Margarita Höhenrieder: What was the strongest influence for you by finding your own style of composing?
Françoise Choveaux: My father was a painter. So I would say „I paint music“. I have always been influenced by painting – by colour and material. My father was listening to music of the late 19th and 20th century. Therefore the french magazine Nouvel Observateur described my style in the tradition of Claude Debussy and Maurice Ravel - but adapted to the 21th century.
The title of all my smphonys have colour names, I want to give you two examples: op.2 „Symphonie Indigo“ dedicated to the famous painter Arthur Vanhecke and op.100 „Symphonie Blanche“ for orchestra and organ, which had the first performance in Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Paris some years ago.
M.H.: You have just finished your op.230. You are composer and pianist at the same time: Does the piano have a special "ranking" for your composing?
F.C.: When I start to compose, I usually write for other instruments like strings because it gives me the most creative freedom. Composing for the piano means finding my own style and being less flexible. When I start to work with modern art museums I had a revelation: I came back to the painting and so I had to reproduct the painting into piano music.
M.H.: Two years ago when you composed the three Intermezzi op.210 which you dedicated to me, what kind of association did you have? Did you eventually think about the time in Baltimore where we first met during our studies?
F.C.: Yes I did. One title means: Margarita. It describes your character: full of power like a hunting leopard on the one side and so sensitive and also generous on the other side. This is the way Margarita is and the way she performs. The other Intermezzi are about inspiration and the beauty of nature. I think about Brahms basically. When I arrived at the lake of Starnberg I was feeling a strong magnetism for composing. Next time I will compose in this inspiring landscape.
M.H.: That is wonderful, Françoise. I would like to thank you for your beautiful music and for this interview. We hope to have you here again soon!