The Q&A this month features UK/Irish pianist, Finghin Collins, who will be making his Australian debut at the upcoming Australian Festival of Chamber Music! The festival is a unique and internationally acclaimed event presenting a 9 day program of over 30 concerts and special events between 29th July – 6th August. To experience the world’s finest chamber musicians performing in the tropical winter warmth of Townsville, buy your tickets here.
Finghin was born in Dublin and studied with John O’Conor. He established his international reputation by winning the 1999 Clara Haskil International Piano Competition and has since performed with many major orchestras throughout Europe, the US and Asia. He has performed twice at the BBC Proms and was the first Associate Artist of the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland. He records for Claves Records. He makes his Australian debut at AFCM.
Q – What are you most looking forward to about the Australian Festival of Chamber Music in 2016?
I am most looking forward to making great music with great artists! Piers has managed to line up a super array of musicians of all kinds. And there is a great mix of well-known and less well-known music on the programme. For me I think it will be particularly nice to work with many fine Australian musicians for the first time. I have a feeling that the atmosphere is going to be particularly appealing, not only because the setting looks so attractive but also because I think Piers himself has such a radiant and kind personality that this will fan out through all the artists whom he has invited to this unique festival.
Q – We know that all performances will be special but are there any that you are especially looking forward to performing and why ?
I have heard a lot about the Goldner Quartet from Piers so I think it will be wonderful to play Faure’s beautiful first piano quintet with them. This is one of my favourite works in the literature. I am also very much looking forward to performing Dave Brubeck’s jazz suite with Piers in the closing concert.
Q – What advice would you give a young musician?
Listen. Listen to your own playing, and when you play chamber music, listen to your colleagues, to how they play and what they say. Keep an open mind, take on challenges, reply to emails quickly, realise that the career is not just about performing but also about running a small business. Be open to new ways of performing the same pieces, be inspired by new colleagues and new repertoire and always bring a fresh approach to your performances.
Q – Which other living artists do you most admire?
Grigory Sokolov, Daniel Barenboim, Murray Perahia. Cecilia Bartoli, Joyce Di Donato, Maria Joao Pires.
Q- In the movie of your life, who plays you?