Gidon Kremer: Nikolaus Harnoncourt was the most generous music partner

It’s not often that a record cover captures intimacy between soloist and conductor, but this one does.

kremer harmoncourt

So we asked Gidon Kremer, who’s in Japan, for his impressions of Nikolaus Harnoncourt. Here’s what Gidon writes:

It is hard to sum up in a few lines a Master from whom I learned so much.

Nikolaus Harnoncourt, with whom I shared many intimate moments in music by Mozart, Schumann, Beethoven, Brahms and – especially – Alban Berg, was always the most generous partner whose presence inspired me to focus on the deepest substance of the scores we performed and recorded together.

Nikolaus Harnoncourt was and will no doubt go down in history as one of those rare personalities with a distinct signature.

In a music world full of “events”,”superstars”, imitations, meaningless brilliancy and (often pretentious) “knowledge”, Harnoncourt’s passion and commitment to true values were unique.

An artist with a limitless fantasy, he dared to challenge and encourage,to search and to risk. The deeper meaning behind the performed notes was much more important to him than any perfection so many of us strive for. Communicating with him was a process of permanently learning and “opening up”.

I was one of so many musicians who had the privilege to experience Nikolaus’s generosity and fire. His genius as his genuine friendship will always be a compass to direct me further…

Thank you, dearest Nikolaus for the trace you left in my life.

My deepest condolences go to your “guardian angel” Alice and to the whole Harnoncourt family.

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