“Julian reflects a new generation of performers” Michael Edwards (NFMC)
I believe that a renaissance is on the verge of happening in the classical music world and it is just a matter of collecting the right group of star-quality artists to lead the way… Julian Toha
When and how did your interest in music and the piano start?
Lessons were setup for my brother to learn and at the time I was just becoming a teenager. I thought that I’d also like to make an attempt at learning piano.
Recent work …
Most recently I completed a US tour consisting of about 80 concerts and events. On tour, our team and I presented a one-hour multimedia concert that included dance video, installations, soundscapes and newly commissioned piano works that were wrapped in a loose narrative.
Below – Immersion Tour 2013-14 Teaser | Pianist Julian Toha
Challenges faced …
As a pianist there are many challenges especially in the world we live in: cultural impact, tour logistics, life/work balance and creative development. I wouldn’t say that there was a single event that towers over the steady stream of challenges, but instead there is difficulty in dealing with substantial issues like life/work balance at the same time as setting up a tour and flourishing creatively. This profession, just like any other, is at the highest levels extremely demanding.
Other pianists are always interesting to listen to and learn from, but I find most inspiration in artists, dance companies and composers. People who I especially enjoy would be Gerhard Richter,The Hofesh Shechter Company, Dale Chihuly, and Carl Vine among others.
Any advice to young pianists who wish to pursue careers as concert pianists?
I believe that a renaissance is on the verge of happening in the classical music world and it is just a matter of collecting the right group of star-quality artists to lead the way. At the moment, there is an abundance of non-artist performers who aspire to climb the ranks, but those who create a truly compelling voice will be brought in as the leaders of the industry.
Do what you’re passionate about and blend it with your love for music. Only when you are being yourself can you become a standout among thousands of virtuosi.
Hopes for the future …
At the moment, I have shifted my focus towards music education and I’d like to tackle some of the major issues in the field. I feel that right now is the time for technology to alter the music education industry and improve upon many of the traditions of the past. As we approach the technological singularity, music education is more important than any other time in history – it is shaping the creative minds that will determine the future.