Don’t play it safe. Take risks and it will sound more exciting
I was having masterclasses with William Pleeth at the Britten–Pears School and he stopped me in the middle of the Elgar Cello Concerto’s second movement. He questioned my fingerings: why was I going across the strings rather than flying up and down the A string? ‘Don’t play it safe,’ he said. ‘Take risks and it will sound more exciting.’
I now try to apply this advice to everything I play, and ask myself questions like: is this the best fingering for the music? Could I be more daring? It’s all too easy to do something just because it initially feels like the most comfortable and safe option.