Last weekend I performed with Lang Lang at The Anatomical Society in Munich. The venue was a pretty unusual one, we performed in one of the lecture theatres which are usually used for teaching. The way the seats are arranged gave the audience a great view of Lang Lang and I as we performed duets and also some solo pieces so it worked really well as a venue for us. It was a lot of fun to perform with Lang Lang again, he always inspires me and the hosts, Mastercard, were amazing. Thank you Mastercard and Lang Lang for a #priceless event!

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This week I am in Pinehurst, North Carolina where I will be giving a performance of Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto no.2 with the Carolina Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by David Michael Wolff.

Pinehurst is a beautiful area with lakes and (you guessed it) pine trees. Yesterday afternoon I gave a talk to the students at O’Neal School about what I do as a pianist and then last night I ran through the concerto with the orchestra. Today I have been rehearsing with David (in between eating General Tso’s Chicken with fried rice at the Red Bowl Restaurant…. ) and this afternoon I hope to have some time to go biking.

Huge thanks to the wonderful Nick Hancock for arranging this concert for me and also to Cassie Drexel and her family for giving us such a lovely place to stay and making us feel so welcome in Whispering Pines!

The concert is on Saturday evening and starts at 7.30pm. You can find details and tickets here.

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Really thrilled today as world famous conductor Alexander Sladkovsky (Peoples Artist of Russia) has agreed to work with me as mentor. It’s important for me to be able to speak with experienced musicians and conductors so that I can develop the way that I perform and also to help me really understand Russian music and what it means to people. I’m really looking forward to working with Maestro Sladkovsky again.

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Last night I performed Rachmaninoff’s piano concerto No.2 with The Mariinsky Orchestra, conducted by Valery Gergiev. It was an amazing experience and the audience were very appreciative. The Mariinsky Theatre is in Vladivostok which is on the east coast of Russia, so its next to Japan. The theatre is a very big modern building with really excellent stages and practice rooms. The piano I was given for practice was a Steinway concert grand which is really unusual, normally I wouldnt be able to practice on such a lovely instrument!

Working with Maestro Gergiev was unforgettable, he has a complete understanding of the pieces he is conducting and was able to change and adapt to the way I was playing straight away. The Mariinsky Orchestra played perfectly and the combination really made an excellent performance.

I still can’t quite believe I have been given this incredible opportunity so thank you to everyone and especially Mr Denis Matsuev.

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