Faculty Portrai: Matti Raekallio, Piano
Matti Raekallio, who didn’t start playing the piano until he was 11, didn’t have much enthusiasm for it until he heard Sviatoslav Richter perform a few years later—and, he told The Journal, his life changed. At the time, he said, he couldn’t “analytically process anything of what I heard that night, but the immense energy, concentration, and some kind of strange electricity of the performances gave me an experience that just wouldn’t go away.” From that moment, he started to be obsessed with music and piano playing, so much so that by age 14 or 15, “I knew that there would be no other choice for me.” ...
Who was the teacher who most inspired you when you were growing up?
Many of my most important musical experiences and impulses have come from actual performances, live or recorded, and by no means only by pianists. In particular, singers have been a major source of great impressions for me: Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, Jessye Norman, Matti Salminen, Anne Sophie von Otter. But of course many of my teachers have also given me invaluable insights. Two examples are Dieter Weber at the Vienna University of Music and Dmitri Bashkirov in regular master classes.
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