Statement of Artistic Purpose
In times of world-scale economic crisis, deadly pandemic, systemic social injustices, and wide-ranging political pandemonium, artists and musicians may find themselves questioning the significance of their work and activity. The 2020 Covid-19 pestilence has forcibly re-kindled the controversial debate over the hierarchy of essentiality among jobs.
As I consider my role as a performer, the words of John Keating, the main character of the movie Dead Poets Society, resonate within: “. . . And medicine, law, business, engineering, these are noble pursuits and necessary to sustain life. But poetry, beauty, romance, love, these are what we stay alive for. . . .”
Music’s sublime soul-stirring power is the intrinsic raison d’être that inspires my art. Far it be from me to discover my true self, I can completely abandon and forget myself while playing, even though for just a fleeting instant. Beyond all the relevant cultural, intellectual, and pedagogical considerations, my final intent—the driving force behind my artistic struggles—is to gift the audiences through my music-making with a moment of vicarious forgetfulness, a flash of timeless feeling.
My work as a piano performer, teacher, and scholar focuses on furthering and disseminating the great piano classics and, even more importantly, on promoting marginalized and lesser-known composers from historically sidelined cultures. The greater my potential outreach, the more substantial my humble contribution to the general music scholarship, to the popularization and expansion of the repertoire, and to people’s journey towards self-abandonment.
Our era is the cradle of profound fast-paced societal and ideological transformations. Classical music, being a repository of eternal values, naturally resists such progress. As I advance through my career, I strive to create new music models and paradigms, adequate to the needs of our times, while preserving the core traditional virtues of the past. It is paramount, in my view, to find the “new bottle” for the “old wine,” as the old proverb goes.