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Bocheng Wang - Piano

Interview

1. You are currently studying piano with Professor Christopher Elton for your Bachelor’s degree at the Royal Academy of Music. How is this progressing?

This is progressing well. I am currently in the third year of my Bachelor’s degree. I have been studying with Professor Elton for the past nine years and he is such an inspiring and passionate teacher. I am always exhausted after each lesson, because he could really bring out the best of your playing. He also makes you feel how the music develops and understand the meaning of the music.

2. Is your family musical?

My parents do not play any instruments, but they love to hear traditional Chinese music from the 90s. On the other hand, my grandfather is an absolute big fan of Western music. He taught himself Violin, Viola, Cello and Piano.

3. Who was your first influential music teacher?

My grandfather is actually my first influential music teacher. He trained my technique in a very promising way, which gave me a very good foundation to be able to play some pieces I wanted to play since I was young. I really appreciate what he has done for me through my musical journey.

4. You have had multiple competition successes. Does any one of these particularly stand out?

Thank you. I would say the moment when I won the Croydon Concerto Competition in 2015, which led me to a lot of opportunities to perform with different orchestras and conductors. I gained a lot of valuable experiences from those masters.

5. In June 2016, you were invited to play for a celebratory concert in honour of HM The Queen Elizabeth II’s 90th birthday. How this this special invitation feel like and what pieces did you play?

I felt absolutely honoured and privileged to have this opportunity to perform the first movement of Mozart’s Concerto No.20 with the great London Mozart Players to celebrate The Queen’s 90’s birthday. I was very nervous, because I was playing for the Royal family for the first time. I was also very fortunate to meet Prince Edward in the same evening.

6. You were recently one of the semifinalist in prestigious Santander International Piano competition. What pieces did you play in that competition and how were your feelings at the time?

It was a crazy experience for me. I played a lot of demanding pieces. For example, Prokofiev Sonata No.7, Chopin Sonata No.2 and Dvorak Piano Quintet in A major with the great Cuarteto Quiroga. I was very stressed during the competition, because every pianist was so amazing. I hardly had any good sleep and constantly thought about the pieces that I have to play for the competition.

7. What are your fondest musical memories, privately or performing?

I always think that in real life, as we are all humans, we can not repeat our emotions exactly the same again while the time is passing. Because our emotions develop every second, so does the music itself. I would say whenever I am performing on the stage, I feel free and I am creating something that I can only experience once in my life. I think that’s the beauty of the music and performing.

8. How often do your practice?

I practice between 4 to 5 hours everyday, but sometimes I need a day off.

9. Would you consider teaching in the future?

Definitely, I have already had three years of teaching experiences. Also, I am actually doing a course called LRAM at the Royal Academy of Music. I believe this will help me even more on how to be a creative and inspiring teacher in the future.

10. Who would your dream accompanist be, from the present or past?

It is very hard to decide. Maybe Chopin himself? I hope he will not tell me off too much when I play his both dramatic concertos.

11. What advice would you give to young musicians at the start of their journey?

I suggest that learn as much as you can and make as many friends as possible inside and outside your profession. Because you never know when, where and who will give you the most important opportunity or support in your career. Also, talk about the music itself. I personally think music is the reflection of our life. If you want to enjoy and play the music well, you have to have a good life. What I mean ‘good’ life here is we all need to experience, or taste the sweet and bitter of life.

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submission February 2019