The Scottish pianist on improvisation, Mozart, and a broken finger.
Your repertoire ranges from Beethoven to Britten, from Rachmaninov to Messiaen. Do you see it yourself as an eclectic pianist?
I’ve never liked to specialise in any one thing for too long. Different areas of music are so fulfilling in different ways, and there’s a wide range of music I connect with quite strongly. I have a long list of things to do next!
What can the audience expect from your improvisations at the Australian National Academy of Music?
That would be telling! I don’t know yet – I never plan them, it’s more natural that way. I was really inspired by Keith Jarrett growing up, and by the jazz style and attitude of simply letting what happens spontaneously happen. In the past I’ve tried to plan for a concert thinking, “Oh, that sounds great”, but when I’d try to do it again it wouldn’t work.
That approach is worlds away from the music of Mozart, which you’re playing in Sydney.
Well, it’s not so...