The Russian pianist and winner of the 2008 Sydney International Piano Competition talks Tchaik ahead of his Australian tour.

When did you first realise that the piano was something you wanted to professionally pursue?

Probably straight away, although in my childhood I had another dream – to be a train driver. My idea was to combine both ­– drive a train to some place and then give a concert

How did you feel when you placed first in the Sydney International Piano Competition, as well as the People’s Choice Prize, and various other prizes in 2008?

Honestly I just couldn’t believe it, was completely overwhelmed.

Konstantin Shamray Pianist Konstantin Shamray. Photo supplied.

How did these achievements shape the trajectory of your career?

Winning this competition gave me freedom of choice and brought forward a lot of opportunities

What have been the most important lessons you’ve learnt since that time in 2008?

That winning is just the beginning of your journey…

What kinds of things did you think about when putting together your recital tour programme? Did you spend time considering which pieces would suit the celebratory occasion of SIPCA’s 40th anniversary?

I immediately wanted to play Tchaikovsky’s Seasons,...