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Tools of the Trade: Maria Baptist

29 April 2019

Maria Baptist Piano 825x540

“in a league with the key figures of modern Jazz” [All About Jazz], Maria Baptist's music is characterised by an openness that breaks down genre boundaries, mixing classical and jazz influences to create a music full of intensity and drive. In a rare visit to the UK, Maria will join us at the 606 Club on Tuesday 14th May.

"I once played a concert in South Africa, in Stellenbosch during a large chamber music festival. The program was a real challenge: I played 'Pierrot Lunaire' by Arnold Schönberg with a chamber ensemble which also included some jazz interludes within the composition. 

Just before our concert there was another performance from a composer who first played the brand new Bösendorfer Concert Grand 290 Imperial while the sponsor of the piano was sitting in the audience just in front of the stage. 

I was really exited to play especially with such a new fantastic instrument. When I took to the stage and moved closer to the instrument I got a shock: What I didn’t know was that the other pianist before me must have had a small injury on one of his fingers and because his piece had some major glissandi the whole keyboard was covered with blood. 

My ensemble didn’t realise this and the conductor almost started our performance when I screamed and explained what just had happened. Two ladies showed up with a bucket of mopping water to clean the piano and after a view minutes we could start our concert with an almost clean keyboard. The sponsor was pale-faced but recovered soon.

Ironically in Schönbergs piece the lyrics are all about blood."

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