The Leeds International Piano Competition 2009 opens today! Here is the interview I did with the Founder and Artistic Director Dame Fanny Waterman in 2006, which was published by The Flying Inkpot.
"LEEDS IS THE PIANO CAPITAL OF THE WORLD"
A short interview
with DAME FANNY WATERMAN
There are four important qualities I seek: beauty of tone (the ability to make the piano sing like an opera star), musical integrity (respecting the score and the composer), rhythmic vitality (because music is never static and always goes forward), and the “magic” that comes through in a pianist’s musical personality. The last is something that is natural, innate and cannot be taught.
How do you select from the hundreds of young pianists who apply for “The Leeds”?
Do you manage the careers of the prizewinners?
What about the accompanying orchestra for the finals?
Lord Britten was a close friend of mine, and his Night Piece deserves to be kept in the repertoire and played by as many pianists as possible. It’s a beautiful piece with so much going on – especially in the “night music” segment – and thus many possibilities for interpretation. I have heard many newly commissioned works in competitions that aim to promote this or that composer from certain countries. Frankly much of this is not good music. They are more of a gimmick and are often unhelpful to the juries.
Have you ever been to Singapore?