Tips from a fa­mous pi­anist

Viet Nam News - - INSIGHT -

TThat is to prac­tise play­ing the piano whether they love do­ing so or not.

How­ever, he says it is pos­si­ble for pi­anists to work out their own way of prac­tis­ing.

It is also im­por­tant for young pi­anists to be­lieve in them­selves.

Lang Lang, so you’re fi­nally back in Haø Noäi. Are you go­ing to play any works of Viet­namese com­posers?

I know the Viet­namese mu­sic scene. I know that pi­anist Ñaëng Thaùi Sôn won the Chopin Com­pe­ti­tion many years ago. I ac­tu­ally met his sis­ter when I was vis­it­ing last time. So I know that you have a very good tra­di­tion of piano and mu­sic. And I re­ally hope to see more Viet­namese pi­anists in the fu­ture and if you need any help, my

will help. The rea­son I built my foun­da­tion is be­cause I wanted the new to have a chance to study with the best teach­ers to per­form on the best stage and get so they do not have to worry about the money or other things, but fo­cus on piano train­ing. So I’m look­ing for­ward to one or two fu­ture Viet­namese young pi­anists. I would love to.

Could you share some thoughts on be­ing a clas­si­cal mu­si­cian?

Clas­si­cal mu­sic does not come from Asia. If you want to be (a real artist), you can­not copy what Ger­man or French artists do. It’s great, you know, and I re­spect what they did and I re­spect great mu­si­cians. I love them, I learnt from them. But you have to have your (artis­tic) oth­er­wise you would never make a ca­reer. And this is some­thing I am very hon­est about. I’m not hid­ing. I’m not say­ing some­thing very clean, very civilised, but with no ef­fect. I’m a guy who wants re­sults. And this is what I tell my stu­dents. And this is the way you will go far be­yond your dreams. You need to have

We talked about Hublot, you know. The rea­son I love this brand is they never fol­low every­body else. They do their own stuff. As a mu­si­cian, es­pe­cially an Asian mu­si­cian, you have to be con­fi­dent on your oth­er­wise you will get buried in this world. I would not say this 15 years ago, be­cause I was too young and I was not con­fi­dent enough to say these words. But now I’m 36, and look­ing back, I think we have to be crazy in a good way.

Speak­ing of Asian iden­tity, have you thought about a con­cert fea­tur­ing top clas­si­cal and artists, such as Ñaëng Thaùi Sôn, Yuja Wang and Big Bang?

They are great, the K-pop artists, es­pe­cially Big Bang, you know. I would love to, but I need to see what their sched­ule is like af­ter mil­i­tary ser­vice. I’m open to in­vi­ta­tions.

What would you say to young stu­dents who do not like prac­tis­ing piano?

You can hate prac­tise or you can en­joy it. I mean there are many ways of prac­tis­ing. I re­cently cre­ated the Lang Lang piano method, and the point is to try to prac­tise more en­joy­ably. Be­cause I hated and en­joyed prac­tis­ing. I know both feel­ings. But you have to prac­tise. It doesn’t mat­ter if you are in Vieät Nam, or in China, Africa or Amer­ica, even if you’re an (maybe that’s dif­fer­ent), but you need to find the best way for you. It’s not ev­ery time some­one tells you this is the way. Maybe it’s not right. You have to make a for your­self. And this is very im­por­tant, you can­not just fol­low. In art, you can­not just copy. This is bad, very bad. You have to have a strong judge­ment and fol­low YOU! And that’s the way to suc­cess.

Some artists need to be crazy to cre­ate art. How about you?

I’m not crazy, I’m quite nor­mal. But when you get on stage, you think about piano masters. Be­fore you start, you’re in an­other world. You walk out on the stage, you see peo­ple clap­ping. Then you sit down at the piano. There’s this 10 sec­onds of si­lence, and you’re in an­other world. Then you grad­u­ally get deeper into that world. As the per­for­mance goes on, you keep get­ting deeper, then you’d have a break. So you’d come out of it a lit­tle bit, then you go back in. It’s like div­ing through the water, it’s like that. But it’s not div­ing un­der­wa­ter, it’s div­ing into the ocean of mu­sic.

Be­cause we’re not play­ing air, we’re play­ing with some­thing. When you touch the it’s like a real body, you have the feel­ing of it. And then the sound comes, so that helps.

So does your fa­ther still pat you on the back when he ac­com­pa­nies you on tour? Is your mother go­ing to do it this time? (He brought his mother for this per­for­mance in Haø Noäi. Last time his fa­ther ac­com­pa­nied him.)

I look in the mir­ror and I do some kind of en­cour­age­ment my­self, like say­ing, ‘Good luck!’ When I meet my fa­ther, he still does the ‘pat­ting’ thing. But it’s al­ready in me. It’s al­ready in­side my heart. But I do this be­fore tak­ing to the stage – (he does a fist pump). — VNS

The joy­ful method: Lang Lang tries to ease the hard­ship of prac­tis­ing with his own ex­pe­ri­ence. — VNS Photo Vieät Thanh

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