It was my honour to be the youngest person ever in Africa to be named a Steinway Artist in 2010.
It was my honour to be the youngest person ever in Africa to be named a Steinway Artist in 2010. This life-long title has been bestowed on some of the most well known pianists in the world including idols like Arthur Rubenstein, Vladimir Horowitz, Martha Argerich and Lang Lang. From the world of jazz and popular music names like David Benoit and Diana Krall feature along side stars like Harry Connick JR. and Billy Joel.
I am most frequently asked in interviews to explain what it entails to be a Steinway Artists, because there seems to be a general misunderstanding about the title. Steinway Artists are not paid endorsers of the piano – each Steinway Artists personally owns a Steinway and has chosen to perform exclusively on Steinway pianos. These pianists are chosen after careful examination and reviews.
The collaboration between an iconic brand and my own career has meant wonders for me, although Steinway has always been a part of my life. Growing up in a house with a Steinway was one of the biggest benefits of my childhood. I do not come from a musical family but the advantage of being able to practise on an instrument of this touch, tone and responsiveness meant that I had the fortune of associating myself with pianistic colours and possibilities other young pianists can only dream of.
Over the years my love for these hand crafted instruments have grown so much that I am honest when I admit to being a bit of a pianomaniac today. I am truly obsessed with the making of these instruments and learning more about how master international concert technicians like George Ammann, Jan Höppner, Michel Brandjes or Stephan Knüpfer (to name but a few) seem to be the magicians of the pianistic world. Their skill, passion and knowledge transform instruments withing days, hours or sometimes withing minutes into the most ideal concert piano the world has ever known. No wonder pianists like Glen Gould or Vladimir Horowitz travelled with their own technician and their Steinway. This is a phenominon still practised by artists like Maurzio Pollini, Mitsuku Uchida and Krystian Zimerman. I am convinced that this must be the two biggest luxuries known to any pianist and I dream of the day I will be able to have both.
Steinway and the pianists that associate themselves with this brand make up some of the most interesting artists in the world and I count myself lucky to be associated with them. Like Lang Lang said: “Steinway or No way!”