10 things you don’t know about Sylvain Blassel


Sylvain Blassel—Instructor of harp at the Lyon Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique—will give the closing concert at the Princeton Harp Festival on Nov 8. Just listen to his performance of Bach’s Goldberg Variations to understand why this French phenom is in such great demand. We caught up with him to find out “Ten Things” you don’t already know:

1 How do you keep your music creative and fresh?
I imagine how the audience could get bored…

2 Not limited to the harp, who is your artistic inspiration?
The letter “B.” Bach father and sons, Beethoven, Brahms, Berg, Bartok, Boulez, Berio… The names that start with a “B” are often really good inspiration, don’t you think ?

3 What is your favorite city?
All cities with many trees and many birds. And many bars.

4 What is your most proud accomplishment?
My French driver’s license. I got it on the first try… after failing just once.

5 How do you unwind?
Ironing my shirts, while watching documentaries about small animals.

6 What is your favorite place to perform?
Anywhere you are not bothered by outside noises.

7 What’s the last movie you watched?
Looking at the current state of my shirt, probably not something about small animals!

8 What is the craziest thing you’ve ever experienced during a performance?
Nothing out of the ordinary. But seriously, something I would love to try one day is to give a recital in complete darkness.

9 What are your gig bag essentials?
A tuning key, and a few coins for the coffee machine.

10 What’s the best advice you can give an aspiring harpist?
Get your driver’s license. And buy a nail-clipper.



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