June 1, 2013

Spontaneous Performance

While people often think of piano performances in the same breath of recitals and concerts, there are many ways to experience such performances informally. Tomoko has enjoyed listening and performing piano music spontaneously over the years.

As a child, Tomoko watched her mother respond to music while working around the house, and she listened to her brother practice. As a piano teacher at the conservatory, Tomoko also remembers mothers waiting for their children, and listening to students practice.

Tomoko remembers listening to a noon concert in London noon. Brown bag concerts were held at that venue, regardless of the weather. “I went to Old St Mary Church, and heard a former assistant professor perform with Russians. I hadn’t seen him in 40 years when I introduced himself at the event.” Tomoko thought that the noon concert was a fantastic idea; “People were passing by, and listened in, just10 minutes away from their problems.

Tomoko has been known to play the piano at sites she has seen during her travels. When she visited a Medici house in Florence, she was permitted to play their heritage harpsichord. In the Chopin Museum she played the raindrop prelude. She has also played pianos after events are finished, enjoying playing just for herself.

And, of course, people enjoy piano performance and  other music at religious gatherings and traditional celebrations. “Music comes from people’s heritage; it is in the soul.” People carry music in their hearts, so it is great when piano performance can be appreciated at any time, in any venue, planned and spontaneously.