Through a combination of clever scheduling and happenstance, I’ve got the day off before my upcoming hat trick. This is great because it allows me to take care of all those little things that pop up before a concert— last-minute comps, ironing, fingernail clipping, face shaving (something I only have to do every three or four days), fake yoga (or fauxga), and where am I going to take my family to eat afterwards?
I also like a day off’s effect on my playing— after becoming so entrenched in a piece, it suddenly sounds fresher, more alive, after a little break. In this case, I have the luxury of being able to practice on the piano I’ll be performing on. It always helps to have a few days to get acclimated. It’s a Bösendorfer, a seven-footer like mine, though with quite a different personality— extremely responsive, built for the Autobahn, whereas mine is much more forgiving, like a buxom Bavarian lass. It makes me nervous to think of the damage I could incur.
The other thing making me nervous is that somehow I got myself into this situation where I’m expected to perform Schumann’s Kreisleriana tomorrow! It feels very different from when I was a teenager, and would blithely tackle any piano repertoire, the longer and more demanding the better. Now, I’m more acutely aware of my lack of qualifications. Playing a piece that’s so familiar to the audience is like walking a tightrope; there’s a tension in the air, as if everyone’s waiting for you to fall. I’ll play your world première any day. Here’s a little conversation I had with Metropolis Ensemble’s Nate Bachhuber (note the double H) about the thinking behind tomorrow’s concert and various other trivia.
Speaking of which, I’ve been assembling press kits lately, at the behest of and with much help from my friend Emily. If you get one of these in the mail, it means: please hire me! I’ll play a concert, compose some music, do your dishes, tune up your bike, etc.