The young Luxembourg-born pianist has a strong sense of drama and detail, as well as fine fingers and a big-hearted conceptual approach.
Jessica Duchen – **** BBC MUSIC, 2012/11
“A truly superb pianist.”
-Philippe van den Bosch, Classica
“A major talent.”
-Bryce Morrison, Gramophone
In 1999 at Bratislava, Muller was a laureate of the Tribune Internationale des Jeunes Interprètes, organized by the European Broadcasting Union on behalf of UNESCO.
In 2004, he received the first prize at three French piano competitions in Arcachon, Vanves (Jean Françaix) and Brive (Francis Poulenc).
In 2007, Grand Duke Henri of Luxembourg elevated Jean Muller to the rank of Knight of the Civil and Military Order of Merit of Adolph of Nassau in gratitude for his performances during official state visits.
Interest in music …
I was born into a family of musicians, so the interest developed rather naturally. My father is a pianist and my mother plays the viola in the “Orchestre Philharmonique du Luxembourg”. Thus I have known very early large chunks of the repertoire for piano and strings and I had the privilege to assist to countless orchestra concerts since my early childhood.
The main focus of my repertoire is on Beethoven, Chopin and Liszt. In 2013 I have been touring the program of my Chopin Recital CD, and last year I fulfilled one of my childhood’s dream by performing live in concert the complete set of the Transcendental Etudes by Liszt along with Horowitz’s transcription of the Mephisto-Waltz No1. I also realized a complete performance of the Beethoven-Sonatas in concert, which has been released as a live recording on the German label Bella Musica.
Future projects include the complete set of Mozart Sonatas, as well as touring a recital with a programme of Russian music and last but not least several performances of Bach’s Goldberg Variations.
What is the most difficult thing you have overcome as a pianist?
As a concert pianist you have to face being on stage, which implies that one should be both very sensitive and totally without fear to perform. I believe this is a major difficulty for any artist, and the most difficult thing to overcome. You have to embrace your innermost deep emotions while being able to control them. It is a balance for which you have to fight every day!
Which living concert pianists influence you and why?
I would like to quote 3 pianists: Radu Lupu, Maria Joao Pires and Lang Lang. Lupu for his ability to transform any hall into a temple of music, Pires for the sheer emotional authenticity she brings to the scores she performs and Lang Lang for his showmanship which never lacks of the highest musical intelligence paired with absolute command of the keyboard.
Any advice to young pianists out there who wish to pursue a career as concert pianists?
The same I give to my students when they ask me whether they should pursue a career as a pianist: Don’t do it! Only those who really need to become a concert pianist will get there, and they don’t need my advice.
Your hopes for the future…
Personally I enjoy the present, because the only time you can do something is now! As for humanity: well as long that we know there is the concept of hope, not all is lost…