Schaghajegh Nosrati on her encounters with Charles-Valentin Alkan.
“I started to become fascinated with composer Charles Valentin Alkan when I was very young. The groundwork was laid by my teacher Rainer M. Klaas, whose curiosity and commitment in favour of a seldom performed and unjustly forgotten repertoire I still regard as an unrivalled source of inspiration. Klaas played a decisive role.
At a time when few had ever listened to Alkan’s music or had even heard the composer’s name, I had already assimilated and learned to appreciate many of Alkan’s works thanks to his teaching. My brother Shafagh had also cultivated an interest in Alkan and performed several of his pieces. I found a further source of inspiration in pianist Marc-Andre Hamelin, who recorded Alkan’s piano music in an unprecedented quality and helped make them known to a much wider audience.
Last not least, Alkan’s music is at times so unconventional and sarcastic that audiences may have experienced more irritation than enthusiasm. His style feeds on abrupt contrast; it features a great deal of counterpoint and is thus more akin to the so-called “German School” than to French salon music. Even today, Alkan’s music poses great challenges to listeners and performers, but I find those barriers by no means impossible to overcome. These are works capable of displaying the utter extremes of the human condition alongside one another: seriousness and humor, intellect and emotion, tradition and modernity. “
Born and raised in Bochum, pianist Schaghajegh Nosrati has enjoyed a solo career marked not only by major prizes at international competitions, but also by a great number of successful concert performances and tours. Her international breakthrough came in 2014 when she won Second Prize at the renowned International Bach Competition in Leipzig, and particularly through her increasing musical collaboration with Sir Andras Schiff, who has praised the “astounding clarity, purity, and maturity” of her Bach interpretations and the musical insight she displays therein. She was invited to play a concert tour with Sir Andras Schiff and the Capella Andrea Barca Chamber Orchestra in 2018. Highlights of Schaghajegh Nosrati’s 2020/21 concert season shall include d but appearances at Wigmore Hall in London and at Carnegie Hall in New York.