Mario Hossen: Classical music is a spiritual journey

It is like a message that allows us to feel as part of the divine spark

Children do not necessarily have to become professional classical musicians, but the very interaction through the instrument, the opportunity to express their thoughts and emotions not with words but sounds, will enrich their world tremendously, virtuoso violinist Mario Hossen says in an interview to BTA.

Mr Hossen, you are considered to be one of the best interpreters of Paganini. Music critics call you a “reincarnation of Paganini” and “the Bulgarian Paganini”. What does the work of this particular composer mean to you?

Paganini is a philosophy, an outlook on life, and his music has helped me see both the world of music and the world around me from a different viewpoint. I have been playing his works since I was a child, and I am truly happy that performing this great composer's musical scores has always come naturally to me. Besides my favourite composer, Paganini is a passion of mine, so it is no coincidence that I have dedicated much of my creative energy to his works. I am happy that one of my childhood dreams came true in 2018, having been chosen by the Paganini Society and by the composer's descendants personally, as well as by the leading Italian record label Dynamic, to be the last performer (in a series of recordings for a 40-CD complete edition of Paganini's works) of seven of his unrecorded and never-before-performed pieces in their original versions. So being the one to conclude a cycle - nearly 180 years after Paganini's death - which encompassed world-level performers, is a privilege and a blessing and I am grateful that the universe made me fortunate enough to be given this responsibility and honour.

Can you describe what it is like to enter the world of classical music? Does it give a person something unique?

Classical music is a spiritual language, spiritual journey. The vibrations contained in its message can reach any human being, any living creature. It is no coincidence that the father of music, of the European cultural tradition - Orpheus - has become a symbol not only as a musician but as a healer, a spiritual leader, and a king as well, namely through the power of music. Classical music is the highest form of this message, which allows us to feel like a part of the divine spark that is human life.

Can anyone on their own, without support, enter this world?

Naturally, although society plays a big part in this respect. It is very important that the state, at all levels, encourages the introduction of children to music and musical instruments from a very young age and opens this entire world to them through educational programmes. Children do not necessarily have to become professional classical musicians, but the very interaction through the instrument, the opportunity to express their thoughts and emotions not with words but sounds, will enrich their world tremendously. I think that every country devoting considerable attention to education and culture has a bright future.

You agreed to be the soloist in a concert of the Pleven Philharmonic dedicated to Pancho Vladigerov. Why?

For me, it was a great pleasure to open the series of performances at the Pancho Vladigerov concert, and with the Pleven Philharmonic in particular. I had the honour of performing this exceptional concert (Concert for Violin and Orchestra No. 1) to mark the 120th anniversary from the birth of the great Bulgarian composer in one of the best halls in Bulgaria in a city with rich traditions. As we know, Vladigerov's Concert No. 1 is the very first instrumental concert written by a Bulgarian composer. He created this work at the young age of 20, and it quickly became popular and was played at the biggest festivals and concert halls around the world. Performing this piece is a challenge and an adventure for me.

What was it like to work with the Pleven Philharmonic?

The Pleven Philharmonic is an amazing ensemble of professionals. Working with this orchestra is a truly pleasant experience. My collaboration with the philharmonic and the Pleven audience was a pleasure.

What is next on your busy worldwide schedule?

Many interesting and exciting concerts and encounters, both in Bulgaria and abroad. I am also continuing to study Paganini's work as the editor of research for a prestigious publishing house in Vienna. It is a major, ambitious project. We are releasing volume 3 of the series - works for violin and orchestra. Next will be the publication of musical scores and orchestra material of all of Paganini's works. At the same time, I have concerts in Switzerland, Italy and China, which will also be exciting experiences and I cannot wait for them. Last but not least, I have classes with my beloved students, who I believe are the future Bulgarian masters of the violin.

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Mario Hossen received his musical education in Sofia, Vienna and Paris. He made his debut as a soloist with an orchestra at the age of eight. As a concert soloist of international acclaim, he has performed with renowned orchestras such as the English Chamber Orchestra, the Tchaikovsky Symphony Orchestra of Moscow Radio, the Academy of St Martin in the Fields, and the Royal Philharmonic. He has performed together with outstanding musicians like Vladimir Fedoseyev, Bruno Canino, Philippe Bernold, Gerard Poulet, Adrian Oetiker, Gerard Causse, Georges Pludermacher and Jean-Bernard Pommier, to mention just a few. Hossen plays a violin by Giovanni Battista Guadagnini, Milan 1749, on loan from the Oesterreichische Nationalbank's collection.

In January, Hossen appeared as a soloist of the Pleven Philharmonic in a grand concert marking the 120th anniversary from the birth of the great Bulgarian composer Pancho Vladigerov.

 

 

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