I always find that preparing for a concert feels like a musical feast that I set for everyone to enjoy. There is always an element of mutual emotional, spiritual, and physical experience that happens only at that time. Even though I am the party host, it doesn't mean that I don't get to eat. The opposite is true. I prepare, visualize, anticipate, experience, and enjoy with everyone.
Do you have a favorite concert experience in your career?
As every concert is unique, it is almost impossible for me to single one concert out. Yet if I close my eyes and search the memory, I find that my Carnegie Hall sold-out debut in 2017 is one of those that stand out. Even thinking about it makes my heart beat a bit faster. That moment right before stepping into one of the most prestigious concert halls in the world with excitement and overflowing gratitude for everyone who traveled far to be with me. I was filled with excitement, nerves, gratitude, joy, happiness, and the utmost presence. Many of you probably know about my story of how I ended up playing at Carnegie through my book, Whenever You're Ready, or interviews with various media.
When I first walked on the stage, the first thing I said to the audience was:
"Welcome to my dream."
Like that, my dream unfolded into real life. After that first moment on stage I remember that every second of the concert was like eternity as if the time had stopped, yet all the 90 minutes were like a moment of bliss. I don't recall any other concert experience where I was at that level of focus as a performer or a person.
When I woke up from the musical dream, at that moment of silence after the final note on the piano I realized that I was living the dream; 'I am in heaven, alive and grateful, I made it, I want to do it again, I hope to remember the moment forever, I am here, I AM here...'
The feeling on the following day was also an interesting experience. When the shining stage chandelier was turned off and the wild crowds disappeared, I woke up in bed as if the last night had been a fairy tale. As if I were Cinderella after the fancy party in a palace, now I was back to the mundane life of being normal human. I remember that I had to work through the days and weeks after the concert of coming down to earth and landing back in the routine safely after such a high feeling of existence. The Carnegie debut had the most distinguishing experiences of its preparation, the concert itself, and post-concert stages of any concerts I had.
I often wish I had a video or audio recording of this concert so that I could listen to it. Now that memory exists only in me and that audience. There is no physical evidence, yet it remains the most intense concert memory for me. Now that I think about it, maybe it is more beautiful that way. I am grateful that the concert exists in the spiritual realm. I can always replay this concert at the blink of an eye in my head without video.
I am proudly letting you know that I will return to the Carnegie this year. I can’t wait to be there again and to experience this all over again. Unfortunately - or fortunately, there won't be any recording of it either. It will be live only once - from 8 till 9:30 p.m. on the 7th of June 2023 at the Carnegie Hall in New York. The tickets will go on sale in early March. I invite you to this musical feast. Please come and join me in this one experience. I am so excited to share it with you!