Wednesday, April 8, 2015

A Chat with Miroslav Sekera, the child Mozart in Amadeus

Remember the amazing child musician who embodied the ultimate prodigy, Mozart, in the 1984 film Amadeus, directed by Milos Forman?

That boy is now the internationally-recognized pianist, Miroslav Sekera, and he’s in Boston rehearsing with Shakespeare Concerts. This week, we caught up with Mr. Sekera about portraying the famous composer as a child, his musical background, and what he’s up to in Boston.

Don’t miss his performance in the Oscar-winning film, on the big screen this Friday, April 10 at 7PM at the Somerville Theatre! Featuring a live performance by Duncan Rock (BLO’s Don Giovanni) a beer special from Aeronaut Brewery, a raffle, and more. Learn more.

Miroslav Sekera

BLO: Was Amadeus your first movie? What was the audition process like? How old were you?
Miroslav Sekera: Yes, it was my first experience with movies. I was seven years old. Luckily, there was no audition process for the role. They were filming several scenes in Prague, and were looking for a child musician who could play both violin and piano (cembalo). They inquired at a very well-known music school, where I studied, so we connected through my teachers.

BLO: What was the filming process like? What are your memories or stories about the process?
MS: I remember one story very clearly: My first tooth fell out, so we were worried about filming. Forman’s assistant told me, no problem, they will make something [a fake tooth] in the make-up room for you. But Mr. Forman stopped us and said, “Calm down, Mozart’s teeth fell out when he was a boy also!” It is very funny, because in my scene I don’t smile and I keep my mouth closed!

BLO: What was your musical training and background like at that point? Did you come from a musical family?
MS: I'm not from a musical family, though all my family members like to sing together, mainly folk songs. I started my [formal] musical education when I was three years old. We visited a very well-known piano teacher for children, Zdena Janzurova. She tried my talent and told me and my grandmother: “He could start learning violin, he has perfect pitch.” We agreed, but I told her that I wanted to play the piano also. So thanks to my grandmother, I studied with her in Prague twice a week.

BLO: Were you already doing professional gigs as a child, or did you decide to make music your career later?
MS: Music was always the clear choice for me. I practiced my instrument every day since I was three years old, and I was called a “child prodigy.” Plus, I love music! When I was fifteen years old, I began studying piano at the Prague Conservatory. I continued to play violin as a hobby. I received some prizes from international competitions, but when some people heard about my performance in an Oscar-winning movie, that felt like the greatest point in my professional career, paradoxically!

BLO: Are you a Mozart fan?
MS: Of course! Mozart is one of greatest composers ever. His music is beautifully clear, but also is one of the most difficult for interpretation.

BLO: What projects are you working on now and why are you currently in Boston? What are your interests as an artist?
MS: Right now, I am working with the composer Joseph Summer, as he prepares the premiere of his opera, The Tempest. We have collaborated together for more than ten years. I like his music, it is so emotional.

I have many upcoming concerts in my country [the Czech Republic] and in Europe. For example, next month I have three recitals in my country and am recording a CD of a piano concerto by B. Martinu. Next year, the violinist Josef Spacek (my good friend and a finalist in the International Queen Elisabeth Competition in Brussels) and I will play together in Washington, DC, at the Kennedy Center for Performing Arts.

Don’t miss Mr. Sekera’s appearance in The Tempest, a new chamber opera by Joseph Summer, with Shakespeare Concerts. Performing Friday, April 17 at the Somerville Theatre. Tickets available here!

No comments:

Post a Comment