Maria João Pires, piano
I was born on 23 July 1944 in Lisbon. At the age of 4, I gave my first public performance; I began my studies of music and piano with Campos Coelho and Francine Benoît, continuing later in Germany, with Rosl Schmid and Karl Engel. In addition to those concerts, I have made recordings for Erato for fifteen years and Deutsche Grammophon for twenty years.
Since the 1970s, I have dedicated myself to reflecting the influence of art in life, community and education, trying to discover new ways of establishing this way of thinking in society. I have searched for new ways which, respecting the development of individuals and cultures, encourage the sharing of ideas.
In 1999, I created the Centre for the Belgais Centre for the Study of the Arts in Portugal. We regularly offer interdisciplinary workshops for professional musicians and music lovers. In the Belgais concert hall concerts and recordings regularly take place. In future these will be shared with the international digital community (pay and non-pay).
In 2012, in Belgium, I initiated two complementary projects; the Partitura Choirs, a project which creates and develops choirs for children from disadvantaged backgrounds as in Belgium the „Hesperos Choir, and the Partitura Workshops. All the Partitura projects have the aim to create an altruistic dynamic between artists of different generations by proposing an alternative in a world too often focused on competitiveness. This philosophy is being spread worldwide at Partitura projects and workshops.
Lilit Grigoryan, piano
I was born in Armenia into a family where music was and is present every single day.
I was very fortunate to have wonderful piano teachers who played an important and profound role in my musical life and development. I would like to offer my gratitude to all of them for their guidance: Arkuhi Harutyunyan, Prof. Sergey Sarajyan, Prof. Matthias Kirschnereit and my last teacher Maria João Pires. I feel very inspired and lucky to continue my close musical relationship and friendship with Maria João, to collaborate with her by sharing the stage together and to work with her on her different projects.
I have been living in Germany, in Belgium, now in Portugal, have visited and played in 27 countries. Every new place, new persons and new experience gives me huge source of inspiration and has also in a way an impact on my musical interpretations.
For me the Days of Wisdom Festival is an invitation for all of us, artists or audience, to leave our daily life and problems by side and find the space and the calm to contemplate, reflect, connect and be present in the walls of the beautiful monastery of Cervià.
Jiana Peng, piano
Born in Sichuan, China, I started learning piano at the age of seven. I have lived in Cleveland, Ohio, United States for over six years and earned my Bachelor and Master of Music degrees from the Cleveland Institute of Music under the guidance of Antonio Pompa-Baldi and Haesun Paik. I am currently pursuing my Artist Diploma at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music studying with Stanislav Ioudenitch.
My interest in music dates to my years in kindergarten and performing the piano has been my dream ever since. Besides playing the piano, I had been a dancer for 14 years. Dancing has played a key role in my music studying. It stimulates my artistic imagination and teaches me to be perseverant in the journey of seeking beauty and artistry. Choreographing a dance work for me is relatable to composing music and requires me to draw inspiration from various social experiences, which shows me the art’s ability to connect with life and raise awareness of social crisis. I also serve as a church keyboardist and choir accompanist in Cleveland. Having helped produce concerts that combine dance, choir, and theater with participants of different generations and cultures, I witnessed the impact of art and music on life, community, and education. These experiences have driven me every day to strive for better as a musician and artist.
I have been an admirer of Ms. Maria Pires since I was a child and her artistic vision and philosophy strike a chord with me. I was extremely excited when I was given the opportunity to participate in Ms. Pires’s piano workshop in summer 2018 in Dubrovnik, Croatia. It was truly a bless to have spent a week with her who invited me to enjoy the pure joy of playing music. It is my hope that in participating in the Days of Wisdom Festival together with Ms. Maria Pires and Ms. Lilit Grigoryan, audiences are invited to be immersed in a peaceful and secluded space where music creates an intimate relationship among one another; where musicians could altruistically share their artistic ideas and propose an alternative to the contemporary musical society which too often is distracted by the commercial and focuses on competitiveness.
Talar Derkmanjian, soprano
Native of Aleppo with Armenian parents, I discovered my passion for singing on High School. Thanks to the religious sisters support from the school, I met my first singing teacher, Arax Chekidjian, who introduced me to the world of opera and classical singing and gave me the desire to pursue a lyrical career.
I began my studies at the High Institute of Music in Damascus, then I continued my training at the Maastricht Conservatoire, at the École Normale de Musique Alfred Cortot in Paris, as well as at the Opera Studio of the Théâtre de la Monnaie in Brussels and the Chapelle Musicale Reine Elisabeth with the baritone José Van Dam, with whom I had the honor of sharing the stage on several occasions.
My repertoire includes sacred music, lieder and opera. Since my childhood, I have been attracted to the interpretation of roles, but over time I discover that I like as much the simplicity of the lied and the sacred music.
I am pleased to share with Maria João Pires my interest in the music of Komitas in which I express my cultural roots. I am very pleased to be able to participate in this first edition of the Festival Cervià de Ter, where creativity will be protected in a place whose history is at the center of our attention.