A very busy week ended with a concert and party for the Friends of the Florestan Trio. What a nice thing a Friends’ Organisation is! So much of a musician’s time, especially a pianist’s time, is spent working alone or with just a few other people. It’s easy to lose the sense that anyone out there is following your progress, or is even aware of your activities. Concerts, of course, bring you suddenly face to face with large numbers of people, but they are, in effect, strangers, perhaps all hearing and seeing you for the first time.
A Friends’ Organisation is different; its members have signed up precisely because they don’t want to lose touch with you. Last night we had about a hundred Friends gathered together for our annual party. It’s really quite touching to see all these people, many of them experts in fields completely unrelated to music, who have come together for the specific purpose of giving us moral support. The atmosphere in the concert is subtly different; there’s a warmth there right away. And it does really help to feel that there are people out there wondering how you’re getting on as you move about the world.