Sergei Babayan: ‘Some young pianists succumb to superficial rivalry’main
The distinguished pianist and teacher on how competitors are prepared for international competitions:
Some young pianists succumb to superficial rivalry and choose fast, showy pieces in order to try to win over others. When I encounter a performance that reflects this, I am disappointed and wonder what the pianist is going to achieve. Even if the work is by Bach, Beethoven, Schubert or Chopin and has profound content, it has no meaning unless the pianist can convey a message to the audience through the work. I can easily tell which contestant is just trying to win the competition and which truly loves the music. The prize money in musical competitions does not compare with that given in major sports events, so it does not mean much for a musician’s life.
I think true “competition” begins at the end of the competition. It is in their everyday living that musicians are tested as to whether or not they are a true artist and able to create music which can touch the audience’s hearts.
Full interview here.
Babayan, pictured with his student, Daniil Trifonov