi Li is a really good musician. I think it is a great thing because they are creating popularity among young people for the piano. I understand 40 million people learning the piano in China. And I am sure that both Langlang and Yundi Li did a lot to promote this instrument. So it is a great thing. Wish them all the luck.
By Zheng Yi & Lu Chengye, From GMW.cn (Guangming Online)
Croatian classical crossover pianist
Maksim Mrvica is a Croatian pianist, playing classical crossover music. He is famous for Croatian Rhapsody, Still Waters, Exodus, Kolibre and Flight of the Bumble Bee. His albums include Gestures, The Piano Player, A New World, Pure, Appassionata, The Movies and so forth. Now, he has a new one called Mezzo E Mezzo.More>>
- "At the same time, I am very aware that being a classical musician, we need to engage the interest for classic music among younger people. This is a good way to show the people that the classical music does not have to be, you know, very strict and strange."
- "I know that every time I play here, everyone loves it. And I really like it. And I think that I have the opportunity to present this Chinese piece to other markets, to other territories where I play, because I think it is a beautiful piece and it deserves attention."
- "I am very satisfied with what I did. But at the same time, I always think that one needs to do more, to achieve more. I don’t have a specific dream, which one to do and conquer. But I like challenges. When challenge comes, I like to take it."
Consultant producer:Zeng Fanhua
Designer: Zhou yueqin
Art Editor: Li Wenfeng
Executive Editor:Zeng Fanhua