Sivan Magen performs July 6 and 7 at the Lyon & Healy 150th Birthday Festival.
1 What was the moment you knew you wanted to become a harpist?
It’s hard to choose one moment —but I think I started realizing that that’s really it when I finished my 3-year military service and boarded a plane to Paris the very next day —just so that I could go on studying the harp…
2 What’s your absolute favorite piece to play on the harp and why? I have many favorites—Brahms Intermezzi, Renie Ballade Fantastique, Bach French Suites… but the piece which is just pure enjoyment is Ravel’s Introduction and Allegro—just an exquisite piece, masterfully orchestrated, and so well written for the harp! (I can’t imagine how a non-harpist could have written such a perfect harp part…)
3 Favorite food: Halva.
4 Favorite city in the world:
I’ll pick Jerusalem —as it will always be Home for me, and it is a city of extraordinary beauty and incredible history (and a very complicated present…)
5 The most important element of good harp technique is:
A good ear. If you know want you want to hear and have good enough ears to hear the difference between this and reality, you’ll probably find a way to get there. (Free shoulders and neck help, too:))
6 What was your first harp?
The first harp I’ve ever owned was the harp I won at the Israel Competition in 2006 (it’s a L&H Gold 23).
7 Name something you’ve never done in your career that’s on your bucket list:
I’ve actually never played Symphony Fantastique in orchestra (either part)! I very rarely get to play in orchestra, and this has yet to happen…
8 What’s the career accomplishment that you’re most proud of?
I’ll change that to the events that most shaped my musical life as it is today, and I would say these are winning the Israel Competition and the 4 summers I spent at the Marlboro Music Festival (which taught me enormously about music making and collaboration and is where I’ve met most of the people with whom I make music today).
9 What’s the best advice you can give an aspiring harpist?
You should really really love making music through playing the harp if you want to choose it as a profession—it’s not an easy life (but can be a very rewarding one!).