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)?
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?
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?
Q: Do you have a favourite musical quote?
A: Think the right thoughts (Rostropovich)