Discover Mozart's Fortepiano
Time & Location
About the Event
J.A. Stein was a fortepiano-builder whom Mozart knew personally, and whose instruments he loved. In 1978, a Belgian instrument builder named Claude Kelecom faithfully copied an original Stein fortepiano in Augsburg. Since the late 90s, that instrument has been owned by Marie Kuijken, and used for important historical recordings by such artists as Van Immerseel, Devos, and Lubimov. Marie Kuijken has made various recordings for Challenge Classics on this instrument and carries it with her on concert tours. The instrument is said to be one of the finest mozartian fortepianos actually used on the modern concert stage. The experience of playing and listening to the music of Haydn and Mozart on this instrument is akin to looking over their shoulders: the light touch and fine tones show how this music “felt” under the great pianists’ fingers, and how it sounded in the ears of composers and public.
Fortepianist, soprano, opera coach, and stage director Marie Kuijken was born into the Belgian musical family Kuijken, pioneers in the field of historically informed performance practice. She studied piano at the Brussels Royal Conservatory in the nineties and has been living in Italy since 2002. After her diploma, she autonomously specialized in the Mozartian fortepiano. Over the years she’s regularly performed the fortepianist in Belgium, Italy, throughout Europe and in Turkey – including solo recitals, in duo with her father Sigiswald Kuijken, with her sister Veronica Kuijken, and more.
As a soprano, Marie Kuijken specializes in 18th century repertory. She’s collaborated with baroque orchestra La Petite Bande in numerous productions, performing sacred music, and opera alike. In the late nineties, she made an autonomous study on rhythmical prose, performing 18th century German spoken melodrama as an actress with orchestra. This fascinating experience led her to further studies over the years, especially on the poetic rhythm of 18th century Italian opera-libretti. In this way she rediscovered the 18th century art of musical declamation. Simultaneously, during the years as a singing actress, she incorporated the art of Baroque Gesture into her own theatrical body language.
As these knowledge and practices matured into a comprehensive vision of historically informed performance & staging of 18th century opera, Marie Kuijken naturally evolved into an expressivity coach for opera singers, and into an operatic stage director. From 2012 on, together with Sigiswald Kuijken, she has been leading the La Petite Bande Academy where she has coached and staged singers using her unique approach. Since 2014, she has led and staged productions of Haydn and Hasse operas with La Petite Bande; in 2016 and 2019 she has staged student productions at the Paris Conservatoire National Supérieur (CNSMDP). Thanks to her unique vision and approach, historically informed opera performance becomes a fresh, warmhearted and joyous experience for the public and for the singers involved.
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