Episode 17: Zsolt Bognár, Pianist - Redefining What A Classical Musician Is In the 21st Century

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4m May 18, 2021

Hello! Welcome to Tuesday Conversation with Friends.

Continuing to celebrate AAPI/API Heritage month, today I have a very special guest, Zsolt Bognar! He is a pianist, author, and the host of the award-winning film series “Living The Classical Life” which has over 2.3 million subscribers on YouTube. Well known around the globe in musical and cultural circles. This is what looks like to be a musician in the 21st century. As a concert pianist, Zsolt frequently gives inspiring performances in North America, Europe, and Asia.

In this episode, we chat about finding an unique path as a modern-day classical musician, dealing with performance anxiety, working with the greats, the way Steinway Piano has impacted concert history in the US, and much much more. You will get to hear a complete performance of DREI IMPROMPTUS D. 946: I. ALLEGRETTO BY FRANZ SCHUBERT

0:00 Intro, and excerpt of Schubert’s Drei Impromptus D. 946 II. Allegro Assai
1:15 Interview Begins
1:25 How to say “Zsolt”!
2:20 Zsolt’s heritage and creating content during the pandemic for “Living The Classical Life”
4:53 Zsolt the “Paper Boy” & the pre-YouTube days!
6:07 Zsolt’s Musical Family Tree & the Russian master pianists
8:12 How did everything begin? Who are we in this world as musicians? Identities?
11:26 Starting out as a young pianist, life as a concert pianist back in the early 1900s vs now: the influence of Steinway Company and the concerts as we know it in the US now.
14:53 Score Editions, Robert & Clara Schumann, Composers, and Interpretations: do the composers change their own minds?
21:06 A shy kid and the social media
25:38 How does one become “great”
27:27 Managing Concert Series and Musicians
30:17 Zsolt the writer, love of “stories”
32:24 Zsolt’s CD “Zsolt Bognar plays Franz & Franz”, and how the classical vocal repertoire impacted his piano playing
38:00 Taking Piano Lessons Again: A Pandemic Growth Plan
39:25 Intensity, Live Performance, and Who Is Our Audience Today
44:45 Glenn Gould
47:15 Less Perfection, More Humanity, and Piano Competitions
50:33 Complete Live Performance of  DREI IMPROMPTUS D. 946 ALLEGRETTO BY FRANZ SCHUBERT

Zsolt’s TedMed Talk: Classical Keys To Overcome Depression: https://youtu.be/12I92Z5wC3w

Zsolt Bognar plays excerpts of his CD at the B-Sharp Studio in Berlin: https://youtu.be/DAdluUulBio

Zsolt’s interview with Tiffany Poon: https://youtu.be/AcCjY1BxxRo

Living The Classical Life: https://www.youtube.com/c/LivingtheClassicalLife/featured

Your Host: Shirley Wang, Opera Singer, Pianist, Host, International Bestselling Author, Educator, and Content Creator.
You can learn more about me here: linktr.ee/ShirleyWang

To listen to this episode as a podcast, you can download it at https://anchor.fm/shirley-wang6/episodes/Episode-4Zsolt-Bognr---Redefining-What-A-Classical-Musician-Is-In-the-21st-Century-e115l00

#Schubert #piano #LivingTheClassicalLife #Pianist #NPR

About Tuesday Conversation w/ Friends

Tuesday Conversation with Friends is a conversation series born out of our unique experience during the pandemic in 2020. One day, I started leafing through my Facebook friends list and realized I have absolutely fascinating friends.


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