It is easy for a performer to fall into a routine of "just playing", going through the motions without being creative and inspired. Repeated programs and a tight performance schedule don't make it easy to stay on the very edge of new inspiration. For us, breaks and vacations are more than just time off, they are our most precious opportunity to refuel our sources of music making.
Some of my inspiration sources include museum visits, the inspiring artistry of legendary fellow pianists, time in nature, the focus of recording music, and the colors, scents and sounds of diverse cultures. Music is a steady sound track in my mind as I experience new and exciting places. Watch this video of my most recent impressions of Germany, South Africa, and Switzerland seen before the background of Beethoven's sublime Waldstein Sonata.
Beethoven Sonata Op. 53 "Waldstein" performed by Caroline Oltmanns http://www.caroline-oltmanns.com/recordings
Special Thanks to Reitstadel, Neumarkt i. d. Opf., Germany