My China Tour 2018 was a wonderful success! I loved playing there, getting involved with teaching and judging, and I was able to use my 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 many memories I truly loved about my visit. Here are four of them.
Playing in China feels quite different from playing in the US or in Europe. The energy level coming from the audience is absolutely amazing, and the audiences are young and very engaged. I loved connecting to my audiences both in Macao and in China. There is such an interest in experiencing classical music, and such an open-minded attitude to our Western music, it helps me perceive my own repertoire from a new and fresh viewpoint.
My last tour to China featured a mix of different piano brands from completely unknown names to my favorite Steinway brand. This time I played only on Steinway instruments, which made a big difference to my on-stage comfort level. When I find a Steinway on stage I usually feel right at home. Being half way around the world, this made a big difference.
From the moment I arrived, I experienced such a sense of appreciation for my visit. Every aspect of traveling and performing was so well taken care of down to the choice of flowers matching my outfit! The attention to detail and the joy of hospitality were just overwhelming. I guess I was truly "spoiled rotten" during my tour!
Where to begin! My 2018 tour took me to the Yüe or Cantonese food region of China. Yüe cuisine is famous all over the country and abroad. Highlights are soups and condiments. The flavor palette is absolutely incredible, and the attention to detail is inspiring. The textures and the development of flavors are balanced carefully to make for a culinary experience not to be forgotten. I wish I could have brought back some of it!
What a magical experience! I am already looking forward to my return in early 2019 if not before.
再见 (good bye) and until next time.