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Kristīne, you are considered one of the most aspiring international talents. What was your most important decision in your career?
For me one of the most important things has been to always remain true to my principles and never compromise the quality of music. Years ago, I used to cancel concerts, left rehearsals and be quite difficult to work with when I think it was not up to my standards. I was too much of a perfectionist. Perhaps I expected too much or was too idealistic, I was a bit of a rebel. Nowadays I carefully take my next steps and I am not afraid to take risks. Patience is also helpful! Musicians often get a lot of advice and a lot of contradicting advice from various people. It is very important to find a few people whom you can to trust when taking decisions and most importantly trust your own intuition.
You told us that your parents are famous rock musicians in Latvia. Was playing classical music an act of rebellion?
That is a very interesting question! My father was singing rock’n’roll throughout life and made us all sing since we were 2-3 years old. I think it was more like a natural development to go into more and more complex music rather than a rebellion! For me it was later a dilemma between both, when I wanted to do more crazy things in classical music or didn’t get enough happiness just from singing pop songs.
You describe yourself as an advocate of contemporary and lesser-known repertoire.
Yes, I recently took part at a festival in Wales where most of the music was unknown or completely new for me! There were many British and Baltic composers and pieces I would otherwise not have an opportunity to perform or learn. It was such a challenge to discipline myself and not just stick with the usual. It is in a way comfortable and natural for us as human beings to only do the familiar things. I love setting new challenges and to explore music written by living composers!
A few months ago, you played for Siemens colleagues in Berlin Siemensstadt. Did you remember anything special about your performance?
I loved performing at the Siemensstadt and meeting all the audience members afterwards! It was a very special concert because of the people and the wonderful hospitality. I also enjoyed the fact that for many of the audience members this was their first classical music experience. It makes me so happy to know that my concert was maybe the ice breaker and these people will develop a genuine interest in classical music!
The Siemens Arts Program staged a concert with ARD music prize winner Kristīne Balanas (violin) in the Carnegie Hall.
See the video about her debut in New York’s “temple of music”.
In conjunction with the Orchestra Academy of the Bavarian State Orchestra and Jakob Spahn, solo cellist at the State Orchestra, the Siemens Arts Program has recorded works by Peter Tchaikovsky and Friedrich Gulda, producing them in several “immersive sound formats”. In intensive cooperation with the Siemens Arts Program, its artistic director Stephan Frucht and the Immersive Audio Network IAN, a completely new sound experience has been born which unites the traditional cello repertoire with a technically innovative audio method.
All three spatial dimensions are represented in the immersive 3D sound. The listeners can now experience the entire sound spectrum in three dimensions - as if they were in the middle of the orchestra.
The “Cello Concertos” album in 3D sound quality has been published on the hänssler Classic label as a Blu-ray and CD by 11 May. The sound recordings were taken at the group headquarters of Siemens AG and in the Bruno-Walter hall of the Bavarian State Opera. The 3D immersive production was also presented at the Siemens Headquarters in Munich on 28 April as part of the “Long Night of Music” event.
The following works have been recorded on the new CD and Blu-ray:
To go one step further, the 3D audio recordings were combined with an augmented reality application. A virtual avatar orchestra plays Friedrich Gulda’s concert in 3D audio sound. Viewers can choose their viewing and listening positions themselves, while using a touchpad to select the individual orchestra parts.
The freedom of the arts and sciences is one of the cornerstones of democratic societies. As an innovative company committed to progress and innovation, we consider it our natural duty to protect and nurture this freedom.
Prof. Dr. Stephan Frucht, Senior Vice President Culture and Sponsoring
The young soprano Sarah Shine wins the second Siemens Opera Contest France at the Opéra national de Paris.
The up-and-coming talent was born in 1993 in Ireland, completed her studies at the Irish Royal Academy of Music in 2015 and has been studying at the Academy of Opéra Paris since 2017. At the Siemens Opera Contest, she beat 12 competitors in front of the expert jury, consisting of Jean-Yves Kaced (Opéra national de Paris), Matthias Schulz, (Berlin State Opera), Dr. Clemens Trautmann (Deutsche Grammophon), Eva-Maria Wieser (Salzburg Festival) and Prof. Dr. Stephan Frucht (Siemens Arts Program).
Lunch Concert: On August 24 the first Siemens Lunch Concert took place at Siemens Headquarters in Munich. As Siemens now partners with the ARD International Music Competition, the Siemens Arts Program invited the last year’s prize winner Dominik Wagner (Double Bass) and Maciej Skarbek (Piano) to perform at the lunchtime concert (August 2017).
The first winner of the Siemens Opera Contest France was chosen at the Palais Garnier in Paris.
Mikhail Timoshenko, a 24-year-old baritone, impressed the expert jury consisting of Jean-Yves Kaced, Development Director of the Paris Opera, Matthias Schulz, Director of the Staatsoper Berlin, Dr. Clemens Trautmann, CEO of Deutsche Grammophon and Prof. Stephan Frucht, Artistic Director of the Siemens Arts Program.
İlkin Alpay is at the beginning of a very special journey. Her ambition is to become a world-class singer. Therefore, she is taking part in a program initiated by the State Opera and Siemens Turkey.
See the portrait of a young soprano.
Arts and culture are a vital driving force for exploring identity, creativity and self-reflection. The Siemens Arts Program builds bridges between disciplines, enabling the company to discover new ways of thinking through new experiences. As a creative department within Siemens AG, we see our role as that of mediator between the worlds of art and business. In an open and impartial way, we engage with future challenges from an artistic and cultural perspective so that we can actively shape transformation and change in line with our corporate values.
The Siemens Arts Program does this by creating innovative projects with prominent individuals and institutions from the arts and culture scene. The aim is to encourage collaboration - both personal and thematic, involving creative actors, artistic excellence, and innovative institutions - with our company. The opportunity to participate in the creative process is a key criterion for project selection and management in the Siemens Arts Program. Our aim here is to unleash a powerful inspirational force. Our projects also have a broad relevance and serve as a model within the company.
Prof. Dr. Stephan Frucht
Artistic Director Siemens Arts Program
Senior Vice President Culture and Sponsoring
Organization & Projects
The Siemens Arts Program has a delivery role and does not consider applications for funding from third parties. Engagement with arts and culture is expressed through its own projects and interdisciplinary partnerships. Starting a corporate collection in the conventional sense is not a stated aim of the Siemens Arts Program.
Siemens Arts Program
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