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At 108, pianist Colette Maze defies time and releases a new album


The former music teacher, pupil of Alfred Cortot and Nadia Boulanger, still practices four to five hours a day in her Paris apartment.

A phenomenon, to which

Special Envoy,

Thursday evening, devoted a portrait.

Colette Maze, at 108, still plays the piano daily and is followed by thousands of people on social media.

Born a month before the start of the First World War and a few months after the death of one of her favorite composers, Claude Debussy, the French pianist still practices four to five hours a day.

She is about to release her seventh album before the summer,

108 years of piano,

with pieces by Gershwin, Piazzolla, Schumann and Debussy.

In her apartment on the 14th floor of a building overlooking the Seine, this frail lady with slender arms moves slowly between the three pianos that sit enthroned in her living room: the one that has accompanied her since she was 18, a second muted for the drills and the Steinway she got for the beautiful sound.

His longevity impresses, his enthusiasm even more so.


I'm young

," she exclaims.

Age, these are stories that do not exist.

(...) There are people who are eternally young, amazed by everything, and then people who are jaded by everything and who have never loved anything, not even their boyfriend, if that is so!

At her side, her son, the journalist Fabrice Maze, indicates, not without pride, that she "

is probably the last centenarian to continue recording albums


Since she turned 100, Colette Maze has become the darling of social networks, with her dedicated Facebook page.


She restores people's morale, hence her crazy success

," explains her son.

She has neither diabetes nor cholesterol, her blood pressure is normal.

She drinks wine, eats cheese, chocolate... And people who are 80, 90 years old say to themselves:

Finally, we are not screwed


Why does she keep playing?

Because it's my life... The piano is a friend.

I need to feel it and listen to it.


The pianist's memory is naturally no longer what it used to be, but at the age of 4 she keeps a distant memory of the bombardments of the "Big Bertha", an artillery piece used by the Germans during the Great War.

The Liberation, on the other hand, faded from his memory.

When it comes to knowing who is the President of the Republic, she often answers Pompidou or Chirac.


She is in the present moment but is completely disconnected from the news

", comments her son.

During the Second World War, "

I was a nurse in Auxerre (Yonne) and I made the exodus (from 1940) by bicycle, from Paris to Clermont-Ferrand with two bags full of laundry

", recalls- she.

Intact memories are often linked to the piano: “

When I was little, I had asthma;

my mom played the violin with my piano teacher and that calmed me down


Why does she keep playing?

Because it's my life... The piano is a friend.

I need to feel it and listen to it

,” she says before interpreting


Reflections in Water .

Schumann listened to his heart, Debussy listened to nature

,” she says.

Born Saulnier into a bourgeois family in Paris, she started playing the piano at the age of 5 but her parents were opposed to her becoming a professional pianist.

However, at the age of 15, she managed to integrate the Normal School of Music in Paris, where she took lessons from Alfred Cortot and Nadia Boulanger.

She in turn taught for decades at the École Normale de Musique and at the Conservatory of Bagneux, depository of the Cortot method, taught before the war and based on relaxation and flexibility exercises for all the muscles.

It is the last in the world to be able to show this method;

many pianists from around the world come to see her work

”, explains Fabrice Maze.

This is how the centenarian, who hardly suffers from osteoarthritis, has kept her hands flexible.

His secret of youth?

I did a lot of dancing.

I think I need to feel my muscles, my abs, my thighs, my arms.

All this must be alive


Source: lefigaro

All life articles on 2023-03-31

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