Pianist Marouan Benabdullah

The artiste started learning the instrument when he was just four years old.

MAROUAN BENABDULLAH, an acclaimed pianist of Moroccan-Hungarian origin, performed at the Alliance Francaise, Chandigarh, on Saturday. The artiste started learning the instrument when he was just four years old. “My mother used to teach the instrument to children back in Morocco. She used to give lessons at home. I grew up with a piano. Since then, I have been with a piano, I have never had second thoughts,” said Benabdullah.

This is Benabdullah’s second visit to Chandigarh. His first visit was 11 years ago for a piano recital. “I still remember it, the audience was good. This place I like very much because of the quality of audience, the quality of listening even when compared to European audiences. It’s really inspiring to play here,” he said. During his India visit this year, he recited in Bangalore and is scheduled to play in Delhi next. At Saturday evening’s show, Benabdullah played music composed by Claude Debussy and Franz Listz.

As a full-time pianist, Benabdullah said, “It’s kind of a free life with its advantages and disadvantages. I get to travel a lot, I meet different people, and I stay in different environments. For people who want a colourful life, being a pianist is a great profession. I am never bored.”

Talking about the challenges in his field, Benabdullah said constant practice was essential to maintain the quality of performance. “There are certain standards that you need to maintain because we are creating something in that very moment during concerts,” added Benabdullah.

The pianist talked about how a painter takes his time before he is ready to present his painting. And, he, too, takes his time before presenting a painting as he is really creating the work, even though he does not compose his own music. “That moment really matters. It’s a moment that has no before or after. I like to explore new ways of creating emotions,” smiles Benabdullah, adding that there are different types of ways by which emotions and feelings can be conveyed through music.

Benabdullah says that many genres of music can be played through the piano such as jazz and pop and it depends on what you want to play. In order to renew himself, Benabdullah practises yoga which has impacted his lifestyle and helps him keep the state of mind essential to playing well. Speaking about his sources of inspiration, he said it could be something as simple as meeting with his friends to having a good meal. “The best meal is not always the most expensive. It does not always have to be big.”

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