Upwards #4

By Annette Zerpner Jan. 8, 2024


Conductor Iván Fischer is back at Konzerthaus Berlin - which means it's "Mittendrin" (aka "Right in the middle") week!

The violas are almost always right in the middle of the orchestra. A good reason to make our way up with violists Nilay Özdemir and Peiyi Wu in our super-slow elevatour South for a few quick questions.

What is special about rehearsals with Iván Fischer?

Nilay: He has a perfect plan right from the start and rehearses in a very controlled manner. But without restricting us. I always have a feeling of security and goodwill with Iván Fischer. And it's never boring with him because he's a very humorous, creative person.

Peiyi: He inspires us. There are always moments in rehearsals with him when I think: "Oh, yes, that's what he meant!" - and suddenly get a whole new idea.

What is your "Mittendrin" feeling like?

Peiyi: Dass zwischen uns Leute sitzen, die nicht mitspielen, vergrößert den Abstand zwischen uns. Deshalb ist es schwieriger, die anderen zu hören. Aber es ist ist auch schön, dem Publikum nah zu sein: Die Leute neben einem, gerade die Kinder, bewegen sich manchmal auf ihren Stühlen zur Musik. Manchmal tanzen sie sogar ein bisschen!

Nilay: Normalerweise ist das Ohr das stärkste, was wir haben und worauf wir uns konzentrieren. Bei „Mittendrin“ ist das anders. Wir müssen Iván Fischer unbedingt sehen. Außerdem wissen wir vor dem Konzert nicht, wo genau wir sitzen, denn wir proben nicht in der Mittendrin-Sitzordnung. Daran muss man sich wirklich gewöhnen.

The violas are always right in the middle of the orchestra. Is that what you had in mind when you chose your instrument?

Peiyi: I had no idea what to expect in life as a violist! I first played the piano and needed a second instrument. There was a box with all the instruments in the music school, so I pulled them out.

But you've become happy with your instrument?

Peiyi: Yes, that suits my character very well. We support the others.

Nilay: It's a very important voice. If we're missing, there's no harmony!

Finally: Are you patient enough for our elevator?

Peiyi: No way! It takes so long for the door to close!

Nilay: When I say that I know myself as a patient person, all my close friends say that's not true at all. Maybe I'm misjudging myself? (They both laugh.)


For this event, you will not receive tickets through our webshop. You will therefore be redirected to an external page of the organizer. If you have any not completed bookings on konzerthaus.de, they will be dissolved after 20 minutes.