And you are...?
About the beginning
Petra: "I come from a musician family of seven children. We used to play a lot together, I guess that was among the reasons I chose music as a profession. I started with classical violin, that was my ‘official’ instrument, and I learned piano as well, but in a less formal way. After finishing high school, everybody was sure about me pursuing a career as a classical violinist, except myself, who decided to study jazz piano and jazz singing at the conservatory. It really opened the world for me. I’ve always loved improvising and getting over the boundaries of musical genres, and these years helped me find my own voice in music. I also met great people there, including the rhythm section of my trio, so it was the place where it all started in 2014. We began working on my pieces, playing at clubs, competitions and festivals that we enjoyed a lot! A year later I became a student at Franz Liszt Academy, where studying Jazz Composition and Classical Violin gave me the chance to explore the fields I liked the most."
Petra: "I love this city. I’ve been living in the center for a while and it’s great to be in the heart of this pulsing cultural life. A couple of years ago I was really into free jazz and enjoyed discovering the improvised music scene in Budapest, I had the chance to collaborate with outstanding musicians. It really had a great impact on the music I play. Of course you can also find good clubs with mainstream jazz or fusion music too, the great thing is that the boundaries of these categories are blurring, and in my generation, even classical and jazz musicians are getting more and more opened towards each other
Through the ages of history, the Hungarian people underwent many influences from migrations from the east… Péter Sárik said the Hungarians are a very mixed people and therefore also artistically very versatile. Do you agree?
Petra: "That’s absolutely true! For me, Budapest always had this pulsing diversity in the artistic field that is so much fun to be part of. And yes, we have a really exciting cultural heritage with a huge amount of influence from other cultures throughout the centuries. And I think it’s very important to recognise that enriching our culture with external influences is a never-ending process, and treat new ideas not with fear but with an open mind."
Kodály and Bartók?
Petra: "I think that Kodály and Bartók played a crucial role in shaping the way Hungarian people think about folk art in general. Bartók also had a great impact on generations of creators from classical composers to jazz musicians, including myself. I have a very strong connection to his works and easily get under his influence when I improvise."
Petra: "I’m a great fan of Pharoah Sanders and as for jazz pianists, McCoy Tyner is my all-time favorite. There’s this song ‘You’ve Got to Have Freedom’ in which they collaborate, it really captures the “feel of jazz” for me, this piece was among the reasons I chose the jazz department back then. Nature is also an endless source of inspiration, especially human nature, people in general. If I had to choose three famous ones that would be J. S. Bach, Béla Bartók and Kurt Cobain. They all had a great impact on me, their music gets into the deepest layers of our human existence, revealing parts of a world we can’t see."