INTERVIEW – After Marine Chabot (season 3), 16-year-old Simone Lopez is the second clarinetist to win the famous France 2 classic talent competition. Let’s meet this very talented young man from Saint-Julien-en-Geneva in Haute-Savoie, discreet. And calm during peak periods.
TV Magazine. – On Air Arrange Queen of the Night by Mozart then cover clesmer dance By Goran Frost You’ve beaten Malin, the 11-year-old dancer and Anjali, the 14-year-old singer. How did you feel when you declared your victory over France 2?
Simon Lopez. I felt proud mixed with a little sadness because it all ends so quickly. At the end of the semi-finals, I knew I still had a chance to play with the orchestra. For me, everyone deserves to win. We all hope so, but I really thought I didn’t have much of a chance of winning the title because “The Miracle” had already rewarded Marin, another clarinetist. And since only one dancer, Melvin, is the winner so far, I thought it would be a great tribute to Patrick Dupond died this year (March 5, 2021, editor’s note) If a jury nominates someone from the dance class…
I’ve thought about it, tell me!
I’ve been watching “Prodiges” for a long time and have already tried to score without necessarily ending my orders. But this year was the last as I was progressing towards the minimum age at the time of registration. “Prodiges” in France 2 is my first big competition.
It wasn’t trivial to embody a 16-year-old Queen of the Night From magic flute By Mozart, at the conclusion of “Prodiges”…
(He laughs). It was a huge technical challenge. I decided to play while having fun while conveying the emotions on my face and through body expressions. Many people know this melody, with different versions in mind. I am proud to have been the first to play this creation for clarinet and orchestra and I thank the organizer of “Prodiges” for giving me this opportunity. The sound of the clarinet is still very close to the human voice.
How do you feel with a symphony orchestra with over 65 musicians behind you?
I was under a lot of pressure during the first rehearsal at the Salle Colonne in the 13th arrondissement in Paris, with maestro Zahia Ziouane and the whole orchestra two meters away from me! Then the clarinetist came to see me and the musicians, all benevolent ones, applauded me at the end… After this experience, the orchestra seemed to me more of a support than an element of tension. Then, on the set, Faustin Pollaert was very kind because she motivated us and the applause of the audience warmed my heart.
Tell us about Kleismir, this festive music of the Jewish communities of Central Europe…
With klezmer, you really need the character, otherwise you will get a little bored. It turns out that Martin Frost, Goran’s brother who composed clesmer danceHe is the star of the clarinet. I liked him and watched him play on You Tube since I was a kid. I received grades at the end of June and worked on the piece for 4 hours a day last summer. I am very happy that I was able to play it in front of the audience and the jury. Gautier Capuçon (juror instrumentalists, editor’s note) showed me how to move better on stage in the semi-finals I was very focused on the artistic side…in the final, I was much more relaxed.
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Are reflections that make you think of the saxophone easy?
You need a mouthpiece that is comfortable, in the cool position, without getting too caught in the head, and not putting too much pressure on the mouthpiece.
The Geneva Conservatory is the closest to Saint-Juliennes?
Saint-Julien-en-Genevois is part of the transnational conglomerate in Greater Geneva, and this conservatory offers plenty of interesting things to do, such as playing with the French-speaking Switzerland Orchestra. I’m pre-professional when I was in high school initially, in France. I spend most of my free time playing the clarinet. Camille Bertolet, the first winner of “Prodiges” also studied in Geneva but was already at a higher level.
How did you choose your musical instrument?
I chose it while listening to a CD Piccolo Saxo et Compagnie (The little story of a great orchestra with all its instruments, editor’s note), about 6 or 7 years old. Flashed on the clarinet. I ordered one from my parents aren’t musicians, and since the day I received it, I’ve never stopped playing it!
What would you do with €10,000 and what are your plans for the album at Warner Classics?
Oh there, then there! I’m thinking of saving them for the day I need them. We are thinking of an album that will definitely combine the two songs you gave in “Prodiges” in France 2. My favorite classical composer is Rachmaninov but I also listen to rock, rap, song and French music. African.
Later Simon, you see yourself…
Soloist, this is my dream. I hope it comes true, but it’s a good start…
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