Last evening we attended a performance by the Seattle Symphony of Rachmaninov’s Third Piano Concerto. If you have ever seen the film Shine, you know how daunting this piece is a concert pianist. It is a 40-plus moment workout, composed of 30,000 specific records, every one of that have become performed-often at lightning speed-in a particular order; with nuance, dynamics, and passion; live; from memory; in front of a discerning audience of thousands of individuals, and a much more discerning orchestra and conductor.
Can you say “pressure”?
The soloist, Kirill Gerstein, performed brilliantly.
Just what does it take to repeat this? Just what does it take to execute at your best whenever it matters many? Whenever all eyes are on you, and objectives are high?
The key, since it turns out, is to perhaps not look at the notes.
By the time he strikes the top phase, a musician of …