French pianist Colette Maze has been playing the piano for over a century and is one of the oldest pianists in the world. She recently celebrated her 107th birthday and still practices for four hours every day.
Colette Maze was born in Paris on 16 June 1914 and has been playing the piano since she was five years old. She loves playing the piano and cannot imagine life without her instrument. “Playing the piano has a physical quality,” she said. “You’re touching it, caressing it. It makes a difference whether you’re hammering the keys or softly pressing them with your fingertips.”
As a child music helped her to escape from her strict upbringing and into her own world. “My mother was a very stern, coldhearted woman, who didn’t really like children,” she explained. “Playing the piano always offered me some comfort.”
Colette Maze studied at the École Normale de Musique in Paris, with Alfred Cortot and Nadia Boulanger, and later worked as a music teacher.
Colette Maze released her first album when she was 84
Colette Maze released her first album, with the help of her son, when she was 84. She recently released her sixth studio album dedicated to her favourite composer, Debussy.
Her son, Fabrice Maze, said, “My mother went through a lot of tough times in her life – like many others. But once she sat down at the piano she lost herself in the world of music. It gave her positive energy, strength and motivation.”
“Life is all about staying passionate and curious”
Despite her age Colette Maze is still very active and she doesn’t have any major health issues. Apart from her piano there are three other things she cannot be without – cheese, like all French people, chocolate, and she also enjoys a glass of wine. Pianist Colette Maze believes that staying young isn’t a question of age and that being passionate is the key to staying young at heart. “Life is all about staying passionate and curious,” she explained. “You can’t let that slip away.”