Simon Trpceski: “I would like to live in Armenia”
The Macedonian pianist gave a sincere and exclusive interview to Eritasard.am.
“Barev dzez. Inchpes ek. Yes shat lavem. Shnorhakalutyun” (Hello, how are you, I am great, thank you)-these are the words that famous pianist Simon Trpchesky said as he greeted correspondents of Eritasard.am youth online newspaper. Trpchesky was in Armenia to participate in the 6th Yerevan International Music Festival and gave a concert with the Armenian State Philharmonic Orchestra at Aram Khachatryan Concert Hall on October 4. The Macedonian pianist, who performed Rakhmaninov’s Concerto N2 during his concert, was pleased to give an interview to Eritasard youth online newspaper and gave a special performance of Schubert’s “Waltzes”. Eritasard.am: You amazed us with your knowledge of Armenian. How did you learn the language? Simon Trpceski: I am simply a genius (laughing). I actually learned a couple of words in Armenian by myself and started using them as soon as I arrived in Armenia. I try to speak Armenian with Armenians and sometimes I ask people how to express some thoughts in Armenian. I never miss out on the opportunity to speak Armenian, and my greeting in Armenian was the result. I am very interested in foreign languages, and that is why I decided to learn some words in Armenian. I was very happy when I received an offer to visit Armenia since I had never visited the country. This beautiful country filled me with great joy. I am from Macedonia, which is also a small country with a population of 2-3 million people. Like Armenians, Macedonians are also Christians and have a glorious history. The cultures of our countries are similar, if you can say so. I am simply trying to enjoy the visit to this beautiful country. It was just as I had expected it to be. The people are kind, wonderful and very beautiful. Eritasard.am: You said you love learning foreign languages. How many languages do you know? S. T.: I know Macedonian, French, English, Russian, Bulgarian, Serbian, Croatian and have little knowledge of Italian… Eritasard.am: Are you a polyglot? S. T.: I also know Spanish (laughing). The words and languages of the Latin and Slavonic language families are quite similar to one another, and let’s not forget, I have a good “ear” and it’s not very difficult for me to learn languages. I studied French in school and later English. I even attended lessons to improve my speaking skills. Eritasard.am: What does music mean to you? S. T.: For me, music is life. It is truly a part of my life. It helps me recognize myself and is with me all day long. I am inseparably linked to music. Like Armenians, Macedonians also love life. We love enjoying life and living happily. We also have a special trait. We love to sing, dance, and have several traditions. That is why music is a part of our lives. Eritasard.am: What are Macedonians’ attitudes toward classical music? S. T.: Classical music is not deeply rooted in our country, but several musical institutions were opened across the country after WWI. Macedonia achieved great heights in classical music when it used to be part of Yugoslavia. The people born in those years laid the foundation for Macedonian classical music. I myself grew up listening to classical music, and the first instrument that I played was the accordion. I grew up with my grandmother and was the youngest of three children. Macedonians are very much like the Armenians. They always seek and find happiness within their families. Even though we were poor, we were always happy. I grew up with warmth. I played the accordion and went on to get accepted to the music school in the Macedonian capital of Scopie. I was a student of renowned Russian professors Boris and Lyudmila Romanovs from Russia and learned a lot from them. To this day, I have the synthesis of the spirit of Macedonians and the knowledge of the Russian school, which is rich in the traditions of fortepiano. Eritasard.am: Since music is your life, can your music be part of other people’s lives? S. T.: Of course it can. However, the audience is the judge. As an artist, I create for myself as well, but the audience is my major stimulus. It is hard to describe the joy I feel when the audience listens to the music that I have created. They perceive it, are filled with warmth and sometimes shiver. Eritasard.am: What does the audience’s applause mean to you? S. T.: It is like food. During one of my interviews years back, I said that even if I knew that there was only one person in the audience, I would still perform as I should because that person deserves the same respect as the whole audience. After all, that person showed respect by attending my concert. Eritasard.am: What do you feel when you come up on stage? S. T.: I have said it before and I will say it again. When I come up on stage and see so many people who have come to enjoy my music and show their respect and when I hear their applause after each performance, I become rock solid. That is very valuable for any artist. It is truly the guarantee of the work that you do after long hours of rehearsals. My job is tough, but when I hear the applause, I forget about all the difficulties. I feel like I am the ruler of the world and am ready to give everything for that moment. Eritasard.am: Don’t you get tired of concerts and rehearsals? S. T.: Of course I do (sighing). That is why it is important for one to regulate everything. I go into the details when it comes to concerts. I try to be at home as well. Family life motivates an artist. If there is no family life, an artist can go crazy from the flights and non-stop rehearsals. Hotels and concert halls are not the only things that can make an artist feel happy. Of course, it is interesting to meet different kinds of people, communicate with them and recognize different cultures, but that is merely to enrich your soul. At the end of the day, we are human beings and sometimes we need to rest. Thank God my managers understand me. What I do on stage depends on my inner happiness, and my inner peace and happiness depend on the right way of living. Eritasard.am: What are your hobbies? What helps you relax? S. T.: I compose pop songs and have written several hit songs (laughing). I also love playing soccer with friends. Of course, I don’t do it often. I also watch soccer matches as a fan of my country’s national soccer team. I remember when the Armenian and Macedonian soccer players were included in the same group. I attended the Armenia-Macedonia match held in Macedonia, and I am looking forward to watching the Macedonian team’s match with the Croatian team. Eritasard.am: What did you like about Armenia? S. T.: I liked everything. I feel happy here. Eritasard.am: Wouldn’t you like to stay in our country? S. T.: Why not? I would like to live here, but unfortunately, I have already packed my bags. Eritasard.am: Which is the world’s most beautiful corner for you? S. T.: My home is in my homeland. There are beautiful sites worth seeing in Europe as well. I love Scandinavia, but I am also a big fan of Rome, Paris and Prague. I would also like to visit Asia. South America is not bad either. Eritasard.am: Why do you like Asian and Oriental cultures? S. T.: Asians and people of the East are very smart and truly knowledgeable people. New Zealand is also a quite beautiful country. Eritasard.am: What did you know about Armenians before your visit to Armenia? S. T.: I knew a lot. These days I visited Khor Virap, Etchmiadzin, Garni and Geghard. Two days ago, on the first day of my visit to Armenia, I organized a tour (laughing). Of course, I wasn’t able to visit many places due to lack of time, but I am happy to have visited such historical sites. It was very interesting. I was also told a lot about the adoption of Christianity and the complicated relations between the Armenian King Trdat and Gregory the Illuminator. The temple in Garni was simply marvelous. When we arrived there, it was already sunset and it looked very beautiful. It was very hot in Khor Virap, and I even felt ill in that historical dungeon (laughing). Eritasard.am: Which Armenian dishes have you tried? S. T.: We have tried tasty foods, including natural cucumbers and tomatoes, as well as the Armenian gata and lavash. We ate very tasty fish and good Armenian barbecue as well. Eritasard.am: Did you try the Armenian salmon? S. T.: I wasn’t able to. They kept me hungry (laughing). Eritasard.am: What are your overall impressions of Armenia? S. T.: There are many beautiful girls here. That is simply horrible. It is scary to have so much beauty (laughing). Gallery: Simon Trpceski Harutyun Tsatryan