Indian classical music is like magic: Israeli pianist


Indian classical music is like magic: Israeli pianist

New Delhi, Sep 5 : Watching a dapper Matan Fishov in a crisp white shirt and a pair of black trousers, sitting at a classic Boston piano pretty much makes for a pleasant evening, which only gets better when you hear his fingers run through the keys.

But, what is interesting to know about the 24-year-old Israeli pianist, who flew in to give Delhiites two lovely evenings of spectacular piano recital, is that he mastered the instrument in barely 10 years, unlike most of his ilk.

In the absence of any musical background, Fichov’s tryst with the piano began only at the age of 13, much later than most pianists who start as early as three.

“I was attracted to the piano for the first time during one of the music lessons at school, and then my interest grew deeper when I saw a close friend of mine, also called Matan, playing the instrument,” he told PTI.

What followed was a decade of rigorous training, first under the mentorship of Eva Malkin, and a few years later with Jonathan Zak, a professor at Buchmann-Mehta School of Music in Tel-Aviv University.

And now, Fishov has over 200 solo piano recitals performed across Israel, Estonia, Germany and Spain to his credit.

Fishov, however, has a long way to go.

Currently, he only interprets and performs the works of other composers, and is yet to create something of his own.

But, when he does decide to move forward, he said Indian classical music is something that he would turn to for inspiration.

“Indian classical music is like magic,” he said.

Indian music, to Fishov, is “something coming from a far away land” that lends him the virtuosity, lyricism, and interpretive sensitivity for his recitals.

“We have a lot of French composers like Claude Debussy and Maurice Ravel who are inspired from the east and Indian classical music makes me connect to them,” he said.

A constant influence on Fishov has been that of Munich born Israeli composer Paul Ben-Haim, whose Arabic music is renowned in the Middle Eastern country.

“I play a lot of music by him. The flute, and the sound of the desert and the orient is simply magical,” he said.

Among other inspirations are Polish composer Frederic Chopin and German composer Johannes Brahms, who he admires for their “intimate” music.

For his recitals at the India Habitat Centre and India International Centre here, Fishov chose a collection of by some of the greatest composers.

Beethoven’s Sonata number 27 op 90, Brahms’ intermezzi op 117, Russian composer Alexander Scriabin’s ‘The last 7 preludes op 11’, German composer Johann Sebastian Bach’s prelude and fugue no 14 from Book II, BWV 883 and Chopin’s ‘Polonaise Fantaisie op 61’, were part of his performances.