It’s beyond my powers to influence what’s going to happen on stage
Sometimes when we go on stage we feel completely at one with the music, the acoustic, the instrument and the hall – and sometimes we don’t. For a long time I tried to get into a pre-concert routine that would lead to that situation, which I call ‘inspiration’, but now I don’t have a routine. I realise it’s beyond my powers to influence what’s going to happen on stage and I find that things work out best if you take them as they are. It’s got nothing to do with what you eat or drink.
Mental preparation just before the concert is important, though. I like to arrive about an hour or more before the performance, and start imagining how the music is going to be on stage, and how the atmosphere and energy will be. As for talking to people, it depends on who the person is. A concert is a very intimate thing, and just beforehand I prefer to be with people who are going to be playing with me on stage, or who are very close to me – not just someone who wants to talk.
First published in The Strad, July 2012. Download the back issue here.
Photo: Giorgia Bertazzi