July 14, 2013

The Personality of Performance

“The piano has many variations, like the voice,” Tomoko says. “The performer’s personality comes out, like handwriting.  You can’t hide your personality when you  play.”

When asked about the impact that the piano instrument has on the quality of the performance, Tomoko retorts, “Some performances sound like muddy waters. When others play on the same instrument, it is like a drink of fresh water. Why does the same instrument sound so different? It is the personality of the performer.”

Tomoko does acknowledge that how one touches the piano can impact the performance of the following person.  “The piano can resemble a horse in that the performer can wear down the instrument. It’s like a copy machine that gets too hot from overuse. The piano may need to be adjusted because it is a very sensitive instrument. “ Tomoko remembers that Arthur Rubinstein used to bring his own piano and bench to perform.

Nevertheless, the pianist’s personality is more important than the quality of the piano itself, Tomoko states. She concludes, “If you want to make good quality music, you have to be like a chef: free desire, fresh quality, fresh ideas, and fresh feelings.”