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In conversation with Lennart Altgenug

Interview with the German pianist and composer who has recently released his latest album "Ascending & Descending". Bach, Ravel, Debussy and Rachmaninoff among his artistic influences.

An original artist who soon began studying and producing music in various genres and styles.

Sometimes I wonder what I would do if I had a chosen a different path. I really enjoy languages and I think I probably would have studied something along those lines.

Hi Lennart, growing up, how important was music in your life? Can you recall the moment when you decided that you wanted to be a musician? Was it an easy or difficult choice to make?

There wasn’t a single moment that made me decide, but more of a process. When the time came to decide, it wasn’t a difficult choice, because I knew I would regret it if I wouldn’t give it a try.

Was there ever a time when you thought about doing something else? If you weren’t a musician today, what else could you see yourself doing? Would you be as fulfilled in life?

Sometimes I wonder what I would do if I had a chosen a different path. I really enjoy languages and I think I probably would have studied something along those lines. I don’t think that my life would have been as fulfilling, because I don’t do so well with having an office job and a superior that tells you what to do. In the end I feel that making music and having freedom matters more than whatever positive sides there would be to any other job.

What has been the biggest surprise so far about making music your career? What has been an unexpected or welcome challenge to it all?

It has taken me to a lot of different places, mainly the Netherlands and India, where I worked as a music teacher and film composer. Every time you travel, you gain new experiences that can be the source of inspiration.

Let’s talk about your brand new project. What was the inspiration for this album? How do you think it prepares listeners for more music from you?

I would go back to what I just said: The main source of inspiration for this last album came from travelling and living in different places. In my mind, it’s the musical expression of some of the experiences I accumulated during the past there years.

What has it been like keeping up with your social media accounts and all of the different platforms? Is it hard to stay up to date on it all? What would you say is your favorite way to connect with your fans now? What has social media done for your career?

I am relatively new to social media as a means of promotion and I am glad that my label is helping me with that. My favourite way to connect with listeners is in person after a concert.

Who are some of your favorite artists or rather, what musicians have continued to inspire you and your music? Who would you absolutely love to work with in the future?

I am mostly inspired by classical composers such as Bach, Ravel, Debussy and Rachmaninoff to name a few. With regards to collaborations, there isn’t one specific person that comes to mind. I am looking forward to collaborating with more excellent musicians of any kind that will make my music come alive.

At the end of the day, what do you hope people take away from your music?

I hope my music can inspire people and just leave them with a good feeling.

What are some goals that you have for yourself this year? How close are you to reaching them?

This year is a bit turbulent, but my main goal right now is to improve my home studio so I will be able to record and produce my next projects at home, I hope to reach that goal by the end of this year.

Artist bio

Lennart Altgenug has worked as a composer for several short films, including the films entitled Anton and Gameboy, which were featured at the Netherlands Film Festival. In addition to composing for films, Lennart has been composing and arranging for many ensembles. He has written four compositions for string quartet which have been performed at the Amsterdam Grachtenfestival. Lennart has earned a Bachelor‘s Degree in jazz piano, and a Masters Degree in film composition from the Conservatory of Amsterdam. Besides being a composer, he was also active as a pianist in various bands. In 2014, he recorded his Album 'Memory Lane' which featured his original jazz compositions. Since then, he spent two years in Mumbai (India). Besides being head of the piano department at The True School of Music he was also performing regularly and composed for a variety of short films and series for Indian television. Since 2018, he has been living and working as a composer and teacher in Berlin, Germany. His composition style has moved away from jazz and improvised music towards (neo-)classical music. Soon his new album 'Ascending and Descending' will be released with Blue Spiral Records.

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