‘Piano’ talk on Radio 3 this Friday

24th September 2012 | Concerts, Daily Life | 0 comments

Each weekday evening at 10.45pm this week, Radio 3’s ‘The Essay’ slot is presenting a series of talks about the piano. Alastair Sooke, Stuart Isacoff, Wendy Cope and Luke Jerram are all talking about different aspects of the piano, its history, its personality and the influence it’s had. On September 28 I’m giving the last of the talks, this Friday evening at 10.45 pm.

The whole series sounds very interesting. My role is to speak about what it’s like to have to play a different piano in every concert hall. It’s an aspect of being a pianist which I think is not often considered by the many musicians who always have their own instrument with them, and take it for granted that they know exactly what they’ll be playing on in a concert. Many players are really bonded with their instrument, as indeed are many pianists with their pianos at home, but of course pianists (except for the very few who get their pianos transported around with them at enormous expense) have to know how to face up to the constant challenge of unfamiliar instruments when they’re playing elsewhere. It’s something I never thought about when I started learning the piano.

Sometimes with a new piano you get a nice surprise, sometimes not. But the unknown piano introduces a perpetual element of anxiety – or at least of chance – into every pianist’s life. More on Radio 3 on Friday evening…


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