Viola player Kim Kashkashian, an American with Armenian roots, is one of today's leading performers on her instrument. As a champion of contemporary music, she has worked together with many prominent composers, among them György Kurtág, Krzysztof Penderecki and Arvo Pärt, and in the course of her long career she has also played Bach with pianist Keith Jarrett.
Hungarian composer György Kurtág is known for his very short and austere pieces. His method is to condense what he wants to say rather than dragging it out. Every note actually played hints at many more that he has omitted. This applies to »Signs, Games and Messages«, a collection of 24 musical miniatures, of which Kashkashian chose one (»In memoriam Blum Tamás«) for her Elbphilharmonie Sessions. Her recording of these Kurtág pieces was already awarded a Grammy back in 2012.
The sloping ceiling hints as much: up here on the 20th floor, one is directly beneath the Elbphilharmonie's famous undulating white roof. The »Kühne Sky Lounge« is used for special gatherings, and not only offers a great panoramic view of the Hamburg docklands, but also exclusive access to the building's only roof terrace.
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: François Kremer, last updated: 13.02.2020