william wolfram tackles 5 follow-up questions

one of my musical highlights last month was getting to hear pianist william wolfram play mozart with the band.  and since he didn’t have the hilary hahn secret service brigade surrounding him, one of my social highlights last month was getting to chat with mr. wolfram after the concert.  he graciously welcomed some follow-up questions, so i took him up on the offer.  thank you, thank you, thank you!  i still owe him a box of mozartkugeln…

now that you’ve come and gone, any thoughts as to what sets the oregon symphony apart from other orchestras?

Nice on a personal level; very committed and really wonderful to have worked with.

speaking of jazz, what’s the role of improvisation for a classical pianist?

Other than cadenza playing I’m not sure.  I was brought up to be a composer, not a pianist… improvising was a major muscle that I exercised.  The idea in general has stuck with me – trying to play things in a different way in repeats for instance, or in successive concerts, etc.

these past few months, i’ve been steadily falling in love with a guy named pyotr… what 3 adjectives come to mind when you think of tchaikovsky’s music?

Well-crafted, Classical (yet very Romantic), Underrated 

what qualifies as a “big mistake” when you are performing and how often does that really happen?

A big mistake usually means a memory slip – a big one.  It doesn’t happen that often… but they do happen to everyone!

the other night our classical station 89.9 broadcast mitsuko uchida both playing and conducting the mozart concerto you performed while in portland – have you ever multi-tasked like this, or do you ever want to?

I haven’t, no.  It does hold a slight allure…

haven’t gotten enough wolfram?  me neither.  check out some sweet video of this piano-master, and stick around for the four-minute mark when things start to get real crazy amazing.


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