Boston-based Australian pianist Matthew Xiong has enjoyed a successful career as a concert pianist, performing nationally in Australia and internationally in Europe, the US and Puerto Rico. The 27-year-old’s competition successes include second prize at the 2018 Sydney Eisteddfod Concerto Competition and runner-up for the 2020 BU Carnegie Hall Competition. He has also studied under leading musicians, including members of the Borromeo String Quartet and world-renowned piano pedagogues Margaret Hair, Johny Perry and Robert McDonald. He received his Bachelor of Music degree from the New England Conservatory of Music under Gabriel Chodos and obtained his Master of Music degree at Boston University under Boaz Sharon.

Despite his success, Xiong has, for the majority of his career, been plagued with performance anxiety, something not many musicians like to talk about. Determined not to see the issue swept under the carpet, he speaks to Jenna Parksabout his own battle with the issue and how he’s found results in lessons from sports psychology.

Pianist Matthew Xiong Pianist Matthew Xiong

Tell me why performance anxiety is such an important topic for musicians?

Well,...