26 Jul 2015

Tessa Birnie

From Appointment, 7:00 pm on 26 July 2015

Tessa Birnie CD cover
Photos of Tessa Birnie from the Schubert Piano Sonatas, CD released by ABC Classics.

I wanted everything to come from the composer through me, alone….and to do this I decided the first thing was to study music I’d never heard anybody else play, because that would at least prevent me from any form of imitation. And this is how I came to play Schubert – because the Schubert Sonatas were unknown territory. With Schnabel I had only studied the Moments Musicaux, and a set of Dances that he had collected. So I thought for two years I will just play, I will study, I won’t do any concerts, and I will take music I don’t know – and great music. And I started with the last sonatas and the Wanderer Fantasy – I started at the end, and went back! And then, at the end of that two years I was invited to give concerts in Vienna.

- Tessa Birnie

A tribute to the distinguished New Zealand pianist Tessa Birnie who died in 2008, presented by Peter Mechen.

Tessa Birnie in the NZ Listener
The N.Z. Listener, 1965.

Get the RNZ app

for easy access to all your favourite programmes