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Video on demand from 02 Mar 2020

Elbphilharmonie Sessions: Claire Huangci

Johannes Brahms’s Hungarian Dance No. 1 from the Elbphilharmonie Recital Hall

Video available until 02 Apr 2030

I want to make music that people remember – not because I had such nimble fingers, but because the music was so moving.

Claire Huangci

The Artist

Claire Huangci was only 17 when she moved on her own from her home town of Philadelphia to Hanover to study the piano there. »The best decision of my life«, as it turned out: today, 13 years later, the American with Chinese roots plays at the top chamber music venues from New York to Hamburg, and has walked off with a whole number of major prizes. But one thing has stayed the same over the years: »I want to make music that people remember – not because I had such nimble fingers, but because the music was so moving.«

Elbphilharmonie Sessions: Claire Huangci

The Music

Johannes Brahms spent nearly twelve years tinkering with the score of his 21 Hungarian Dances. The trouble was worth it: the catchy pieces with their spirited melodies are among the Hamburg composer’s most popular piano works. Brahms originally wrote the dances for four hands, i.e. for two pianists. For her session, Claire Huangci chose to play the later solo version where all the notes are allocated to just two hands. »It’s great fun to play, but incredibly difficult as well.«

Elbphilharmonie Recital Hall
Elbphilharmonie Recital Hall © Gilda Fernandez

The Place

The undulating moulded wooden panelling lends the Elbphilharmonie Recital Hall an intimate atmosphere and a warm sound. Unlike the Grand Hall, the smaller room has a classic rectangular »shoebox« shape, and can be flexibly adapted to suit different types of ensemble and concert formats.

About the series

Artists record exclusive music videos at the Elbphilharmonie and Laeiszhalle for Elbphilharmonie Sessions – sometimes in unusual locations offstage. Discover the concert halls from the inside. Discover what they sound like.

Text: Laura Etspüler, Stand: 1.4.2020

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