26 April 2023
By Ellie Palmer
Colette Maze is a former pupil of Alfred Cortot and Nadia Boulanger
French pianist Colette Maze, born just a few weeks before the outbreak of the First World War in 1914, is about to release a new album of her performances.
The album, suitably titled 108 Years of Piano, will be released sometime this spring. It'll feature pieces by Gershwin, Piazzolla, Schumann and Debussy.
Colette started her piano studies at a very young age. Age 15, she attended the École Normale de Musique de Paris and took lessons from Alfred Cortot and Nadia Boulanger. Years later, she taught at the school as well as at the Conservatory of Bagneux.
Maze (at the piano) pictured with Alfred Cortot. © Thomann Music/YouTube
You can listen to her give a beautiful rendition of Debussy's 'Reflets dans l'eau' below.
Now, at the age of 108, she resides in her hometown of Paris in an apartment overlooking the River Seine where she practises four to five hours a day. She owns three different pianos: one that she has had since the age of 18, one that is muted, and a Steinway.
"I'm young!" she tells Le Figaro. "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!"
Maze pictured here in her younger years. © Colette Maze pianiste centenaire/Facebook
Surely a 108 year-old pianist must struggle with hand and wrist issues? Apparently not. "I did a lot of dancing [when I was younger]. I think I need to feel my muscles, my abs, my thighs, my arms. All this must be alive."
She continues, "[The piano is] my life... The piano is a friend. I need to feel it and listen to it."
You can keep up to date with Colette here.
Main image: © Thomann Music/YouTube