BERLIN – Ivan Ilić – Reicha Rediscovered Vol 2 – Piano Salon Christophori – 20/09/2018


Contemplating the Muse

No 18

Linda Ibbotson

From grandeur to graffiti, bohemian Berlin’s creative vibe is its raison d’etre.

Thrilled to revisit for Ivan Ilić’s wonderful concert and CD launch Reicha  Rediscovered Vol 2 which particularly focuses on counterpoint and fugue. Chandos Records.

You can be forgiven in thinking from the outside the Piano Salon Christophori is simply another urban warehouse.  In fact, the former tram depot is now transformed into an  eclectic antique piano restoration workshop with a Bohemian sensibility and is one of Berlin’s most revered intimate classical music venues located in the Wedding district, run by neurologist Christoph Schreiber founder, director and piano restorer!

Pianist Ivan Ilić earned degrees in mathematics and music at the University of California Berkeley before moving to Paris on a university fellowship. He then studied at the Conservatoire Supérieur de Paris, where he took a Premier Prix. The City of Paris sponsored his first recording.
Early career highlights included recitals at Carnegie Hall, Wigmore Hall, Ireland’s National Concert Hall, Toronto’s Glenn Gould Studio, and the American Academy in Rome. He recently gave recital débuts in Vienna, Sao Paulo and Geneva.


Exciting news – Ivan has been appointed Musician in Residence at Ulster University   for 2018-2021

Ivan’s website –


Seductive light from chandeliers and scattered lamps illuminate a cornucopia of pianistic delights! A beautiful Bösendorfer sits aplomb a piano shaped stage. Parts patiently waiting to be assembled are the accoutrements of these industrial walls.

Piano Salon Christophori website –


To complement his Reicha Rediscovered CD series for Chandos Ivan recently filmed a 4-part documentary series about Antoine Reicha which he wrote and presented.

 NO-TE productions.

 1 Berlin –

 2 Bonn –

3 Hamburg –

4 Vienna –



A review in the NEW YORK TIMES


BBC Music, November 2018 issue.
★★★★★ Performance / ★★★★★ Recording
“Reicha’s music has the best possible advocate”


Track samples and purchase –


Who is Reicha you may be asking?

Czech composer Antoine Reicha (1770 – 1836) Born in Prague. After the death of his father he was adopted by his Aunt and Uncle who was a virtuoso cellist, conductor and composer, and moved with them to Bonn when he was 15 years old.  In Bonn, Antoine played violin and  flute in the court chapel, alongside another young gentleman, also born in 1770, Ludwig van Beethoven. Living in Hamburg, Leipzig, Vienna and Paris he was a teacher of  accomplished musicians of the day  including Liszt, Gounod, Berlioz and César Franck.  In Paris he was appointed a professor at the Paris Conservatory. He was also an accomplished theorist and wrote several treatises on composition. Some of his theoretical work dealt with experimental methods which he applied in a variety of works such as fugues and etudes for piano and string quartets. Until now much of his music was left unpublished in France’s National Library.

Here, thanks to Ivan Ilić we glimpse through a portal into the life and works of this innovative composer –


 A theatrical assemblage in blue, the perfect backdrop!



Christoph Schreiber, founder, director, also a neurologist whose passion to restore antique piano’s has created this magnificent artsy eclectic space for classical music concerts. It is a non profit venue and there is an honesty jar for cd and ticket purchase price.


Ivan plays with clarity and sensitivity, powerful and yet gentle at the same time which I find rare and expresses an enthusiasm for research that is contagious!  This CD is exceptional from the first haunting track; Étude, Op 97 No 1 to the finale and it is extremely refreshing to hear these phenomenal little known compositions.

The concert programme – Haydn Sonata in C major Hob XVI:50 – Reicha 4 Etudes – Satie 3 Gymnopédies, 4 Gnossiennes – Grieg 11 Lyric pieces

A very attentive and appreciative audience as the concert drew to a close.





Much appreciation to Ivan for the time spent after the concert for me to take photographs.





Reminiscent of an Edward Hopper painting, a photo taken during the interval.

There is much to be said for a sense of adventure. As Reicha explored with ambition and tenacity new avenues of composition,  at times ahead of his contemporaries, so too let us flourish as we embrace each new day with passion and enthusiasm.

Thank you to Christoph Schreiber for his hard work and dedication, to Ivan Ilić for bringing to our ears exciting unknown compositions and to you all for joining me here at the Piano Salon Christophori, Berlin.  Naturally, I feel inevitably compelled to return Until then, I will listen to Ivan Ilićs wonderful CD and reminisce.


Hotel Henri









Further Links –

France Musique –







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