Q&A with Lambert Orkis







This edition of Q&A is a short-and-sweet interview from a fabulous ‘man-of-few-words’ concert pianist.  Taking the gold medal for concise answers, Lambert Orkis has just finished performing in the 2017 Musica Viva Festival at the Sydney Conservatorium.  A consummate performer with a wealth of experience and knowledge, we are delighted to include him in our Soundboard Newsletter.


Q: Where and when did your music education start?

A: Philadelphia 1950


Q: What do you enjoy most about visiting Australia?

A: Great audiences.  Wonderful birding-watching.


Q: What is your most important item that you take with you on tour (other than passport, phone and sheet music)?

A: Laptop.


Q: What would you say is the most challenging part about your program on this tour?

A: Fitting everything into a tight schedule.


Q: If you could pick anywhere, what country would you like to perform in next?

A: The next country that wants to hear the music.


Q: What do you like about learning or revisiting well-known repertoire?

A: A chance to learn an important work and/or an opportunity to refine and gain mastery.


Q: Who would you say has been your biggest musical influence?

A: The world of great musicians.


Q: How do you handle mistakes or memory lapses (if any) during performance?

A: Mental Wastepaper basket. 


Q: Is there a particular piece of music that never fails to move you emotionally?

A: Many.  Whatever music that is intended to be emotional/beautiful and is well executed.


Q: How would you describe your perfect day?

A: A montage of things I like.  My wife, music, my cats, travel, birding, photography, teaching, helping others.  Hard to do in one day.


Q: What do you like least about the music profession?

A: Commercialism


Q: Do you have any pre-performance rituals?

A: Sleep, eat, rehearse.


Q: What do you like to do best after a performance?

A: Eat. Sleep.


Q: In your opinion, what would you say are the most important personal attributes needed to be successful in this ‘industry’?

A: Be fair to colleagues.


Q: Where would you like to find yourself in 10 years?

A: Wherever life takes me.


Q: What advice would you give to your 10-year-old self?

A: Learn to think clearly and learn to pay attention.


Q: If you had to do it all over again, would you still choose this career?

A: No. Why? Doing it has been great.  There are other wonders out there.


Q: How do you think the road looks for the next generation of concert pianists starting their career?

A: Challenging.


Q: Do you have a favourite musical quote?

A: Think the right thoughts (Rostropovich)




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