In the Filipino Mirror

Events: The Music of Tristan Lauber

by Rose Raguindin.

Photo by Bill Young

The Canadian pianist serenaded Manila recently with his remarkable interpretation of Mozart, Schumann and Moussorgsky.For 30-year old Canadian pianist Tristan Lauber, music is a mission and one thing he cannot live without.”Music becomes almost a therapy that you can’t live without,” said Tristan Lauber, who recently serenaded the Filipinos with Mozart, Schumann and Moussorgsky classics at the university Theater of the university of the Philippines, Diliman.He was introduced to the world of classical music during the summers he spent in Switzerland. His maternal grandfather would take him to a festival by the lakefront where groups from different countries performed. It made such a huge impact on him that he asked his parents to buy him his first records of classical music, which were those of Mozarts’. But his father was an accomplished amateur rock guitarist who also had an influence on him. For this reason as a boy his unlikely heroes were Beethoven as well as Elvis Presley.Tristan holds a doctorate degree in piano performance from the University of Montreal and has won prizes in various competitions. He won the “Grand Prix” at the Concours de Musique du Québec in 1984. The Prix d’expression Intercollegial in 1987, and the first prize at the Concours de l’Orchestre symphonique de Trois-Rivières in 1988. He founded the Allegro quintet of Montreal which won the first prize at the chamber music category of the CIBC National Festival in Newfoundland in 1989. He has also received grants and prizes from the Conseil des Art et des Lettres du Québec and La foundation les Amis de l’Art.

As years went by, his interests have broadened: “I dabble a little bit with jazz, but not professionally, although I promised myself that hopefully in three or four years time when I’ve covered more classical repertoire and I have more time on my hands, I would definitely like to attempt to play jazz.”He finds jazz fascinating, but he also emphasized that it’s a very different language, so that very few pianists can play both classical and jazz at a professional level.

Asked what influences his music, he quickly replied, “Definitely a passion for the romantic repertoire, the one that I feel closest to , and among my favorite pianists are the great Russians Richter and Gilels. ” He also expressed great admiration for Anton Kuerti, whom he described as a phenomenal Beethoven specialist , as well as André Laplante and his first teacher Marc Durand.

Tristan observed that Filipinos aren’t entirely fond of classical music. He noted though that the Philharmonic Orchestra, which is entirely made up of Filipinos, is something out of the ordinary, since Asian nations usually include foreign musicians in their orchestras.

For a man who regularly practices five to six hours daily, he hardly has time to think of anything else.

Piano-playing could be mentally and physically exhausting, and that is where passion comes in for Tristan,who believes that passion and dedication is important if one wants to see a clear path to a career.

Tristan’s recent concert was sponsored by the Canadian Embassy, in celebration of the golden anniversary of Canada-Philippines bilateral relations.