If the soloist hasn’t committed a work to memory, do they opt for an old-fashioned paper score or do they embrace the digital age and use a tablet with automatic page turner?
London-based Australian pianist Piers Lane took the high-tech route for his performance of Grieg’s Piano Concerto with Sydney Symphony Orchestra at Sydney Town Hall, and nearly came a cropper – several times. With his iPad score perched precariously in the guts of the Steinway, rather than on a music rack, Lane launched into the famous flourish after the timpani roll. But then a few bars in, and with his hands full, the tablet rolled on to its back. He managed to complete the passage from memory and to readjust it during an orchestral break.
Piers Lane. Photograph © Keith Saunders
Then, a couple of minutes later, in a stormy passage, it happened again and concertmaster Andrew Haveron, realising Lane couldn’t adjust it, stood up and propped it up again, then sat down and resumed playing.
Lane finally got the tablet under control in the second movement and the people sitting in the back seats...