Trumpeter Selina Ott
Austrian trumpeter Selina Ott is quickly rising to the top of the classical music world. Her career has taken off since she became the first woman to win the ARD International Music Competition in her category, in 2018. In recent years, she has given several concerts with the best orchestras in Europe and Japan. Selina is also featured in this season’s Euroradio Top Young Performers series, aimed at promoting and supporting emerging young classical talent. On November 11, she performed under the direction of Patrick Hahn and accompanied by the German Radio Philharmonic Orchestra, in a concert broadcast live by Saarländischer Rundfunk (Germany). Before the performance, we submitted our usual “3 questions” to him.
Q: You appear in Euroradio Top Young Performers, an organized series of the Euroradio season. This selection of concerts has the potential to reach a very large number of public service radio listeners in Europe and beyond. What do you think of having been selected for such a series?
A: I am very honored to have been chosen for the Euroradio Top Young Performers series, because for young musicians starting a solo career like me, it is very important to make themselves known to the public and to be heard. Especially in these times with so many different crises like Coronavirus, climate change and now the energy crisis. It is all the more crucial for us to make a name for ourselves and continue to support culture, because culture is so essential in everyone’s daily life. Most of the time it’s not appreciated enough because it’s not necessary to survive, but it’s what defines us as humans, and so we have to preserve it. As young performers, we have to work even harder to make the culture strong again after the coronavirus crisis.
You were the first woman in the 70-year history of the ARD International Music Competition to receive 1st Prize in the Trumpet category, in 2018. How has this achievement influenced your career?
The ARD competition gave me opportunities that could last my entire solo career. It opened many doors for me and gave me the opportunity to work with different orchestras from all over Europe and recently also from Japan. I am very lucky to have won this competition. Without her, I wouldn’t be where I am today. It just changed everything for me and allowed me to pursue a solo career.
Your concert on November 11, offered by Saarländischer Rundfunk and broadcast live by Romanian radio and later by other radio stations, was included in the series. You performed Vladimir Peskin’s Trumpet Concerto No. 1, accompanied by the German Radio Philharmonic Orchestra. Can you tell us more about this work and your approach?
When I perform a piece, it’s always important for me to know the context, to know in what circumstances the composer lived. Because it changes everything. Under what circumstances did the composers compose the piece? It’s something that I think you can hear through the music. Nowadays, we artists have to cling to this kind of musical idea. It’s really hard to explain the music in words, because you have to hear it.
But what I can also say about this piece is that it is very moving and that it was nevertheless composed in a very romantic way, in the sense of the genre of course. It dates from the middle of the 20th century, but the style of composition in Russia at the time was years behind. Emotions should come through when performing this piece. Also, the playing style of the Russian trumpet is quite different from the German or Austrian styles. It is therefore good to study this style a little. You don’t have to copy it, but it should influence your interpretation of the piece.
It’s important for me to have all these things checked: a composer’s background, trumpet style, etc. I also like to listen to old recordings because fortunately we have all the recordings of Timofeï Dokchitser, the trumpeter for whom this piece was originally written. It’s just a perfect way to get an idea of Russian music and how it was played at that time. I have listened to these recordings often and try to let them influence my interpretation. This is how I learned and studied the play. And then I have my own musical ideas, and that’s what the public will hear. I’m always very happy to perform this piece because it’s written in a deeply romantic style of composition, and it always makes the audience feel good, even if they probably don’t know the composer. But it will definitely be a very good time for them to hear this work. I think they will get into the spirit of this one.
Music exchange offer
Selina Ott performed Vladimir Peskin’s Trumpet Concerto No. 1 with the German Radio Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Patrick Hahn. The concert took place on November 11 and was broadcast live by Saarländischer Rundfunk. It is available in the MUS under the reference EURO/2022-2023/TYP/003.