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.
A modern grand piano features three pedals, each with very distinct abilities to change the sound of the piano. Being able to use these three pedals discerningly is an art form in itself.
This March I got to return to my old stomping grounds in Southern California. It was so good to reconnect with friends and to visit new places!
February has been a very engaging month for me so far filled with concert, festival and new opportunities.
Having recently returned from my 11th annual chamber music festival in Kaufbeuren, I realized again how important the role of music festivals for young musician really is.
The Holidays are such a festive time with lots of fabulous receptions, parties and events. I love cocktails this time of year. Let me share two of my all time faves with you.
Recently I got invited to come to China to perform, adjudicate and teach in December. This marks the second tour to China this season, which is shaping into a particularly exciting and busy one.
“How do you get to Carnegie Hall? - Practice, practice, practice!”
There is a lot of truth to this famous joke, but being a musician is not all about practice. Some aspects of our lives as musicians are seemingly unimportant and definitely less talked about. One of them is the question of what to wear on stage.
Enjoy the romantic beauty of Leos Janacek’s “A blown away Leaf” from his collection called “On an overgrown Path”
I love staying fit and I love to swim listening to my favorite tunes. Following my first blog about swimming with music I got an overwhelming 'wave' of reactions. So many of you offered creative comments and great new ideas for swimming music - thank you!
The last of two books, Feux d’artifice finishes the cycle of preludes by Claude Debussy with a festive display of fireworks, both as a musical image and as a pianistic challenge.