An extraordinary artistic personality

Stanley Dodds on our Artist in Residence Patricia Kopatchinskaja

Patricia Kopatchinskaja
(Photo: Stefan Hoederath)

What does an artist have to bring to become an Artist in Residence with the Berliner Philharmoniker? The post is currently held by violinist Patricia Kopatchinskaja. Ahead of her next concert on 12 December, we spoke to violinist and media representative Stanley Dodds, who will be conducting a work by Márton Illés in this concert. From him we learn what is so fascinating about Patricia Kopatchinskaja.

Why did the Berliner Philharmoniker choose Patricia Kopatchinskaja as Artist in Residence?

We played Schoenberg’s Violin Concerto with her as the soloist in 2019 – an amazing experience. This led to the wish to have such a dazzling artistic personality as our Artist in Residence. This year she performed Hartmann’s Concerto funebre with us. When she performs repertoire – such as Schoenberg – that many supposedly cannot get to grips with, she is simply convincing and captivating. She has a special approach, a mixture of imagination and deep artistic humility. Her creative will, which is entirely in the spirit of the music, is almost palpable. She really is an extraordinary artistic personality.

The concert on 12 December is part of this year’s residency. How did this collaboration come about?

It is a tradition for the artist in residence to give a concert with the Karajan Academy. It is wonderful when the participants get the opportunity to work directly with these artists. Patricia Kopatchinskaja regularly conducts string orchestras from the violin. She does that in this concert, too. However, the work by Márton Illés, Vont-tér, which she has chosen for the programme, is too complex to play without a conductor. That’s why I'm taking over this role.

How will the residency continue in terms of content?

In January, there is an intensive phase with Patricia Kopatchinskaja with a Late Night and a chamber music evening. Both have extraordinary programmes. Patricia is committed to contemporary music and is a champion of new works and the avant-garde. She has an open mind to what music is, beyond the violin. The instrument is her medium, but not the only one. She is also a composer, and her access to the creative process is more pronounced than is rarely the case with instrumental soloists. She has a creativity that she also brings to her violin playing.

What fascinates you personally about Patricia Kopatchinskaja?

She is very extroverted. But everything she does is in the service of the music, not to seek attention. Her interests are incredibly wide-ranging, and she initiates things that not many people would think of. You get the feeling that the attention around her doesn't interest her at all. What moves her is art. I'm on board with all her projects. You rarely have the opportunity to go on such exotic musical journeys. I wouldn’t want to miss out on that.

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