The famous French pianist François Killian was in Addis Ababa to mark the 200th birth day of Franz Liszt’s with a piano concert series. Franz Liszt’s was a devoted Austro-Hungarian composer, pianist and conductor who became renowned across Europe in the 19th century in particular for his outstanding skill as a pianist.
This is the first time that Franz Liszt has come to Ethiopia and his second visit to Africa. His first visit was 18 years ago to Zimbabwe.
“I am very happy to come to this historical country to celebrate Franz Liszt’s 200th birthday. He was the most technically advanced pianist of his age and one of the greatest pianists of all time,” François Killian told Capital in a short interview at Yared School of Music. He is enthusiastic about the interest he has observed among younger Ethiopians in the piano concert.
“The hall is nice and very spacious. It is a great opportunity for me to take part in this concert series,” said the French pianist. The concert series began on December 5 and will come to a close on the 19th of December.
Born in Paris in 1962, François Killian has shown from an early age, musical and piano gifts which led him, at age 13 to the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique de Paris in Jean and Geneviève Doyen’s class. Two years later, George Cziffra heard him playing a Concerto of Scriabine with the Philharmonic Orchestra of Radio France and encouraged his vocation.
For several years, François carried on his study at the CNSM of Paris with Ventsislav Yankoff and at the same time studied chamber music, harmony and counterpoint. In 1980, he won the first prizes for piano and chamber music. The same year, he was admitted to postgraduate studies in the advanced course, François Killian won at 19, the ARD International Piano Contest of Münich.
François Killian is also a member of the Charis Ensemble composed of solo players from the main German orchestras and specialized in wind and string instruments with piano from the trio to the octet.
The Franz Liszt piano festival officially opened in mid October. The concert series drew five internationally popular pianists including François Killian. The young Polish pianist Grzegorz Niemzcuk was the first. The Bulgarian Atanas Kutev who is a piano professor came next. The third was the Italian Carlo Michini.