Catching up with the youngest ever winner of the Van Cliburn Competition as she heads to Australia.

Your concert at the Melbourne Recital Centre focuses on night and romance; how did you go about drawing these pieces together?

This is a very colourful, dramatic, eclectic recital program. Oftentimes I try to come up with pieces that “fit” in an unusual way. The first half was built around Bartók’s Out Of Doors. It is in my hopes that listeners find interesting juxtapositions between Beethoven’s Sonata Op 31, No 3 (nicknamed the “Hunt”) and the “Chase” of Bartók; between Chopin Nocturnes and Bartók‘s “Night Music”. While sharing a common thread, these pieces illuminate in different ways. The second half of the program celebrates the composer Sergei Rachmaninov. The three transcriptions show Rachmaninov as a great “song” composer, whereas the second sonata as a great “pianistic” composer.

You’ve chosen Earl Wild’s arrangements of Rachmaninov. Is he a piano idol of yours?

Earl Wild transcriptions are very special. I started to learn them after I heard his magnificent recording of his own transcriptions. I feel that they elevate Rachmaninov’s nostalgic melodies to another level.

Your latest album  Collage was inspired by your synaesthetic reaction to Joan Snyder’s paintings. Can you...

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