Her physical appearance is that of a young girl with blue eyes. She is elegant, and has a smile that is both noble and sweet.
At first sight she looks fragile, delicate – but see her sitting before the musical instrument that has been her inseparable friend since early childhood and she is transformed into a force of nature. Her fingers move energetically over the keyboard in a totally individual and personalized way and the public are fascinated by her dignified and brilliant interpretations.
The first time you meet her, what can’t go unnoticed – besides her courteous and easy-going manner – is her knowledge and exact articulation of the Albanian language. She could put many of her peers to shame, both inside and outside Albania, for her native tongue has remained untouched by any of the foreign languages that she had to learn in her teenage years for her many study trips abroad.
She is Ardita Statovci, an Albanian pianist, who was born in Prishtina, Kosovo. She began studying the piano as a child in her native town, and at the age of 15 she was accepted by the ‘ Mozarteum University’ in Salzburg, Austria, where she graduated with excellent marks. Her studies continued at Indiana University, Bloomington, USA, and then at the Piano Academy in Imola, where she completed the post-graduate course.
As a young pianist with excellent results in her career, she is now known internationally; she has performed alongside artists, musicians and conductors of international caliber, and she has been the recipient of a series of awards and scholarships as well as the critical acclaim of the international press.
Hello Ardita. Welcome to Albania News.
Hi, nice to meet you, thank you for your invitation!
Could we tell our readers, Ardita, from which country you’re talking to us right now?
At the moment I’m traveling from Italy to Austria, but I’ve got enough calm and concentration for this interview.
Where are you from, what is your nationality?
I am Albanian, my hometown is Prishtina, Kosovo. I lived there until the age of 15, and shortly after that I moved to Austria, to Salzburg, which is known as the “Mozart City”, for reasons of study.
What place does Kosovo occupy in your heart? Do you often go back to your hometown?
Kosovo is and forever remains my birthplace. The country where I spent my childhood, where I was educated, where I learned to play the piano. The country that gave me a strong foundation for my character, that gave me affection, and that taught me not to be set back but to overcome the difficulties of life. The country that taught me the meaning of work, and that gave me the energy and willingness to learn and to develop and deepen my knowledge.
CertainIy I visit it often, and not only for the concerts, but also for pleasure.
When did your passion for the piano begin? Do you come from an artistic family?
We had a piano at home ; my parents and my sisters used to play it in their free time. Everyone else in my family is connected with science, in one field or another, but they are great admirers of art.
The piano was always there and I seem to have regarded it as something that always belonged to me, as a matter of my own. This feeling was, and still is, quite natural.
At the age of 15 you left your home-country and you moved to Austria. You were at a young age, and in a foreign country, and so on the one hand there was your passion for the piano and on the other the difficulties of living in a foreign land, so which was the stronger? How did you react to this?
Today, from the adult Ardita’s point of view, I see it differently, but at that time, it was my passion that caused me trouble day and night and that required many sacrifices – it was the music, the piano, my personal progress, the study of the repertoire, the study of history of art, musical analysis, the philosophy and psychology of music, etc…. these were all elements that caught my concentration and time was flying by without my realizing it.
So I had no time to think that I was only 15 years old, or that I was living away from my family, since my main goal – the piano – had priority over everything and the desire on my part to achieve it was huge, unlimited.
So what was needed without any reservations was hard work and at home my parents had taught us:”With commitment you get everything! “This was the golden rule and the starting point for everything.
So talent and disciplined study: an essential combination for Ardita…
Talent without discipline cannot exist, because it cannot grow. You can’t, like the delicate bud, turn into an attractive rose.
The very act of playing the piano is a physical and athletic act – quite apart from the emotional and intellectual side. Therefore you need to study for hours every day. Only in this way can you exist as an instrumentalist.
Have you recently held concerts in Kosovo? Or in Albania? Have you ever gone to Albania simply as a tourist?
I had a concert in Kosovo last year, and I had one in Albania in April 2013 as a soloist, accompanied by the orchestra of the Albanian Radio and Television. It was a great experience and I was given a very warm reception.
Who is your favorite composer?
There are so many and each of them has their own peculiarities. The beauty of their work is represented in different ways and I think that each of them overwhelms you with something special, even including the Albanian composers.
Have you studied composition? Have you composed any song yourself or are you only a performer?
First of all I am a performer ; however, during my studies at the”Mozarteum University”in Salzburg, Austria, we also had the subject of Harmony – this meant we had to compose by ourselves. And yes, I have composed some songs.
And a concert that you carry in your heart…?
Each concert has its own particular nature. I can’t distinguish one from the others. Each is an experience in itself, each offers an emotion in itself.
What advice would you give to young pianists who have finished their studies in this field and want to follow the footsteps of real artists?
To exist as a professional musician, you need to feel unconditional love for music and also to have the discipline of work. But you also must possess a spirit of sacrifice regarding your own personal needs. In my opinion, only if a person possesses these characteristics can he or she confront the difficulties of the art world.
May I say that while talking to you I’ve been struck not only by your courtesy and education but also by your exact use of the Albanian language? Could you explain why this might be?
Thank you very much for your compliment.
While living for a long time in different countries around the world, I learned foreign languages, but Albanian is my first language and I devote a lot of attention to it.
In Prishtina, Kosovo, at elementary school we had a teacher who is a good connoisseur of the Albanian language – Seniha Vokshi – and I think I had the good fortune to gain a solid linguistic basis.
In addition, as a child, I read constantly and even today I try in every way not to neglect the language, but to enrich and deepen it more and more.
I think that if you don’t know your own language thoroughly, you can’t learn other languages well.
“Our language is so good, so sweet, so wide, so easy, so loyal, so beautiful, so important!” It’s a quotation from the Albanian poet Frashëri.
You also studied at Imola in Italy, didn’t you? What other cities have you visited? What do you like most about Italy?
At Imola there’s the famous Piano Academy and I consider studying at that institution a very important and valuable part of my life.
I have visited some other cities of Italy and what fascinates me most is their architecture – and this not only in beautiful Rome, but also in small towns. It inspires and fascinates me every time. I think Italian architecture is unique.
Any concerts planned soon? Your professional plans for the future?
I’ve just finished a concert tour in Germany, and soon I’ll be beginning another one in Austria, then back to Germany and so on…
We wish you even more success, Ardita, in your brilliant career. We are all proud of you!
Thank you very much for your congratulations and your good words that give me even more commitment for work in the future. I wish you all the best at Albania News and thank you very much for the interview! My best wishes!
For more, we invite you to visit Ardita’s official website .
Translated by Blerina Karaj