"My name is Elias Keller and I am 13 years old. I come from Austria and I live in Weißenstein, a small town in Carinthia in the middle of mountains and lakes. I love many colours because I think life is colourful. I really like “Carinthian Noodles”, which is a special dish from my region. I don’t want to commit myself to a favourite composer, because all were unique in their time and way. A great idol for me is Franz Liszt. He was innovative and a dramatist, who knew how to cast a spell over people...until today. He was also able to perform as a composer.
I wasn’t really interested in music until I was six. When I was six years old my mother asked me if I wanted to learn an instrument. First I said “NO”, then I thought about it and I said that I would be interested in the piano. My mother was amazed because we didn’t have a piano and in the family everyone played a wind instrument, so only as a hobby...only my older brother studies percussion...Nevertheless, my parents made it possible for me and I am very grateful to them. They support me in everything and that is not a matter of course.
I am attend in a grammar school. Music is my passion and the piano is my great love. I am not sure why I chose the piano. It just came from inside me... I spend a lot of time at my piano, but I don’t always practice because I think you should also have certain amount of freedom to develop artistically...I like going to classical concerts. But I’m also open to other styles of music. I think every style of music has its justification. I enjoy going out in the nature, playing football with my friends or playing with my dog and I also spend time with my family. That’s very important for me.
Music is a precious gift to me, it gives me strength and confidence. I want to renew the classical music and attract young audiences to the concert halls. That’s why I also play jazz, film music and pop. I want to compose myself and show that old music is no old junk. There is life in there, something is happening. With my music I want to convey the message that everyone has the right to develop. Superficially I want to generate moments for my audience that they never forget. I tell them a story. A lot is happening inside of me. For me the stage is the place, where I feel good. I feel a tension, but with joy. Communicating with the orchestra is a lot of fun, it’s a dialog. The signs and images come up in me, everything else is faded out.
Competitions are not the most important thing for me, but they show me, where I stand musically and that inspires me incredibly. The London young musician competition is something special, because it goes over a longer period of time and you can use your various options and show your performance in different ways. You could take part in different categories and show yourself in the music. That impressed me and encouraged me to participate here and my professor also encouraged me to do it. You also get feedback from the jurors and that is very helpful and important, because that’s the only way you can work on yourself and make progress.
I found out about this competition late and I didn’t know that this competition goes over four seasons and lasts one year to musician of the year. So I only registered for “Season 4” and I was very, very surprised and happy that I won three gold medals and at the same time I could participate for the musician of the year. I didn’t have much time to prepare, but that’s often the case with competitions. I don’t really like preparation times myself anyway. So I recorded the pieces, played once under supervision, and sent them. I think, it is important that you only play once, like in a competition. To become “London Musician Of The Year” is really a crowning achievement! An indescribable feeling... The award is a great honor for me. I feel a great gratitude and I am happy that I am on the right track. It shows me that I can touch people with my music and that’s what I want. I wish that for my next concerts, too! Simply passing on the love for music to the audience.
Thank you for inviting me to this interview. It’s a great honor for me and I think, it’s also great that the young artists are given this opportunity. Something very special is close to my heart. I’m studing at the Universität Mozarteum in Salzburg and my Professor Cordelia Höfer-Teutsch is the best. She is not only technically competent, she has got a big heart and I am incredibly grateful to her."