The Scottish pianist will tour Australia performing chamber music, solo recitals and a new concerto. He talks to Clive Paget about his omnivorous appetite and musical passions.
Is there any reason you’ve waited over a decade since your first Debussy recording of the Préludes? Not really. It’s normally a bit of an accident when I decide to record something, and in this case it was hearing someone play L’isle joyeuse in a masterclass that suddenly gave me the urge. How long have you lived with the Images and Estampes, and have your interpretations changed much over time? I learned most of the music in the couple of years before the recording, then played it all quite a bit over a period of months, then left it, then came back to it. Over that time my interpretations didn’t fundamentally change – they just became more instinctive so I didn’t have to think so much. Steven Osborne. Photo © Ben Ealovega. Do you have any ‘rules’ when it comes to Debussy playing? The most important thing for me is having a strong feeling about the music I’m playing, so in that sense, everyone would have an individual approach, because everyone’s feeling about music is different. I can’t think of any rules as such but I’ve always loved playing quietly, so that suits me pretty well to the music, where