Meira Farkas speaks about her teachers and her teaching
In addition to concert work, I understand you also teach?
Yes, I’ve been teaching for many years. Till Fellner was one of my first pupils, and the brilliantly talented Catalina Butcaru has worked with me intensively for the past several years.
My own beginnings were guided and inspired by a truly exciting generation of teachers.
In Tel Aviv, I studied piano with Ilona Vincze-Kraus and chamber music with Ödön Pártos; and later in the US, I was a student at Mannes College of Music and at the Juilliard Music School, both of which are in New York. My teachers there were Leonard Shure, Rosina Lhévinne und Ilona Kabos.
Of course, one of the highlights of my artistic life was taking part in the Beethoven Master Class led by the great Wilhelm Kempff in Positano, Italy.
Those wonderful people shared so much more with me than merely their approach to and feel for music. When music becomes not only your life’s path but also the potent elixir that keeps you alive, you need capable guides and mentors.
Have you dedicated your teaching to any one specialty?
For the most part, I give my energies to those pianists, who are striving for a solo career. Naturally, then, I’m delighted to accept invitations to teach master classes. Those courses offer teachers and students alike the possibility to work together in a focused and stimulating environment and to benefit from an exchange of ideas. What people experience in this kind of a setting can nurture their entire career, in that they grow from the artistic interaction with their colleagues and are able to gauge the reactions of a knowledgeable public.
What is it that you most want to impart to your students?
The music we make has to express something and speak to the listener. With my students, I approach each composer and work on those pieces, which – through these young talented musicians – continually receive new and individual voices.
What bit of advice could you share with your young colleagues?
We don’t live in easy times, but I’m convinced that talent and ability can always win out. Granted, it takes a certain amount of luck, as well. Most of all, however, diligence, perseverance and concerts, concerts and more concerts in as many countries and concert halls – whether renowned or unknown, large or small.