The pianist talks about the challenges of Rachmaninov, surrendering to the music, and being one with the orchestra.

How do you feel about making your Proms debut?

Tremendously excited! I have a huge amount of respect for the history that has come before me, it is very significant not only in British culture but internationally too. I feel honoured and privileged to be a part of it representing Australia and look forward to making my own contribution.

You’ve performed Rachmaninov’s third piano concerto a few times now – what makes this piece right for the Proms?

This concerto really pushes the boundaries and horizons of both technical possibilities on a piano and emotional expression. I also find this piece to be monumental and even apocalyptic, although it resolves in a triumph of unconditional love and pure joy of life by the end of it. Before we get there it speaks of despair, inner conflict of the darkness and the light and innocent pure love.

What for you are the biggest challenges of the work?

It’s a very technically demanding work, in fact amongst the most difficult ever written for the piano – there is a good movie...