Excerpts from the reviews

"...Solid, earnest and grand..."
(New York Times)

"...a major pianist..."
(Washington Post)

"...A great success..."
(Corriere della sera, Rome)

"...Born for the Stage..."
(The Observer, London)

"...Brilliantly expressive and elegant..."
(Münchner Merkur, Munich)

"...Great, exciting...an unforgettable evening"
(Kultura, Wiesbaden)

Personal Representative
in USA:


Christine E. Meier
Phone: 1-772-692-1532
Fax: 1-772-692-4078
E-Mail:
cemeier1@live.com

Representation in Europe:


Clemens Concerts Ltd.
1121 Budapest
Széchenyi emlekút 23
Hungary
Phone: 36-1-275-4085
E-Mail:
clemens@t-online.hu

 

Questions & Answers

Peter PertisExcerpts of an interview with Peter Pertis in the Artists' Club in Budapest in the autumn of 2007 where the audience and reporters were given a chance to ask him questions.

 

After an almost ten-year hiatus, what are the reasons for your comeback?              

There is a moment in the life of many pianist when he feels that he would like to rephrase many of those pieces he played many times with ease and abandon, yet he feels that he now needs to give a new approach to his repertoire.

I reached this stage app. 10 years ago and having had a chance to play and teach in many countries and beautiful concert halls, I felt I could afford to develop my thoughts internally for a while and to dig deeper into things for which the usual life of a concert musician or teacher doesn't allow you much time. A concert season with back-to-back of concerts is a beautiful and inspiring thing; however, you never get a chance to do those things I just mentioned because that would require tranquility, silence, and plenty of time.

But answering to your question: I am glad now to give some recitals again, because I was missing the excitement and the almost spiritual atmosphere of a live performance.                                                                                                                    Back to top

Knowing the position of artists in today’s world, may I ask you if this voluntary intermission caused you any financial losses?


Naturally, it involves some sacrifice which, however, I was happy to make, and I feel I was fortunate that I was able to do this. I continue to be driven by artistic considerations only.

Did you or do you still have role models?

In my opinion role models have a very important place in a person's development. We Hungarian piano students “grew up” in Annie Fischer's shadow and were greatly influenced by the art of Sviatoslav Richter. I personally am a great admirer of the art and recordings of Rachmaninoff and his spiritual “heir,” Horowitz. I think they are very important to mention because they are outstanding representatives of free artistic expression. You notice that you are listening to a giant after the first few bars. And this is what I find to be the most important thing in performing arts, be that music, theater, or anything else.

But there are many “contemporaries” I appreciate and like very much, for example Argerich, Sokolov… and many others. And I am also very much interested in the progress of the young generation.

Tell us about your childhood.

When I look back on my childhood, I see that, surprisingly enough, it was a very happy period of my life. I say “surprisingly” happy, because it was after World War II and it was right after my father died a victim of it. At the time I was growing up Hungarians were rebuilding Budapest and the whole country was depressed and poor for many years. But in spite of all the difficulties, the lack of food and goods, my mother was able to take care of me and she gave me all the love one can imagine. Her love and music gave me a wonderful shield against all the negative circumstances.

I began to study violin at the age of five, but a couple of years later I started to play the piano as well. Very soon piano became my passion, which was soon recognized and supported by my mother, my broader family, and my teachers. In addition to studying two instruments at the same time, I was also singing in the Children's Choir of the Hungarian State Opera. So I was pretty busy with my music... Most likely that was my spiritual channel through which I could express myself.          Back to top

Tell us something about your family.

I had a musical family. We had famous musicians in the family for more than a century. And still today, in my generation, there are internationally recognized composers, cembalists, pianists, and violinists among my cousins, and my son Tommy is a classical guitarist. I also have two brothers; one is a physician (internist) and the other is an architect.

You must be asked about this frequently, but we would also like to find out: Do you have a favorite composer?

I don’t, because I am unable to single out one. But so I don’t confuse you with the answer: I feel lucky because I can always enter into the spirit and the thoughts of the composer I currently have on my program. But if I was to pick a period, I would say that the romantic composers of the 19th century are the closest to my heart and they comprise the bulk of my repertoire.          Back to top

Brahms and Liszt

 

We have been told that you live in Budapest and in Florida, in a small town not far from Palm Beach. Which one is where you feel more at home?

It would be hard for me to choose. Both places are beautiful in their own way. In Budapest I have old friends, colleagues, and relatives who have become part of my memories. In Florida I have many relatively new friends, but ones I like, who are descendents of Americans, Germans, Frenchmen, Italians, and Greeks. Previously we lived in West Hartford, Connecticut, where the weather is very similar to that of Hungary, so now I really enjoy Florida.

What are your hobbies?

The Internet, reading, biking, table tennis, and long walks on the ocean beach. On the beach

 

Tell us about the times when you as a young concert musician started to travel the world.

When I was giving lots of concerts outside of Hungary, everything was completely arranged by Interconcert. I just had to be where the concert was, show up on time, and play. Generally, two days before my concert I would fly from Budapest to the city where the concert would take place. The Cultural Attaché of the Hungarian Embassy would be waiting for me at the airport, and would take me to my hotel.

The next day I would try out the piano and practice. The following day I would give the concert. Most of the time I had to leave the country the day after my concert because my flight back to Budapest or to another country was already booked. Reviews of the concerts came out a couple of days later; of course, I had left town by then. But I can tell you, that did not bother me. I was young then, and I couldn’t care less about reviews, anyway... Interkoncert received them and kept them. Most of the time I was told something like “you gave a nice concert in Milan, or Prague, or Berlin...The review was very good.” And I said: “Oh... really? That's good. Thanks.”          Back to top

On your concert tours you must have had a few “interesting” situations. Would you tell us about one?

Gladly! One I just remembered was something that happened at one of the concerts during a Japanese tour. It is well known that Japanese managers prepare the scene of the concert with great care, including the instrument. Luckily I arrived at the location well before the concert, so I had time to try out the piano, and I noticed with surprise that the keyboard was so slippery that I could hardly play. When I asked what may have happened to the instrument, the organizers had no answer for a while. I guess they thought I was having delusions. Finally it turned out that a newly hired worker, eager to please, carefully wiped the keyboard with the same polish he used for the glossy exterior of the piano. So at that concert I played another piano…    Back to top

Home > | Biography > | Press > | Galleries > | Recordings > | Questions & Answers >