Bernhard Kerres

Due to popular demand, this week's Orange Twist has a special twist indeed as we talk to the mind behind it all, our founder Bernhard Kerres!

We all know HELLO STAGE’s favorite color ( and yours too ;) - tell us, why orange?

Orange is a very warm and energetic color. So, it is a personal statement but also a statement of how I see HELLO STAGE. For me nothing is more important than the warmth shared between people, friends, and family.

I see it is a wonderful gift that I was given the energy to make an impact in my professional life. At HELLO STAGE we care for our members. We see ourselves as an online network with a personal touch. But the team has also the energy to have a positive impact on the classical music world in general. And we love the energy of our members being out there and mesmerizing their audiences with wonderful music. There is no other color which could symbolize that better than orange.

What was the best advice a teacher ever gave you?

Don’t wait ten years but do it now!

One of my mentors told me that when I was deliberating whether I should consider becoming Artistic Director and CEO of the Wiener Konzerthaus or not. I felt that it might be a position better at a later stage in my career. But my mentor clearly told me that we should take opportunities presenting ourselves otherwise they might be wasted. And he was right. Without six exciting years at the Wiener Konzerthaus I would have never had the opportunity to found HELLO STAGE.

So, if there is something you really want to do, do it now and don’t wait!

How has the classical music scene changed in the last decade with the development of social media?

The classical music scene has changed a lot over the last decade not only, but also because of social media. We see a development away from the 19th century elitist and almost catholic model of celebrating classical music as an act of worship to a much more honest and passionate embrace of an amazing art form.

We see artists using social media and other technology tools to pull down barriers between their audiences and them and to focus on the music itself, not the religious service around it. The potential social media has for a highly fragmented but strongly passionate community such as classical music has just been tapped in. Much more is to come, especially if more and more of us understand how important it is to embrace the community with the #classicalbuzz and not only broadcasting one’s own achievements.

What do you think is the most important trait of a successful artist in today’s modern world?

First of all, an artist needs to be among the best on her instrument.

Then comes the artistic personality. If you have the ability to play well you also need to have something to say. The best technique does not help if you play empty notes.

Thirdly, musicians in today’s world have the greatest opportunities to manage their careers because of technology. They need to embrace these opportunities not being afraid of the world out there. I also recommend that they stop dreaming of having a manager who does everything for them except being on stage. Only 1% of all musicians have a manager. And the best relationships between managers and artists still require artists to work closely with their managers.

How much time should an artist spend every day on social media daily, in your opinion?

Practicing and rehearsing needs to take up the majority of the day. Nevertheless the business side including social media should be part of a daily routine. Half an hour to two hours a day for the business side should be enough if done daily.

But with all the practicing and developing the business side of your career, you should ensure that you find a peaceful time every single day. A time to reflect and recharge. Think about what Alfred Brendel said: „Silence is the essence of the music itself, the vital ingredient that makes it possible for the music to exist at all."

The new HELLO STAGE fan module promises to give classical musicians a unique way to interact with their fans. Just how important are true fans for a classical musician?

Just last week a friend of mine told me that he would love to bring his son to a concert of percussion star Martin Grubinger in Vienna. But whenever he reads about it the concert has already happened. He does not have the time to surf the web for information on upcoming concerts. This would be like the search for a needle in a haystack.

With the fan module my friend can register as a fan of Martin Grubinger. He will then receive information about upcoming concerts of Martin Grubinger in his area with a link to book tickets.

Take that thought a step further - whom would artists reach out to for crowdfunding their next recording? Who would be the people most interested in buying the next CD? Having direct access to your fans is a critical success factor. And HELLO STAGE provides just that in an efficient and fan friendly way.

Name the best places for an espresso in Vienna, San Francisco and New York!

Vienna: the HELLO STAGE office - if you don’t find the best espresso there you will find at least the most interesting discussions about the world of classical music.

Palo Alto: The Blue Bottle at Hana Haus with the best Espresso Avocado by far - and you can sit in the sunny court yard in the middle of Palo Alto

New York: Zibetto without a doubt - real Italianita in the middle of Manhattan incl. real fresh Grapefruit juice and the cornetti.

San Francisco: Chantal Guillon - the espresso there is only an excuse to eat one of these amazing and fresh macarons...

You can follow and become a fan of Bernhard Kerres on Hello Stage!
Author: Nina Lucas HELLO STAGE
Comments [2]
Maria Weiss - 2016-02-05 09:29
Wonderful, profound and so true:
thank you Bernhard for your words & Nina for this fantastic interview!
Anne Wieben - 2016-02-07 13:34
Love it!
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