“Never Lose Faith In Music’s Gigantic Power” – An Interview With Jean-Efflam Bavouzet

We are amazingly fortunate here at Manchester Camerata to be able to collaborate with some incredible musicians at the top of their game! None more so than one of our Artistic Partners and long term Mozart Made in Manchester Collaborator Jean-Efflam Bavouzet.

Jean-Efflam is a multi award-winning pianist who has embarked upon an adventure with us and Gabor Takacs-Nagy to record every one of Mozart’s Piano Concertos at Manchester’s ever beautiful Stoller Hall.

Seeing as our latest recording (released via Chandos Records) was awarded The Times album of the week, we thought this would be a great time to catch up with Jean-Efflam and see how he’s doing!

So Jean-Efflam, Album of the week ey? Aren’t we just great? How does this make you feel?

Well, the present rather makes me feel small. It is the danger that is great, the danger of not being disciplined enough, resilient enough, forward-looking enough. We all should take the challenge with strong will and strong hands and turn this situation around for the better as it is clear that the world will be changed when we come out of this trial.

What do you enjoy most about the Mozart Made in Manchester Series?

Playing Mozart! The youngster’s works, the great concertos, the made-for-wealthy-students ones, with the by now friends of the Camerata. A whole chapter could be dedicated to our complimentary breathing-together with Gabor Takacs-Nagy, the understanding of musical intentions just by a look without much explanation, the immediate reacting to a direction taken. The musicians always ready for the adventure, the public and a small group of our « home in Manchester » the Midland Hotel’s personnel who faithfully attend all our pre-recording concerts – all this and much more make MMM a fabulous journey.

This is incredibly challenging times in the world right now, what are you doing to help yourself get through the days?

After the initial freeze facing the snake of the brutal stop of relentless concertizing, I enjoy working on my miniature train layout in Z scale, listening to Friedrich Gulda playing Mozart or the 53 Columbia recordings of Miles Davis. I enjoy also the bewitching bird songs in the awakening nature, having the days’ time free of schedule restrictions and trying not to be drowned by the anxiety provoking news.

Other than playing Mozart, what other composers really get you going?

I would rather name those who are at a certain distance to me: Shostakovitch, Saint-Saëns, Bruckner, some Brahms, some Chopin… As you see, the likes of Wölfl or Dussek are very clearly in the exciting category!

If you weren’t a pianist what would you like to be?

Architect or maybe plan designer at Miniature Wonderland in Hamburg, the biggest HO scale train layout in the world ! – ED – Check this video!!!

Tricky one – What is your LEAST favourite instrument?

The one that is badly played on.

Do you have any messages for Camerata fans during these challenging times?

We have the incredible luck to love and make music. Never lose faith in its gigantic power to lift us off to the sphere of understanding ourselves and thus the world.

Thanks so much for your time Jean-Efflam! We hope to see you soon once all this has passed!

We have the incredible luck to love and make music. Never lose faith in its gigantic power to lift us off to the sphere of understanding ourselves and thus the world.

Jean-Efflam Bavouzet
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