NMWA: What is your favorite thing about being a pianist?
SG: First of all, the most beautiful and immense repertoire that exists in the world has been written for piano. If almost all the other instruments are obliged to search for any transcription they can get, the pianist rather has the problem to decide, what from the huge ocean of this wonderful music to choose!
Another wonderful facette is the instrument itself. It’s a real king of all the instruments as it can imitate all possible colors and replace the orchestra, being at the same time more flexible as it is only one person and not 100!
Also thanks to the complex structure of the compositions for piano, there is always a very large field to search and work on them – independently from how long you are already playing the piece. Like this the work always stays very interesting!
But to come to a conclusion, I would say that the piano is the most fruitful musical ground to make everything else grow!
NMWA: How often do you travel for work? Where is the most interesting place you’ve played?
SG: I travel every two weeks, more or less. It’s hard to say where the most interesting place to play has been, everywhere there is something interesting and unique. But my favorite place until now wasLucerne, also due to the very happy time I’ve spent there and I’m keeping the most wonderful memories especially about the first concert that I had the honour to play with my teacher, James Tocco.
NMWA: Who inspires you as a musician? Why?
SG: Well, everyone who has something interesting and touching to say as a musician, inspires me… THE God of piano playing has always been and stays Sviatoslav Richter for me. Of course my teacher James Tocco has always been a wonderful source of inspiration because the joy he lets you feel making music is uncomparable, and I’ve never seen any other pianist who is as natural at the piano as Mr.Tocco is. Otherwise… I would name just a few musicians: the oboist Alexei Ogrintchouk (deeply touching way of playing and a very singing sound), the cellists Gary Hofmann (his natural way of handling his instrument will always stay an example for me) and Pierre Fournier (his Dvorak Concerto and also Brahms Double Concerto with David Oistrakh count to my favorite recordings – the ones I would take with me to a lonely island!), the violinist Leonid Kogan (for me the intensity of the feelings in his playing stays unequaled)…
NMWA: What’s your best advice to girls who are considering a career in music?
SG: Choose another profession as long as it’s not too late! 🙂 Seriously, believe in yourself and don’t let anyone, even someone whom you consider as the best teacher ever, bring you away from YOUR own way if you feel that it’s the right one. Fight for your ideas, even if later you realize that maybe you’ve been wrong. Learn to be strong and don’t let anyone frighten you with authority, traditions, etc…
Sofja Gülbadamova will perform at NMWA Wednesday, April 25 at 7:30 p.m.