Composer’s Spotlight Series: Katharina Kubatta plays ‘Baroque Flamenco’

In this interview, Katharina shares her exhilarating experience playing Baroque Flamenco. Her audiences are surprised by the harp’s unexpected power. Choosing to learn this piece brought great enthusiasm to Katharina’s repertoire.

She advises aspiring Baroque Flamenco learners to feel the music, embrace the joy, and be prepared for a challenging yet rewarding journey of playing the piece. Katharina is thankful to Deborah, the composer, especially for her part in reinventing the harp.

Katharina Kubatta

Katharina Kubatta is a harpist from Salzburg, Austria. Stubborn as she is, she decided when she was only 2 years old that she wanted to learn the harp (She had seen the instrument in a children’s TV show beforehand), and her parents had no other choice: she wanted to have lessons! Over the years, she has taken part in many national and international competitions and won some prizes. Katharina is currently graduating from the Mozart Musikgymnasium in Salzburg and studying at the Pre-College Mozarteum University. The words that best describe her are colourful, lively, funny and creative!

Continue reading below for the full interview with Katharina Kubatta

Watch Katharina Kubatta play “Baroque Flamenco” open air at an altitude of over 67788 ft (2066 m) on a mountain, under the conduction of Elisabeth Fuchs and the Salzburg Philharmonic Orchestra.

A Mini-Interview with Katharina

How would you describe your experience of playing the piece?

Powerful, Free, Passionate, Exciting, OLÉÉÉ!

What do people say when you play this piece? Do you have favorite memories of people’s reactions to it?

People have told me that they didn’t expect a harp to sound like that. Apparently even the stage beneath me shook a little!

What drew you to this piece – why did you choose to learn it?

I had the opportunity to learn the solo version as a compulsory piece at an Austrian music competition, and Lisi Fuchs gave me the chance to play it as a soloist with her symphony orchestra.

What does this piece add to your repertoire (and/or your life) that you didn’t have before?

It’s a fun piece! It brings a zest for life to a repertoire that is usually full of classical and romantic pieces. In my experience, the piece goes down well with all kinds of audiences, no matter grown up or still a child!

What would you tell someone else who’s thinking of learning this piece that you wish you’d known before you learned it?

Try to live the piece! Of course the right notes are important, but even more important is to play this piece with your heart! Have fun with it and enjoy every moment of the music!… But you’ll probably have to make the metronome and blister plaster your best friends!

What do you think you can get from working directly with the composer of the piece that you can’t get from the sheet music?

There is nothing better than working with the composer. You get a more detailed insight into her work, her ideas and feelings, which you can use as a guide and mix with your own ideas, feelings and experiences and develop them further. This results in many individual masterpieces and stories about a single piece!

Anything else you want to say?

I would like to thank you, Deborah! Thank you very much for your cool pieces for the harp, which are modern, catchy, inspire the audience and finally manage to put the harp in the position where it belongs! A beautiful, flexible and fancy instrument, which is not just a decorative element in a castle or played by angelic figures! Thanks for something fresh and new in the harp world! A well as for beeing a role model and the ray of hope for smaller harpists like me, to show that “it definitely can be done this way!” Thank you for going against the flow!

The photos below feature Katharina Kubatta with Deborah Henson-Conant on her Salzburg performance last last October 2023.

Left photo: Katharina is one of the harp helpers performing on stage with Deborah.
Right photo: Katharina gets private coaching from Deborah – supported by a scholarship from the Salzburg Philharmonic.

Please follow this artist on social media and let them know what has opened up for your own self-expression in seeing and hearing their performance, and please share in the comments below.

YouTube: Katharina Kubatta
Instagram: @katha.harp
Facebook: Katharina Kubatta

Stay tuned for more artists soon and check out my Composer’s Spotlight blog series, featuring other talented musicians who played my song!

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