Easter Sunday, and I am sitting in a transfer area at Hong Kong airport. After coming all the way from Nashville to here via Chicago (the last flight a 16-hour one), I am not thrilled to wait four hours for the ferry to Macau. Especially here where you can only walk around in a circle and food options are very limited. The life of a concert pianist. It’s not for everyone. I think the orchestra I’m playing with here, the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields, is on the same boat tonight, so perhaps they will soon make an appearance. Though I’m not sure I want to meet them looking the way I do right now! Still, it will be fun to play together, especially as it’s the first time I will be working with 92-year-old conductor Sir Neville Marriner. Hats off to him! I have only met him on one occasion when I first arrived in London 30 years ago. We have three concerts on this tour: Macau, Beijing, and Shanghai—all in 4 days.
This month of March 2016 has been one of my busiest ever, with constant performances (all recitals until now) in England, Wales (photo of me on the Welsh Coast at Mwnt), Prague, New Orleans, Scottsdale, Ottawa, and Nashville (which included an evening with author Julian Barnes—a great privilege to be on stage with him). I was overwhelmed by the audience in my home town of Ottawa who packed the 2300-seat Southam Hall at the National Arts Centre. It means a lot to have their terrific support, and it was great to see so many good friends. In January/February I had a wonderful tour in Italy. How can one not enjoy being in Rome, Milan, Florence, L’Aquila, and Siena? I’ve added several new works to my repertoire: Beethoven’s “Tempest” Sonata, and works by Haydn and Schubert. That’s what keeps me going. I think i would go crazy if I always played the same thing, though it would, for sure, be a lot easier. I need constant massages while on the road with my suitcases. Not surprising, I guess. Now I’m off to find a bowl of rice.