Updated: Jul 27, 2019



E: Can you tell me why you came to this competition in Mechelen?

A: The competition is the only reason why I came here.

E: Is the competition well known everywhere?

A: Within the carillon community is this the biggest competition in the community.

E: Is it the biggest worldwide?

A: The biggest carillon competition worldwide.

E: Do you think that this gives you a lot of possibilities now you won the first price?

A: I imagine it will open a fair number of doors for recitals. That the people want to hear the finalist of the Fabiola competition in the following years, 2 or 3 year or even really after that, people follow mine carillon career.

E: Had you before also recitals or not?

A: no, I have not given many recitals at all. I gave a few, I gave 3 recitals last summer, a year ago, all in the United States. An I’m giving about 20 recitals this summer.

E: All in the United States?

A: Mostly, two in Canada. But this is my second summer doing recitals.

E: So, there is no other competition that is as interesting as the Koningin Fabiola competition?

A: No, this is the top of the hill for carillon competitions.

E: Were the pieces to play very difficult? You didn’t have the choice, you had to play the piece composed by Stefano Colletti and conducted by Rik Ghesquière and his ensemble The Art of Brass.

A: Yes, it was all definitely very challenging, and each piece has his own challenge. I don’t know if I would say definitively that one piece is more difficult than another piece. There were other pieces in my repertoire that were as challenging, everything is challenging in a different way.

E: Was it the first time that you had to play with an ensemble and conductor, Rik Ghesquière?

A: This is the first time I played carillon with other instruments. But I have played it a lot of summers before doing percussion, because my background is percussion.

E: So, you like also percussion, will you continue?

A: I haven’t played much percussion since I started the carillon four years. But I will take it back to it more.

E: I can understand that. Why did you choose Carillon and not another instrument?

A: I found out about it. So, I started playing the instrument at my undergraduate. This is at the university of Rochester (N.Y.) and I found out about it in a campus store. I found students plying the bells. And I had never heard of anything like this. What hugs me so quickly was definitively how rare and unique and interesting it was. All the more how rare this makes it so interesting. It was just a stroke of what that I happen tot be at the university with carillon teachers. My degree is actually physic but, it was possible, and I started, and I really liked it. I liked the community too, so I started putting more and more time into it. It’s really wonderful.

E: But you also like physics?

A: Yeah.

E: Dot you prefer to continue to play carillon as a professional?

A: I would love to take carillon as far as it goes. Definitively.

E: Are you the only one who is musician in your family?

A: Yeah, only professional musician, yeah. My sister is still in her under graduating, but her projected career is not musical. In fact, it is horse riding and my parents both have a financial career.

Alex Johnson en RIk Ghesquière

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