Media and Newsroom

OCTOBER 03, 2013

A Wolf Trap Interview: Piano Prodigy Beatrice Rana Weighs in on Competitions, Composers She Loves, and a Genre She Doesn’t

Beatrice RanaAt only age 20, pianist Beatrice Rana has already established herself as a brilliant force in the classical music scene. Among the impressive Italian’s many accolades, she won first prize in the Montreal International Musical Competition in 2011 and won the Silver Medal and Audience Award in this year’s Van Cliburn Competition.

Rana will be making her D.C.-area debut on Friday, November 1 at 8 pm at The Barns at Wolf Trap as part of The Discovery Series. She discusses this upcoming recital and more with Wolf Trap’s writer/editor Marisa Beahm Klein.

Q) Congratulations on your notable honors at the Van Cliburn Competition. What was it like to perform there, and how has this win impacted your career?

A) Van Cliburn Competition was a life-changing experience; performing on such a great stage and with amazing musicians is what we young artists are aiming for. I have never loved to take part in competitions, but the Cliburn was able to give the feeling of a real concert life. With the prize, I could increase the chances to do what I have always been wishing for, that is, playing concerts for different audiences in different countries.

Q) We feel very lucky to have you perform in our venue, The Barns at Wolf Trap. What do you like about performing to smaller audiences?

A) Every venue is different, and I feel very lucky to have the chance to experience so many different places. The wonderful thing about music is that there are no spatial limits, and it can be performed nearly everywhere. Playing for a smaller audience gives, without any doubt, a more intimate and familiar approach to the concert.

Q) I see you will be performing Prokofiev’s Sixth Sonata. What draws you to this piece of music? Will you be performing any other works?

A) I love playing Prokofiev, because he takes a very unique approach to the piano and because there is an irony—most of the time a sad irony—which you rarely find in other composers. I will be performing Schumann as well, focusing on the theme of variations with two great compositions: Abegg Variations and Symphonic Etudes in form of Variations.

Q) Since you come from an accomplished family of musicians, how has your musical background influenced you? Do you and your family still play together?

A) Having a family of professional musicians can help a lot. My parents never obligated me to become a pianist, but they have always been extremely supportive. We don't have many chances to play together, especially since I’m traveling most of the time, but we have always enjoyed sharing music and ideas about music.

Q) I was very impressed that you made your debut as a soloist with an orchestra at the age of 9. Have you always enjoyed being on stage, even when you were younger?

A) Music has been a part of my life from the very first day. My first public performance was when I was four and, at such a young age, you don't even realize what you are doing. I strongly believe that it is extremely important to get used to the stage at the earliest possible age, simply because you can grow up with the audience and with the feeling of the concert. I have always loved playing for people and expressing my feelings through music, and I could not live without this.

Q) What do you enjoy playing beyond classical music?

A) I only play classical music, but I would like to play jazz as well. As for listening, I enjoy all genres of music, with the exception of house music, which I really hate.

Q) In addition to touring the United States what else do you have in store? Can we expect any new albums?

A) In the next seasons I will be performing a lot in North America and Europe. In November harmonia mundi will be releasing a new CD featuring the performances of Cliburn Competition.

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Michelle Pendoley
Public Relations

Emily Smalling
Public Relations

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