Alexander Yau

Alexander Yau. Photo: WinkiPoP Media

An interview with Alexander Yau

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Alexander Yau, winner of the 2018 Sydney Eisteddfod Kawai Piano Scholarship (16-25 years), reveals his passion for piano and other hidden talents as well as sharing his techniques prior to performing and enduring fascination with Liszt's Sonata in B minor - the piece he chose to perform for the Final.

What inspired your passion for piano?

Recreating the music I hear, from children's songs all the way to classical music.

Do you think pianists should learn how to sing?

I agree very much with you that a pianist should learn how to sing! I started singing a few years ago, after studying and listening to vocal repertoire, art songs, lieder and Operas. Many expressive nuances, interpretative phrasing and tone colours on the piano came from understanding the mechanics and expressive qualities of singers.

Who inspires you and why?

Everyone inspires me, because observing people's actions and manners and interacting with them, I learn a lot about them and allows me to experience something new.

Tell us a little bit about one of the pieces you performed in the Final and why you chose it.

I performed the Liszt's Sonata in B minor. I chose it because I first heard it at age 10 and was fascinated at such a magnificent piece, thus began playing it since then till now.

Which other performers do you most like to listen to/watch, and why?

Performers I like to listen/watch are Arthur Rubinstein, Emil Gilels, Placido Domingo, Franco Corelli, Janine Jansen, David Oistrakh, and many others.

What is the best piece of performance advice you've ever heard?

'You are enough', which always allows me to stay cool before a performance, and be myself, not do anything extra, and above all, be honest.

What are you hoping to achieve next?

I will be moving to New York for my Masters of piano at Juilliard School, so therefore I hope give myself worldwide exposure in performances, in solo, chamber music and collaborative, and achieve complete control and confidence when performing in front of large and critical audiences.

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