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Celebrated concert pianist Andreas Boyde pours scorn on The X Factor

Reality shows like The X Factor lead people astray and are a phenomena that will disappear.

That is the outspoken view of Andreas Boyde, one of the world’s renowned concert pianists, a musician with an “electric” touch, who performed in Marlborough last night (Friday).

He gave a concert at St Peter’s Church in aid of the charities of Marlborough’s mayor, Councillor Alexander Kirk Wilson, who was 44-year-old Andreas’ landlord in London when he arrived from East Germany to study as an unknown student on a British Council scholarship (pictured reunited in Marlborough).

The day before, Andreas fascinated students at St John’s School with a one hour piano workshop at which they peppered him with questions, seeking advice on how to reach the top and stay there.

And it was then that Andreas made an oblique reference to talent shows, and expanded his views in an exclusive interview with Marlborough News Online, when he was asked about the desire of today’s teenagers for instant fame.

“Personally I don’t believe in these kind of shows,” he said.  “Quite often you have a singer and the audience just doesn’t listen, they just start screaming and clapping and making a lot of noise.”

“And I say to myself, ‘Hang on a minute, the singer hasn’t even started to perform and already you’re making so much noise that nobody can hear anything.’  And so the whole thing is usually short lived.”

“Reality shows lead people astray of course.  It’s a quick fix and there are now so many shows that they start to have a cannibalistic effect because they eat one another.  You can’t be a fan of so many shows.”

“So it may well be a phenomena that collapses.  In a few years people might say, ‘What X factor?’  It is proof that the fame – and probably the shows themselves – are very short lived.”

Andreas, who spends six months’ every year on tour, pointed out that the shows needed tremendous media and PR support to remain popular through promotion.  “But when you check on the internet, you find that Beethoven has far more clicks than Michael Jackson,” he said.

He was aware that students at St John’s, among them quite a few pianists and other instrumentalists, understood the determination and hard work needed to succeed.

“I think they know you can’t be a ballerina without years of training and practice, and the same applies of course to musical instruments,” he said.

“I really enjoyed being at St John’s.  It was a wonderful opportunity to meet the students, who were not only attentive but had a lot of questions, some of them personal questions, which is rare.  It was probably the first time it has happened in my visits to schools.”

Andreas, who now lives permanently in London, in Fulham,  tries to be positive about the real world, not the fantasy one of television, when he talks at schools.  And he reveals too the intensity involved in his own acclaimed performances.

“If I play a recital, like I am doing tonight, and I find it easy to do, then I don’t have any sense of achievement,” he explained.  “This is part of it. When I perform tonight I will play for my life.”

“My adrenalin will go sky high.  You play for survival.  It is a physical as well as an emotional one.  This is what you feel.  And if I didn’t play really challenging pieces, I wouldn’t get a sense of satisfaction.”

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