Berta Brozgul has had an extremely busy year, she tells us what she has been doing leading up to the 2018 Award
I still study at the Australian National Academy of Music and will be finishing this year.
Are you a full-time professional musician? Yes.
What drew you to become a musician? I have always had the desire to be a musician as it was something that was always playing in our house as I come from a musical family. It seemed to be the artform which always inspired and excited me and just seemed like the natural path for me to take.
Do you sometimes perform in an ensemble? Yes. This year has been especially busy in that regard and I am a part of the Clarendon trio which will took part in the Melbourne International Chamber Music competition in July.
What is so special about the piano and its music? The repertoire for the piano is unlimited and encompasses the full scope of styles, colour and interpretive possibilities.
At the same time, you often have to be something of an illusionist as a pianist as there are some technical limitations with regards to what you can achieve in expression by comparison with some other instruments.
What else can you play? I used to play the violin, however I have not played for about 14 years.
Do you sing? Not really. But I sometimes do enjoy singing in a choir.
What are your hobbies and why are you passionate about them?
Travelling, discovering nature, jogging, swimming, reading. I am passionate about anything which brings new inspiration to what I do and also anything which works towards increased health and wellbeing.
Do you do a lot of travel? Where have you been overseas in the past few years? I am originally from South Africa, so since we migrated to Australia in 2001, we have been back several times.
I also studied overseas in Salzburg since 2008, however I returned to Australia in 2016.
What are your goals over the next two years? For this year, the big chamber music and solo piano goals are firstly the Melbourne International Chamber Music competition in July and of course the Australian National Piano Award later this year. Next year is less certain for now, but as soon as these two events are out of the way, I am hoping they will lead to new exciting goals.
Who inspires you and why? My family and friends, anybody with strength, courage and honestly basically!
Which musician inspires you any why? There are many musicians who inspire me, but I would say quite high on that list would be Jacqueline du Pre, Martha Argerich and Sviatoslav Richter. That level of whole-hearted commitment and passion together with being masters of their instruments can't be surpassed in a performance by much else!
Which composer’s music do you love and why? Every great composer offers unique inspiration, however at the top of my list would be Beethoven and Schumann. The fortrightedness and level of spiritual and emotional development is inspiring beyond words.
Do you play sports? I don't play any team sports per se, however I always love swimming and running.
Name 4 of your favourite things to do to chill out/have fun: Read, have intense conversations, go to the cinema, drive through nature.
What’s your idea of fashion/what do you prefer to wear? I don't believe in fashion but rather have my own ideas of what looks stylish. But when it comes to concerts, I love expensive gowns of many descriptions.
What car do you drive (give a description of it). do you have a current drivers licence? I don't currently have a licence, but aim to soon get one.
How do you relax and unwind from rehearsing? Nothing like a glass of good red wine and a horizontal position on the floor or couch to end off the day.
How do you care for your back etc. (to stop injuries etc)? Get massages and swim. And make sure I am sitting and standing in the right ways.
Do you love the movies? Yes, I love going to film festivals.
List at least three bars / favourite spaces to hang out in Australia and why? Port Melbourne – Foxes Den and South Melbourne honey bar. Always fun to do these things after a concert.
What is your favourite alcoholic drink? Gin and tonic, red wine.
Favourite meal / food / fruit and why? Lasagna, because it always has some connection to home.
Do you compose your own music? No.
What do you hope to get out of this Australian National Piano Award? This is my third time, so I am dearly hoping to get to the finals this time, having once been a prizewinner and the second time a semifinalist, so it would be wonderful if that could happen.
How long have you been rehearsing for this event? Over time, but I have started more specifically preparing since I found out in May that I was in.
How did you hear about the Australian National Piano Award? I had known about it before I was old enough to do it!