Born in South Africa, Andreas Kern studied piano in Cologne and Berlin with Günter Ludwig and Pascal Devoyon. As a soloist and chamber musician, he has extensive experience in Europe, Canada, Hong Kong, China, Japan, India and South Africa.
Keen to present classical music in unconventional ways, Andreas has developed concert projects and formats that often feature unorthodox venues, or whereby musicians collaborate with artists in other fields, such as theatre and dance. Such performances have drawn a much wider and younger audience than traditional classical concerts.
He has created the critically acclaimed “arte lounge” for the French-German TV channel Arte. As a co-host, he has performed with musicians including Mischa Maisky, Renaud Capucon, Sol Gabetta, Sarah Chang, Vadim Repin, Nils Mönkemeyer, Elina Garanca and Jörg Widmann. Andreas was also the architect of the Piano City Berlin festival 2010, which featured more than 100 piano performances held in Berlin within one weekend. Since then, Piano City has branched out to other cities such as Milan and Barcelona.
Meet Andreas in 21 questions
1. Some basics first: How tall are you?
2. How old are you?
Less than a year older than Paul.
3. What is your favourite food?
Pancakes and shrimp dumplings, but not together.
4. What is your favourite movie?
Too many. Maybe Tin Tin In Tibet, The Lives Of The Others, Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon, or 2046 by Wong Kar-wai. And films by Almodóvar.
5. What is your mobile phone ring tone?
Don’t know, most of the time it’s on silent.
6. What is your favourite classical piece of music?
Michael Jackson’s She’s Out Of My life.
7. What is your favourite piece of pop music?
Bach’s piano concerto in D-minor.
8. Which famous composer of the past would you like to have met?
9. If you were not a musician, what would you be?
A racing driver.
10. Where is home for you?
The people I love are my home.
11. Your favourite place on earth?
Far away from Paul.
12. What in your life would you change if you suddenly had 10 million euros in your bank account?
I would buy a racing cycle.
13. What is your greatest extravagance?
My 20 children.
14. What was your most exciting experience on stage?
A true story: once when I was performing Beethoven’s Sonata op. 111 in Bangalore, India, there was a power cut. I continued to play. Then I started talking to the audience about the piece although I couldn’t see anything. In the end a little boy came on stage with a candle and I resumed playing.
15. And the most embarrassing moment on stage?
Never had one.
16. What do you do to keep fit?
I play the organ: Manuals for my arms and pedals for my legs.
17. What music would you like to be played at your funeral?
Haha – which funeral?
18. If you could choose, in which period other than present would you like to live?
1920s, or, better still, in 2250.
19. If you could choose, who would you like to be?
20. Which famous person would you like to meet for dinner?
21. What is your present stage of mind?
I’m flattered and amazed that after a long period of being forgotten, my music is now being played and admired in virtually every country around the world.
Any last comment?
It cannot be my last comment, so “no comment”.