Soho Classical meets Tamar Halperin


Tamar Halperin’s latest release ‘Bachspace’, is out now on the Berlin-based label, Neue Meister, and is situated at the interface of Baroque music and electronica: enjoy it below via Spotify.

When did you start playing the piano and why?

My mother’s old upright piano was placed in my childhood room, where it occupied most of the space. Being the largest and darkest object in that little room, it was impossible to ignore, so inevitably I began playing with the keys of the piano already as baby. My older brother was having weekly piano lessons at home, and I spent a lot of time listening to his lessons and watching him practice. At my request, I began receiving actual piano-lessons-with-a-teacher when I turned 6 years old.

What is your favourite piece of music for the piano?

I’m relieved that this question excludes everything by Bach (whose entire keyboard music was composed for harpsichord or organ), or else I would not have been able to choose.
Of the vast piano repertoire and all its masterpieces, which I adore, and which have been keeping me busy for most of my life, there is one little tiny miniature that is, perhaps, the closest to my heart. It is a short piece by Debussy called “the Snow is Dancing”, originally part of a set of piano pieces titled “Children’s Corner,” composed by Debussy for his little daughter.

I first heard it when I was 8 years old and it was the first time I fell truly and madly in love with a piano piece. Since then, I must have played it and listened to it a million times but never get bored.

Describe your own music in 3 words.

Question. Is. Impossible

Love. Simple. Love.

Tell us your first memory of London.

I first arrived in London on a Sunday morning in late August, 1997.
The city looked like a ghost town. The streets seemed deserted, and the few people I saw looked strangely hollow and all spoke very softly. It was a wild antithesis to the image I had of the vibrant London that knew from books and films and music.
It was not until much later in afternoon that I learned that Princess Diana had been killed that very morning in a car accident.

What is one piece of classical music you couldn’t live without?

Bach’s St. Matthew Passion. And his Clavier-Übung.

(it’s 2. I know. But it’s a question of life and death, so please forgive an exception).

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