Elbphilharmonie »Offstage« is the podcast that looks at issues beyond the Elbphilharmonie's regular concert programme. This season we are focusing on the future, in connection with music needless to say. In this instalment, we speak to Spanish pianist Juan Pérez Floristán about the role that artists play in the social media.
The pianist is active in the social media himself, and has his own YouTube channel where he regularly uploads videos. In his video blog he shares tips about piano playing, but also tells viewers about his own biography and does away with popular myths about classical music. In this way he makes his music more accessible to people, and creates a new target group with his videos, which generate up to 40,000 clicks.
Artists and the social media
The relationship between the social media and artists is an ambivalent one. For many artists, keeping their presence up-to-date on channels like Instagram, Facebook and YouTube is an irksome duty – they have to do it for marketing reasons, but it keeps them from pursuing their art. Algorithms make users sink ever deeper into a self-referential swirl with cleverly built-in advertising. On the other hand, social media can also serve as a mouthpiece and offer artists the chance to make direct contact with the public, to develop new target groups and share content. So should musicians be active on the social media in future?
Juan Pérez Floristán is certainly critical towards social media. »We are all permanently playing roles that we can easily get lost in. It's important to remain authentic, but not to reveal too many private details in the process.« He regards his YouTube and Instagram activity first and foremost as an opportunity: as a public figure, he says, he can't avoid being political. He wants to be the opposite of all the trivial commercial video clips out there and create real content that also has entertainment value. He wants to be abandon the ivory tower that many musicians hide in and be approachable for the public. His message is: »Let's use the social media wisely and turn them into a better place.«
About the pianist Juan Pérez Floristán
There is no shortage of international awards in the career of Spanish pianist Juan Pérez Floristán. In addition to winning the 2018 Bad Kissingen Klavierolymp, he also won first prize at the prestigious Arthur-Rubinstein Competition in Tel Aviv and at the Paloma O’Shea Piano Competition in Santander. His playing is marked by a deep understanding of the music's architecture, by transparency and virtuosity; he is particularly fond of Spanish music, as well as German Classical and Romantic repertoire. He also invests passion in his YouTube channel »Tócala otra vez Juan«.
Text: Anastasia Päßler, last updated: 26th August 2022