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Updated: December 6, 2013 18:13 IST

In perfect sync

Liza George
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Reinhard Armleder and Dagmar Hartmann
Special Arrangement
Reinhard Armleder and Dagmar Hartmann

Reinhard Armleder and Dagmar Hartmann will be performing today at Co-Bank Hall

Renowned German musicians, cellist Reinhard Armleder and pianist Dagmar Hartmann, are set to woo the denizens of the city today at 7 p.m. with a concert at Co-Bank Hall to mark the fifth anniversary celebrations of the Goethe-Zentrum Trivandrum. The duo who resides in Karlsruhe, Germany, trace their journey in music in an email interview with MetroPlus. Excerpts from an interview…

Musical sojourn

We both started piano lessons at the age of six. Dagmar was inspired to learn music as her grandparents were both musicians. In fact, Dagmar’s grandfather was a renowned pianist of his time. Her grandmother used to supervise her music lessons when she was young.

Reinhard comes from a musical family too. His father taught him to play the piano. Reinhard took cello lessons at the age of 12. Cello soon became his passion.

At the age of 13 both of us started investing more time in music as we both derived pleasure from music. We attended music grammar school and were members of the school choir and the school orchestra.

Meeting point

We met at Musikhochschule Trossingen (University of Music), Germany. While doing a course in Chamber music, Dagmar wanted to form a musical trio of violin, cello and piano. She was on the look out for a cellist and this led to us working together.

The Karlsruher Konzert-Duo

We started the Karlsruher Konzert-Duo in 1997. We performed several concerts in South Germany even while pursuing our studies in music. We also took part in several international chamber music competitions and won a few. This helped us make a name for ourselves. We did our first international concert tour in 1998. It was to Israel.

Working in harmony

Being a couple is a blessing. We both practise every day between two to five hours. There is a telepathic communication between us when we perform on stage. Professional jealousy does creep in at times, but we shrug it off. We are proud of the other’s musical prowess.

The right pieces

While deciding on the pieces to play during a concert, we listen to the advice of the concert organiser or concert manager. Most often, we are given a free reign to decide the compositions to play. We usually select pieces by German composers and those from the country we are performing in. When we choose a programme with many short pieces, (like the programme in the city), we usually mix fast and slow movements to keep the audience’s attention. Most audiences, we have noticed, like romantic pieces and pieces in the ‘dance’ style. Sometimes, while performing in front of an audience which is not well versed in classical music, we add some well known pieces in our programme. We hope to introduce listeners to musical greats through our concerts.

On record

We have released four albums:’ From Bach to Piazzola’, ‘Werke der Romantik’, ‘Suonare – Sonaten großer Komponisten’ and ‘Colores Espagnola – Works of Spanish composers’.

Travelling musicians

Although most of our projects are in Germany, we do travel abroad for concerts. We enjoy travelling and living out of a suitcase. Among the places we have travelled to, we enjoyed our trip to China and Namibia. While at times our trips are short and we don’t have the time to explore the place, we do occasionally manage to squeeze in time. Although we look forward to seeing places of interest in Thiruvananthapuram, we are doubtful as to how much of the city we can take in as we are leaving the next day. After hundreds of concerts in more then 40 countries we could write a book on our experiences.

Chilling with…

Both of us teach music at Badisches Konservatorium Karlsruhe. We enjoy spending time painting, reading books, listening to music…

For the city’s audience

We want to show the city’s audience the variety of the cello-piano-repertoire with compositions of some of the most famous European composers.

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