«You Shouldn't Panic When You Step in»
The 27-year-old Austrian Patrick Hahn makes his debut with the Tonhalle-Orchester Zürich – as a stand-in.
How was your first day with the Tonhalle-Orchester Zürich?
The first impression was fantastic. It's a great orchestra. Everyone is warm and friendly. And it sounds incredible in the newly renovated hall. When you meet someone new, it's always something special.
How do you get to know each other?
It happens relatively quickly. You have heard one thing and another about each other – and then you see if it corresponds to reality.
You have stepped in because David Zinman cannot conduct the concert. Can you briefly describe how that went?
We have been in contact for some time to find a date. Unfortunately, it hasn't worked out so far, and I was all the more pleased when this request came.
And then followed a panicked study of scores?
You shouldn't panic when you step in. You should only take over a concert if you know you can do the repertoire. I have already conducted Bruckner's Symphony No. 4. And then you just have to trust each other. Of course, I know how great the orchestra is and how well they already know the piece. In this situation, as a conductor, I can also let go and see what the orchestra offers and where I want to intervene.
Do you have a special connection to Bruckner?
As an Austrian, I can appreciate this Bruckner character as I imagine it: This quirky, oddball guy, and these big broad masses of sound that move but never stand still. Bruckner is quite close to my heart and the Fourth Symphony in particular – a great piece!
You are still very young, but you have already arrived on the big stages. Does it happen that you are met with scepticism?
In my experience, musicians who are at peace with themselves and convinced of their work never have a problem whether someone is old or young. It can happen that you don't get along, but that has to be art-based. I have the impression that apart from the initial curiosity, age is no longer an issue. Of course, conducting has a lot to do with life experience, and I can't have that yet at 27. But I am at a different point in my life, and that makes the whole thing interesting. Classical music is not a museum art, but is brought to life again and again – so the view of a young conductor is just as exciting as that of an older colleague.
Translated with DeepL.com