A piece of music is like a relationship. It starts with so much excitement, and can so easily flat-line after some time. New notes are very attractive. It is intoxicating to get to know a new work. The sounds linger hours after the last note of the day is played. It's like meeting a new person, like falling in love, it's so exciting!
The problem is not the start.
The fresh and curious relationship with that new work is very precious because it is so illusive. The amazing creative potential of the first impression soon makes way to considerations of learning and memorization, of fingerings and technique. Repetition kills that original flame of intoxication. We try to make the piece safe and flawless, but a safe and perfect rendition is the ultimate death sentence for music.
So how can you keep this initial flame of intoxication alive? How do you bring it across to the audience?
It's the responsibility of the performer to preserve the initial sense of awe, and to develop this awe into an amazing rendition of a composition. Passing on that flame is what it's all about, and it might even be the way, perhaps the most important one, to keep classical music relevant and alive.
I just returned from my China Tour 2018. What a wonderful success! I loved playing there, getting involved with teaching and judging, and I was able to use my still somewhat rudimentary Mandarin all the time. It was so much fun to be able to make new friends and to see so many different things. Looking back there were so many things I truly loved about my visit. Here are four of them:
Happy Valentines Day! What a beautiful celebration of love and romance. For me this is definitely a time to start thinking about Spring.
Playing Domenico Scarlatti’s keyboard music is a great pleasure and also a big challenge. Besides the complications of playing baroque ornamentations, of mastering the rather difficult technical requirements, and of simply finding a compelling interpretation of a piece written so long ago, there’s also the huge question of truthfulness to a historic interpretation.
What a great experience to record for Spirio, Steinway’s high resolution player piano! Lots of people have asked how the process works, and it really is a bit of piano magic.
I am thrilled to announce my return to China next month! Some of you might recall my first China concert tour back in 2015. I absolutely loved my time there since it was outside of my comfort zone and way of life. Now in February 2018, it will be fantastic exploring new and familiar parts of this country.
Half a year ago I joined a gym. My main goal was to increase strength and energy levels. I had no idea how inspiring this decision would be!