Monday, January 17, 2011

My worst new year ever!?

I am sorry I have not updated my blog for some time.

I was very busy at the end of my stay in Japan, but I had a good time there with friends and family. I traveled in Kansai (Western Japan) and visited many beautiful and spiritual places. It was a precious experience for me. I wish I could have stayed for the New Year (正月 sho-gatsu) with my family in Japan, but I had to return to Europe to prepare for my recital in London.

As the Japanese proverb says: a misfortune happens when you least expect it...I encountered several unexpected misfortunes when I returned to Europe.
When I arrived home in Berlin on Dec. 27th, I found water had been leaking from the ceiling of my apartment because of heavy snow! I had to spend time shifting buckets, moving furniture and drying the floor until late night. The next day, someone came to repair the roof, but did not do a good job and the leaking started again after a couple of days break. In the meantime I came down with a cold and couldn't practice for three days.

The worst day was January 1st. I woke up at 7am (after about 4 hours sleep) because of the sound of a "waterfall" and found a stream in the living room...a nightmare!! I called some emergency numbers, but I could reach only the fire department. A fireman came and saw the miserable situation, then told me he could do nothing except to advise turning off the electricity and heating for safety. The roof was finally repaired properly in the late afternoon, but I couldn't stay at home without electricity and heating, so I moved to a friend's home, carrying valuable things. Fortunately the water leaking stopped the next day. You can not imagine how physically and mentally down I felt during this time.

I pulled myself together and flew to London on January 5th and my feelings immediately turned positive when I met some friends and finally could concentrate on my music and not on my series of Berlin disasters.

However, one more accident was to occur just before my performance. One of the hammers of the piano came off as the technician was regulating the voice (sound quality)! That happened at 6:55 pm, just 5 minutes before the doors were to open for the public! The technician and the hall managers ran downstairs, were able to get a hammer from another piano and repaired the concert piano within 15 minutes. The doors were opened at 7:18 pm while I was quickly checking the instrument!

If anyone wonders why I seemed happy on the stage during my performance even after that accident, it was because I was simply happy to perform in Wigmore Hall for the second time and to have such a big audience (nearly a full house!) and also because I had survived the series of misfortunes in Berlin before coming to London. After those experiences, nothing could give me any fear or stress. I was only motivated to enjoy the intense moment of the great music.

I want to thank everyone who supported me for this special concert. I hope to perform in London again in the near future!