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Questions for Prof. Henry Fairs

source: George Warren

What are your goals as a professor?

For me, it's first and foremost about always continuing to develop myself in order to pass on both the experience I've gained and my enthusiasm for music in general to the students. I plan to continue to build up my international class and to create an atmosphere in which one can feel comfortable and is given enough space and freedom to develop musically. At the same time, it also provides the necessary motivation to practice and perform, which is so important when pursuing a career as a musician. Competitions (as a means to an end) and regular auditions on - and regular access to - various instruments are extremely important in an organ degree program. Also important would be to acquire an even better - both qualitatively and quantitatively - collection of instruments at the Institute. I would like the most ambitious organists from all over the world to come to Berlin.

Why did you decide to accept a professorship with us at the UdK Berlin?

It has always been my dream to have a professorship in Germany. There is perhaps always a tendency for me to think that the grass is greener elsewhere; but it is actually the case that the UdK offers me better opportunities to develop as a teacher and musician than in my home country - both because of its very good material facilities (which I would still like to improve!) and organization, and because of the absolute freedom and security that one receives here.

What do you enjoy most about your job?

Almost everything. In the past, there have been bad moments when I've thought about what else I could be doing. But it's just that I feel better - I'm even a better person - when I'm teaching, practicing, and playing (especially when things are going well). That's a good thing, too, since I can't do anything else. After some unhappy years in England, I notice now, despite Corona measures, how the desire to live is coming back. I am very happy to be here at the UdK!

Prof. Henry Fairs is professor of artistic organ playing at the College of Music.