Interview with Itamar Golan: «Every young artist has to find his own way»

Itamar Golan is one of the leading chamber music pianists in the world. Saturday, September 30th in Cremona he gave a piano duet recital with his wife, Natsuko Inoue, and also taught in a workshop with an innovative format: “Play with Itamar Golan”.

You have an incredible experience in chamber music, being regular concert partner of violinists like Vadim Repim, Maxim Vengerov, Shlomo Mintz, Janine. Do you have any particular, curious story to tell us about your life of chamber musician?

The stories and experiences that I have lived with different artists I worked with over the years are endless. They may be colorful, spicy, funny and sad. Yet, in order not to start recounting them (a convenient escape or rather discretion), I wish to convey that each artist you mentioned and others have enriched me musically in one way or another and it has been marvelous to work with them over the years. At times to part, and other moments to embrace again and again.

What would you suggest to young pianists to become great chamber music pianists?

I hesitate to suggest much to young pianists or give any advice to anyone… Yet, if I have to, I must say that each and every young artist has to find his own way while being true to himself and even more faithful to the composers’ text he tries to convey and transform.

Playing with other musicians is more a compromise or an enrichment? 

Artistic life is of total-complete dedication yet full of obstacles, without any guarantee for anything but a promise of music beauty. One has to be ready to approach this way of life. But, of course, making chamber music playing with other artists is always a great enrichment.

You gave a very unusual workshop in Cremona, “Play with Itamar Golan”. Can you tell something about it? 

I would have rather called it “close encounters of the human and musical kind”. I am always very much looking forward to meet young artists and make music together. It is also a kind of escape for me from confronting the passing of time, the loss of youth and gives me hopes and new energies.

Is it the first time for you in Cremona? Is there anything particular that you like about this city and its identity?

More than Cremona itself and its one-of-a-kind old beauty, and its contribution to the birth of violin universe as we know it, I wish to convey my love to your country, that represents to me (in spite of its social-economic turbulence, instability, decline…?) the epiphany of Beauty, poetry and romantic life in its outmost. Italy, with its man-made richness and natural beauty, should stand as a counter-pillar for a globalized digital impersonal world, for the loss of humanity, and the loss of poetic artistic spirit as a way of life. It has to. And, even if it doesn’t, Italy will always require from us to dream.