Interview with Sorina Aust-Ioan, Pianist

Interviewer: Vasiliki Pappas

Vasiliki Pappas: You were born in Romania. From your childhood, what do you mostly remember with love?

Sorina Aust-Ioan: I am born in Rumania, as daughter of Austrian parents! At the age of 10 and 11 years I performed piano concerts with orchestras! I remember well my lovely piano teacher, FLORICA NITULESCU! She studied her self at the legendary pianist Alfred CORTOT! She was like a second parent for me! I remember also an interesting situation where I should play something in the church on the Orgue during the communion: then I decided to play the second part from the MOZART concert!

Vasiliki Pappas: At the age of fourteen you settled in Austria, after being accepted into the Vienna Music College. But what was the reason that finally brought you to Cologne in Germany, where you still live?

Sorina Aust-Ioan: At the age of fourteen I settled to VIENA because my grandparents were living there. At this time it was very difficult to part from the communist countries to the west. So my grandfather wrote to the Rumanian president Ceausescu and we, I with my mother, could part to our family in AUSTRIA. At the age of fourteen years I was admitted to enter in the Masterclass of BRUNO SEIDELHOFER and also of DIETER WEBER. There I absolved the MASTER ARTISTIC EXAMEN at the WIENER MUSIK AKADEMIE and HOCHSCHULE FÜR MUSIK UND DARSTELLENDE KUNST in VIENNA! The reason of my traveling to Germany was my studies with the great pianist professor STEFAN ASKENASE in BONN in the KÜNSTLER BAHNHOF ROLANDSECK were he was living. At him were coming also Martha Argerich and Mitsuko Uchida and many others. Than I began myself to teach at the conservatory of Cologne and the HIGHSCHOOL for MUSIC and DANCE of COLOGNE.

Vasiliki Pappas: Did you regret for making this choice? If you remained in Romania, would you be given the same opportunities, as you were finally given in Germany?

Sorina Aust-Ioan: No, I don't regret to remain in Germany, this was the best choice fore me, to give concerts and Masterclass lessons. And to start my "Work in progress" projects of CDs: - "FANTASIAS" VOL 1-6 and - "DIARYS" VOL 1-4. Actually the newest one CD "Aus meinem Tagebuch" VOL 4! In Rumania I could not have the occasion to study with the renowned Professor Bruno Seidelhofer and Professor Diester Weber in VIENNA! Not the occasion to receive the Stipendium to Moskau conservatory for the Masterclass of D BASHKIROV. Not the possibility to study with PROFESSOR STEFAN ASKENASE in BONN / Germany. Last not least, no Masterclass to teach at a Conservatory and the High school as I did in Cologne.

Vasiliki Pappas: What is the inner need that motivated you to get involved with music?

Sorina Aust-Ioan: My talent as a "wonder child" and my career which started at 10 and at 14 when I was permitted to study directly from the second Semester in VIENNA at B Seidelhofer and D Weber. I had my parents and grandparents in VIENNA and my other family members, they helped me!

Vasiliki Pappas: Nowadays, more teaching time is spent in learning traditional harmony, whilst there is only a simple reference in modern harmony (Bela Bartok, Paul Hindemith). Why should the children not be able to become more mature throughout the teaching of modern harmony (i.e. on the piano instead of Chernie, it could be taught Bartok's "Mikrokosmos").

Sorina Aust-Ioan: +That's right! But also children are permitted to competitions in each category, only with a contemporary work: they have to play also a modern work (from 1900 -22)! ("Jugend musiziert")

Vasiliki Pappas: Your life runs between lectures in the music academy and concerts, both in the interior of the country, as well as abroad. Could this intense activity become a burden considering your personal moments? How much time is it really left for your favorite people?

Sorina Aust-Ioan: Yes, I was very busy because I had also to learn contemporary music, and also to enrich my CDs with the 'Red thread' "FANTASIEN" Vol 1-6 and "AUS MEINEM TAGEBUCH" Vol 1-4. But now, since 10 years I don't teach any more: I perform only concerts in GERMANY , AUSTRIA , MEXIKO, ECUADOR ENGLAND and much more! And complete my CDs! I perform very much BEETHOVEN but also works from my large Repertory and also contemporary works dedicated to me.

Vasiliki Pappas: Could the recent war in Ukraine function as a stimulus for you to write an anti-war project?

Sorina Aust-Ioan: There exist many motivations, not only in our times; for example, I performed many concerts for the "DEUTSCHE KINDERKREBSHILFE"! The problems of our times like Covid 19 and Ukraine, sure, they are very bad, that the music helps in each situation!

Vasiliki Pappas: Which are the contemporary musicians that are of your own interest?

Sorina Aust-Ioan: I performed also on my albums and also on my official YouTube Channel And also on my other YouTube channels and on Spotify etc! But the FIRST IDEA to perform contemporary music was from the Colonia composer: GEORG KRÖLL, whose work: AUS MEINEM TAGEBUCH is based on the 504 sounds of SCHÖNBERG (Vienna). So therefore I performed also his works and some dedicated to me! Than I perform in concerts and on CDs always some interesting works dedicated to me, like the FANTASY op 40 from MATTHIAS HUTTER for piano and orchestra, which I premiered in TÜBINGEN and in FREUDENSTADT and also in MEXIKO City!

Vasiliki Pappas: Apart from music, is there any other kind of art that moves you?

Sorina Aust-Ioan: Yes, of course! Music cannot live without ART and LITERATURE! Sometimes I performed concerts with Painters and Poets. I played also in for interesting EXPOSITIONS. Therefore I organized THREE groups in FACEBOOK; 1. KONZERT UND KUNST SALON des Musik Kunst und Literatur Festivals; 2. CLASSICAL & CONTEMPORARY MUSIC AND ART; 3. GEORG KRÖLL, DIE KÖLNER ACHT... MUSIC CAN NOT TOUCH WITHOUT UNDERSTANDING THE COLORS AND THE WORDS IN IT.

Translation in English by Aliki Nakas