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Good things must be passed on: this is the starting-point. Professor Speidel breathes new life into unknown pieces by Mendelssohn’s sister Fanny Hensel, Clara Schumann, or T. Kirchner, all from the 19th century. Her entire interest and energy is dedicated not only to the discovery of unknown works; she also organizes concerts for children, and she is the founder of “Piano Podium” - a network for musicians. Discovering new standards, and passing them on other people, is drawn forward by her inquisitiveness.

You are known for discovering and playing the works of female composers and many other unknown pieces.

I recorded the works of Fanny Hensel, and Clara Schumann. Also I played in concert, variations by Mozart’s son, and a piece for piano four-hands by Johann Beethoven, a brother of Ludwig van Beethoven.

Now, it is internationally known that I am very committed in this field. Therefore, even private persons, who own the original manuscripts, often come to me. Also, radio and television companies request me to record rarely played pieces, and these are not only works from the Romantics, but also from the Impressionists, and modern pieces.

Why do you play such pieces, which did not become well-known in the history of music?

Because this music is so beautiful. In the 19th century, the women were intensively bound to the kitchen, the church, and bringing up their children. Nevertheless, there were some talented women who were able to develop their aptitude. For example Felix Mendelssohn estimated the talent of his sister Fanny Hensel very much, and obviously he was even jealous.

Some of the early published pieces by Felix were really composed by Fanny Hensel. Of course, she could release her compositions later with her own name.

And how do you come to the music of Impressionism and modern music?

There are many contemporary composers, and it is normal to become familiar with their works, reading newspapers and books, or meeting the composers personally. Also, I become acquainted in international competitions with many pieces that I did not know before. If I like something, I want to play it myself and to recommend it to other people.

I estimate your approach being important, that you play not only well-known, but also unknown pieces. Also, you give many children and young people the opportunity to play public concerts.

Yes, we give scholarships to outstanding talented children, and search for possibilities to play concerts, for example in hospitals or other social services. The funds which are collected by my work, give young musicians new opportunities.

This is one of the jobs of the Piano Podium, isn’t it? Surely, this can be compared with the tasks of PTNA. Please continue in this manner!

Translation from German: Dr. Jürgen Rodeland and John Nisbet