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The pianist who has been playing for over 100 years

The pianist who has been playing for over 100 years

Paris: Colette Maze has been playing the piano for over a century and still attracts thousands of fans on social media.

Born in June 1914, before the outbreak of the First World War and while one of her favorite composers, Claude Debussy, was still alive, the French pianist practices four hours a day and is about to release her seventh album, “108 ans piano”. .

From her apartment overlooking the Seine in Paris, Maze moves cautiously between the three pianos in her living room, but retains a youthful enthusiasm.

“Me? I’m young,” she said with a smile.

“Age is not something that interests me. There are people who are eternally young, amazed by everything, and then there are people who don’t care about anything and have never loved anything, even their man, can you imagine? She adds.

– ‘The piano is my life’ –

Maze was a piano teacher for much of her life, and it wasn’t until she turned 100 that she started building up a massive fanbase, via her Facebook page.

“She gives people strength – that’s why she’s so wildly successful,” said her son, journalist Fabrice Maze, adding proudly that she’s one of the few people to have released more than 100 scrapbooks.

She still remembers the sound of “Big Bertha”, the huge cannon used by the German army during World War I, but most of her memories revolve around her instrument.

“When I was little, I had asthma and my mother played the violin with my piano teacher — it calmed me down,” she says.

“The piano is my life, my friend. I need to feel it and hear it”, she adds, before offering an interpretation of Debussy’s “Reflets dans l’eau”.

Maze started playing at the age of five, and despite her parents’ reluctance, she obtained a place at the Ecole Normale de Musique in Paris with teachers including the famous Alfred Cortot.

Cortot was known for a method of relaxing all the muscles in the body – which Maze credits with saving her from arthritis.

The other secret of his youth? “I danced a lot,” she says. “I need to feel my muscles, my abs, my thighs, my arms. It all needs to be alive.” (AFP)

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