On Scottish International Piano Competition 2014 and being a True artist and musician

After more than a week of recitals the 28 competitors of the Scottish International Piano Competition 2014 were cut down to 4 pianists who performed 4 different piano concertos in a 4-hour Final. It was a memorable event, Ilya Maximov, Russia and Jonathan Fournel, France in particular gave a breath-taking performances of Prokofiev’s Third and Brahms Second Piano Concertos, with Jonathan Fournel winning the Competition. It was an amazing opportunity for the whole music scene in Glasgow to have an event of this calibre and I had the pleasure and the privilege to listen to some of the performances either live or on the Radio Broadcast and this whole experience made me think about the life of the musician and the pianist in general.

How we find the difference between an artist and a person who just reads music and then play notes at a very high level? Along all the wonderful artist who live for their music and through it, who give their hearts and souls to touch yours, alongside all of them, there are people who play with no soul, no imagination, no interpretation. It makes me wonder, what their life is like? It must be horrible, to be dedicated for life to something so much greater than you. It must be so tiring, so overwhelming. It exhausts me so much when I happen to listen performances like that. But then it makes me even more passionate about the True art. Because by hearing a heartless performances one can truly appreciate the real music in comparison. The rest is just notes, and there is nothing worse than that.

What we (musicians) think is normal? What our everyday is? And what it must look like from the outside? In one single weekend I have covered over few thousand pages of piano music – in practice, teaching, listening and performing and lived throughout every one of them. Music makes my life better and more existing with every single note in every single day. But being a musician has no ‘Off’ button. You breathe music in and out 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for your entire life and with every step it gets only more intense. Musician is not a job title, it is a way of living – the best one that is out there.

© 2018 Silviya Mihaylova