Q&A with Louis Schwizgebel

by Franck Mercurio

Louis-Schwizgebel-09_credit-Marco-Borrgreve500x750.jpgYour official biography states that you were “born into a family of artists from Switzerland and China.” Which types of art does your family create? And which of your family members has most influenced your work as an artist?

I come from a family of visual artists. I am the only one who pursued music professionally. My family are music lovers and inspired my artistic pursuits.

There has been a recent surge in interest in Florence Price’s music. What draws you to her music, and specifically Price’s Piano Concerto in One Movement?

I find that Florence Price’s music has great charm and is powerful in communicating profound sentiments. She creates melodies that you hear once, love, and that stay in your head.

You are collaborating with conductor Thomas Wilkins on a number of occasions this season, including the performances in Cincinnati. How did this partnership begin, and what makes for a good working relationship between musician and conductor?

We met recently and performed the Florence Price concerto with the Louisiana Philharmonic. I really appreciated Maestro Wilkins’ insight into the piece. I think what makes for a good working relationship between musician and conductor is having a similar musical approach and sensibilities.