Preludia - Unofficial website for Rafal Blechacz


Nov 1, 2010

Interview by Warsaw Music Management

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Rafał Blechacz’s calendar has been full until the year 2013
Interviewer: Adam Willma

original interview (Polish)

Interview with Andrzej Haluch, president of Warszawski Impresariat Muzyczny (Warsaw Music Management ) representing such artists as Rafał Blechacz, Krystian Zimerman and Mischa Maisky.

(About this year’s winner of the Chopin Competition:
Andrzej Haluch says that he has currently no plan or intention to sign a contract with this year’s winner.  He says that in the long run, the verdict by the jury will be reviewed by the public who pays for recordings and concerts. He also comments on possible influence by the maker of the instrument, the method of reaching the verdict. )

Poznan, May, 2010
- You have represented Mr. Rafał Blechacz for the past five years.  What has changed in the time?
- Rafał makes an extraordinary career abroad. He is invited to all the great concert halls. I browsed his calendar for the coming year and found that he will be three times there in Salle Pleyel in Paris. Reviews are enthusiastic, I’ve not met with a single criticism. Rafał is widely recognized as a great musical personality, and in just five years he arose firmly on all the most important music markets.

- Classical music is also part of the music business. In such a circumstance, how can one achieve success today in this industry, if not by contests?
- At the moment, the most important way to build your career is to contract with a major record company. Most of them have a very powerful promotion department. The key to success is to gain your own audience. The Internet has changed the market situation.  Each artist can post there his performances, biography, photos, and is quickly found. I talked yesterday with the head of Deutsche Grammophon, who told me that half of the sales of music is by downloading - the sale of files over the Internet.

- Which revenue will come to the musicians in the future?
- Royalties from sales of CDs in serious (classical) music are much lower than in entertainment (popular) music. Depending on the contract, they range from 3 to 10 percent. Sales of CDs, especially during the concert, are very important for musicians. There is someone who buys a CD, listens to it for years, and when he sees a poster explaining about the concert, is likely to go to another concert. Deutsche Grammophon sees Rafał’s calendar and promotes his CD in parallel to the concerts.

- When can we listen to Rafał in Poland?
- Unfortunately, the next scheduled concert is only two years away - in the autumn of 2012.

- Two years later?
- Rafał must now focus on core markets of music. In the Year of Chopin, he had 5 concerts in Poland, and now the world's most prestigious venues are waiting for him. Rafał has established a reasonable limit of about 40 concerts a year. If you add two days to each of them to arrive there and rehearsal with the orchestra, it turns out that he is on the road for a half year.  He devotes the remaining time to working on new repertoire, recordings, and doctorate studies at UMK (his University). At this time his concert calendar is full until 2013. I am getting a lot of emails from fans of Rafał, who decide to go to his concerts in the Polish neighborhood, for example, to the Berlin Philharmonic. In January of next year, there is a plan to record a new CD with works by Szymanowski and Debussy. Probably we will see it in stores in April.

(Then he talks about importance for the government to support young talents, his view of Polish market for classical music.  He says that there are more young people in Poland who are ready to listen to classical music than for example Germany and because of the overall stress in the society, people are tilted toward classical music nowadays.  Crossover concerts with pop stars are, therefore, good idea to introduce new people to classical music.)

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