Yundu Wang played for us last summer, in one of our lunchtime concerts. She says – “a good concert programme is like a well-balanced meal”
How important is it to you to be invited to play at festivals like RVIPW?
Festivals like RVIPW are wonderful opportunities for young musicians; we gain performance experience as well as the chance to interact with supportive communities centred around enjoying music.
How important are festivals like RVIPW in the cultural life of the UK?
Extremely important–they provide more opportunities for exposure to live performances and help sustain appreciation for classical music within the culture.
How do you go about selecting repertoire to play at events like RVIPW?
I have been told that a good concert programme is like a well-balanced meal, so I try to choose pieces that the audience would happily ‘digest’. I do like to fit in something more unfamiliar, to add some of ‘spice’.
How long does it take you to prepare for a concert like this?
It depends on how many other things are going on in my schedule, but I think it takes a while for pieces to really sink in and feel comfortable. I feel more free during performances when I’ve prepared the pieces for more than one month.
How do small, intimate venues like ours compare with larger venues you’ve played in?
Larger venues can make you forget you have an audience, which sometimes is a good thing. However, smaller venues remind you of the people who really enjoy listening to classical music and have taken the time to attend the concert. I sense more appreciation when I play in smaller spaces.
What did you think of the whole experience of coming to play for us?
I really enjoyed it–there was a very positive and generous atmosphere surrounding the entire festival. The piano was beautiful, as well!
You have a great rapport with audiences, and seem genuinely to enjoy meeting the people who come to hear you play. How important is this aspect of your work as a musician?
This has always been a natural part of my performances–it always feels strange to play so much music for people and then have no personal interaction with them, afterwards!
Is there a particular memory of RVIPW which stands out?
I stayed with lovely hosts and felt really supported by everyone involved in the festival. It made my experience really positive and memorable.
Tell us about your up and coming projects. Do you have anything exciting in the pipeline?
I’ve been balancing performing with my doctoral research on the influence of speech prosody on musical performance. I plan to give a lecture recital at the Jacqueline du Pré Music Building in Oxford in the fall. I also have some chamber music concerts around London, including Schubert’s Trout Quintet. I’m really looking forward to exploring that piece!