A concert is an event for me. I don’t play one concert exactly the same as another. Today people might be playing in Tokyo one night, then flying to LA, then to Paris, and then to New Delhi. I call this the ‘jet lag’ way of playing. How can you live music in that way? I’m not accusing anybody, but it makes it so that you’re trying to play evenly – not too much of this, not too little of that – and that influences the whole interpretation and expectations. People engage you if they know you’re reliable. What does that mean? Do you want music that’s reliable? Do you think Schumann wrote his music for someone who was reliable?
О менеджерах в музыке
There was always business. Sol Hurok was the great European agent: he was my manager and brought me to America. He didn’t have 150 artists on his list, but the artists he had were all individuals. When Horowitz, Piatigorksy and Milstein were youngsters, they left Russia and came to play in bars and whorehouses. They came with their friend Alexander Merovitch – he was their manager because he believed in them. He lived with them, suffered with them, played pranks with them. Those managers don’t exist now. You have people with business sense, who treat their artists like potatoes. It’s terrible, and people go along with it. But I see a new generation of younger people who are beginning to play for themselves. That gives me hope.
I don’t think players allow themselves to suffer, or get upset about things that don’t concern them personally. If you make music but you don’t have the emotion to move people, what’s the point? In masterclasses, I try to make students understand that they shouldn’t only be motivated by perfect technique. It sounds like a cliché to say music is the most important thing – it’s so obvious. Technique should be about gaining the ability to play what you are feeling and what you want to give, to create a situation where when you play, you forget about your work. If someone comes to me after a concert and says, ‘You must have practiced a lot,’ it means I must have played badly.