As “guest artist in residence” of CSO ADA Ankara, Deutsche Grammophon artist, soprano Mojca Erdmann will meet art lovers in Ankara for the first time. The award-winning Italian pianist Riccardo Bovino will accompany the artist, who is considered one of the most impressive voices that Germany has offered to the international music scene.
Erdmann, who has given concerts with the greatest orchestras in the world such as the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, the Elbphilarmonie and the Cologne Philharmonic Orchestra during his distinguished career, and has worked with legendary conductors such as Daniel Barenboim, Yannick Nézet-Séguin and Kent Nagano, will present to the CSO ADA audience in Ankara a comprehensive repertoire of works by German Romantic composers.
In an interview ahead of his Sept. 17 concert, Erdmann answered questions.
Q: Can you tell us a bit about your childhood? How did you discover classical music? A: My father is a composer and flautist, so I grew up surrounded by music. I started music in a children’s choir at the age of three. I started to play the violin at the age of six and I really liked it, played in several youth orchestras. I even studied it alongside singing at the Cologne University of Music.
Q: You have shared the stage with some of the most successful conductors and prestigious orchestras in the world. Is there a milestone in your career that holds a special place in your heart?
A: There are so many memories that I have of special times with great conductors and orchestras. I sang my first “Lulu” under the baton of Daniel Barenboim and I also worked very often with Zubin Mehta – both are artists whom I have always admired and who support me generously. In 2021, we recorded with the two Schönbergs “Pierrot Lunaire”. Mehta conducted and Barenboim played the piano. I can’t say how special it was for me. I will always hold this treasure and this gift deep in my heart.
Q: This will be your first concert in Ankara as an artist in residence. How do you feel about that?
A: I did a concert with orchestral songs a few years ago in Ankara. I’m very grateful and honored to return as Artist-in-Residence and perform in this fantastic new concert hall.
Q: What about the repertoire for your concert in Ankara?
A: I love the songs of the late Robert Schumann, and Elisabeth Kulman’s poems in combination with her music are heartbreaking – she wrote around 800 poems in her short life and even though she was so young there is a depth and a very touching wisdom. My love for Mozart has been there all my life and his music is something I cannot explain in words, it touches my heart and my soul. The tune “Ch’io mi scordi di te” that I sang and recorded for the first time with Hélène Grimaud has since been one of my favorite tunes. Mendelssohn’s Lieder are incredibly beautiful and very colorful. Both he and Mozart had been Wunderkinder and had written so much fantastic music in their short lives.
Q: You will go on stage with pianist Riccardo Bovino in Ankara. Can you tell us a bit about your process of working with him?
A: Pianist Riccardo Bovino is a very dear friend of mine, and we have known each other and worked together for many years. Especially during the COVID-19 lockdown, we deepened our collaboration because we both live in Switzerland and were able to see each other. He’s a wonderful musician.
Q: Do you have any rituals to relax before going on stage?
A: I want to be there with enough time to prepare and concentrate. I don’t like traveling on a gig day and try to avoid it as much as possible. And just before going on stage – yes, we say to ourselves “you you you”.