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The Warsaw Voice » Destination Warsaw » February 23, 2012
Destination Warsaw
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Chatting About Chopin
February 23, 2012   
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Daniel de Clerck, a Belgian pianist, teacher and principal of a music and dramatic arts and dance academy in Brussels, chats with Jolanta Wolska.

What brought you to Warsaw?
I wanted to refresh my musical contacts, visit the new Chopin Museum and check on the sales of my book on Chopin’s piano playing technique.

How has Warsaw changed since you were here for the first time in 2005?
I love Warsaw. Many things have changed, including the Chopin Museum. Also, Krakowskie Przedmie¶cie, one of my favorite streets, has been renovated and looks great now. I also like Nowy ¦wiat.

You gave a concert at the Chopin Monument in Łazienki Park in 2008. Where would you like to give a concert next time?
That was a wonderful experience. The Varsovian and tourist audience was fantastic. I don’t know all the concert halls here, but perhaps it would be inspirational to play at the new Chopin Museum, as that’s quite a hub of Chopin knowledge and activity today.

Do you plan to give master classes in Warsaw?
Yes, I have already been promised such an opportunity, but it is slow in coming to fruition. Chopin grew up in Warsaw and so that’s where the basics of Chopin’s piano method should be taught and played.

How does the standard of music teaching in Poland compare with that in Belgium?
In Poland people take music education more seriously than in Belgium. I think the Chopin University of Music in Warsaw is on the same level and has the same approach as the Brussels Conservatory.

Why are you learning Polish?
To be closer to Chopin’s living world. Polish was Chopin’s language and I suspect that the meter and rhythm of the Polish language, which he studied under Józef Elsner, was ever present when he was composing music.
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