Only a few weeks until I am on my way to a multi-city concert tour of China. As this first-time journey to China approaches, I'm beginning to wonder about the details of my performances. I have done online research regarding travel to China, but there are of course no sites about performing as a concert pianist in China. Any insights are very welcome! Please feel free to leave advice in the comment section!
How will the audiences react?
I wonder what the audience reaction will be during and after the performances. Will there be a reserved gentle clapping, will there be applause between movements, will the audiences be more interested in traditional pieces or will some of the modern works of my programs be the winners?
How about the attire?
This of course is HUGE. I have found out so far that proper formal attire like an evening gown is expected. Is shoulder free or even sleeveless acceptable? How about shoes? Yes to toes showing or better not? Are sandals acceptable? I do hear a lot about top notch air conditioning in China. Should I worry about arctic temps on stage?
How about my introductions?
I love to introduce my pieces with short comments. It gives me a chance to connect to my audiences, and to gage who I am playing for. How about doing all of this in China. My Chinese is absolutely non-existent. I am determined to learn a few phrases, but I'm mortified to make silly mistakes. Can and should I still go ahead and say some short things in English?
How will the backstage areas look?
There is a big difference in the feel of backstage areas, and it makes a huge difference for the performer (i.e. what the green room looks like). Will there be a place to relax, to change, to eat a snack, a place to play a few notes, a nice powder room area?
How best can I stay in touch?
I would love to be able to keep posting photos and video clips of my performances to friends, fans and family. It would be so much fun to know, that my experiences can be shared and enjoyed all around. How will I be able to stay in touch?
Phew, I guess it's almost time to say: China, here I come! If you have any advice, I'd love to hear from you!