What motivates you to play Piano?
The same thing that motivates me to breathe.
You have worked with conductors such as Seiji Ozawa, John Eliot Gardiner, Gerard Schwarz, Neeme Järvi, and the late Kiril Kondrashin . Is there any particular conductor that you especially love working with/ why?
The last two in particular. Plus Hiroyuki Iwaki in Melbourne, Raffi Armenian, Simon Streatfeild and Dwight Bennett in several Canadian locales, Sasha Dmitriev in St. Petersburg, Cristian Mandeal in Bucharest. Never heard of them? Too bad.
Richard Goode. At various other times, Rachmaninoff, Ivan Moravec and Solomon. I learned more about music from Leonard Shure than from any other teacher I’ve had.
Earliest memory involving piano playing?
Making up a piece on the spot for a class assembly in Grade 1.
Proudest career moment to date?
Finishing the last chord of Op. 111 in my first Beethoven sonata cycle (at Vancouver’s Chan Centre)
In your opinion, what are the most important qualities in a great pianist?
Listening to a piece with your inner ear, developing a concept of how it goes, then conveying exactly that sonic image with urgency, passion, and profundity. Quite simple, really. (oh, plus running with the wolves, taking on a single career name mid-stream, and posing for fashion magazines).
Any tips to young people who aspire to become concert pianists?
The job of Lang Lang is already taken. Be your own person. If you don’t know who your own person is, try to find something else to do.
The biggest challenge you have overcome…
What are you working on at the moment?
Retaining my sanity in these times. (Musically, the Schumann Quintet Op. 44, and late several Brahms pieces. Later this season, a lot of Brahms’ chamber music.)