He listens to jazz for entertainment but plays the piano for pleasure. Hungarian Moroccan pianist, Marouan Benabdallah, who will be performing at India Habitat Centre in the coming week, hasn’t let success go to his head. He believes it to be quite relative as it can be defined in many ways.
Despite all the popularity he’s amassed with this musical rooted seeped in the Hungarian tradition, success for him means bringing people the joy of cathartic moments.
What he’ll play at the event will depend entirely on his mood that day. His emotions will help his music navigate through the sea of melodies that the enthusiasts will so eagerly gather to hear. However, there are some things he’ll surely play, among them are composers Claude-Achille Debussy, Béla Bartók and Franz Liszt. “I will also be playing Widmung, a transcription of a song by Robert Schumann and La Campanella, a transcription on a Niccolo Paganini concerto,” he says.
With formal training at the Bela Bartok Conservatory and the Franz Liszt Academy in Budapest, he was presented with the Medal of the Hungarian Parliament for his achievement in music in 2008. He shares the honour with reputed artists, including tenors Placido Domingo and José Cura, among others.
His focus in music is exemplary and his skill is enhanced with practise, in addition to listening to other kinds of music. However, it never influences his playing. All that coupled with self-questioning helps him better himself.
The audience has always been on his side. Their support is seen in the numbers that turn up for all his performances. But little do they know the flip side.
“Once you become an achiever, you have to meet certain expectations. Despite your circumstances, you still have to get onto the stage and give the public a good show,” he says. He owes it to them.
The highs and the lows are all a part of his harmonious journey. The reality remains that every time he touches the keys of the piano, its sound transports him to heaven. Even though beginnings are sometimes stressful, the endings are always soulful.
September 13, Stein Auditorium, India Habitat Centre, Lodhi Road, at 7 pm.