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Cork Independent

Lifestyle & Leisure

She’s the piano woman

Wednesday, 30th September, 2020 2:20pm

There’s no two ways about it, multi award-winning Cork pianist Ellen Jansson is a bit of a big deal.

At just 24, the CIT School of Music graduate has already played in many prominent venues at home and abroad, including some place in New York known locally as Carnegie Hall. Proud recipient of the Cork Orchestral Society Emerging Artist Award, amongst other accolades, Ellen has recently returned home to Cork after spending a year in Berlin.

“My parents were both piano teachers and I think I was probably surrounded by music every day from birth, and even before I’m told,” says Ellen.

Ellen first became a student at CIT School of Music when she was just six, taking lessons in piano and cello as well as a wide variety of academic classes, orchestras and chamber music.

“The arts and, for me, music in particular are so fundamentally important and an indispensable part of our society. Music has been a source of comfort in difficult times and a celebration in good. It has the ability to express the inexpressible.”

Ellen spent much of the lockdown pursuing her interests in photography and reading and tells me that she is “remaining optimistic” that the Covid-19 pandemic will soon pass and allow the arts to flourish once more.

“During the initial months of lockdown, the entire industry tried to adapt and provided so many wonderful online events and concerts. This was a wonderful gift and source of solace to people going through a difficult time, but it is not sustainable,” says Ellen.

Looking to the future, Ellen has big plans and says she would ideally love to have a “varied career” allowing her to perform, accompany and teach to her heart’s content.

“I’ve just finished a Masters in Piano Performance and will hopefully start a doctorate in the next couple of years. There are so many people I want to play with and pieces I want to explore, it’s amazing what a depth of works for piano there is out there. I’ll never run out.”

Turning attention to a long running matter of Leeside discussion and controversy, I ask Ellen if she will come and play at the Cork events centre, if it ever actually gets built.

“I would be delighted to perform in the new events centre, I always love performing in Cork as the audience is so warm and welcoming and full of familiar faces. The project would be a huge boost to the music scene in Cork and I sincerely hope it won’t be too long before we see it.”

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