A dialogue with Evgeny Kissin

I was lucky to have won a free ticket for the concert: Kissin plays Liszt. Today I attended a public dialogue with Kissin at The University of Hong Kong.

Kissin was easygoing and friendly. He talked slowly and tried his best to answer every question. He is a child prodigy, but not as proud as some others.

“I think I play better over the years, as I hear more in music, and I want more of myself. ” Life is indeed a journey of exploring oneself, and follow one’s heart to wherever it goes.

In the Q&A session, a lady talked about human’s unrestricted potentials intellectually, and asked him if he had any plans about composition or conducting. Kissin was frank enough to say that he didn’t have any time for those. “We only have one lifetime. So I choose the things I’m best at.” He said. He further said that living in the world created by those great composers, he didn’t even want to compose any works himself.

“How many books can one read in one’s whole life?” He asked the insightful question. Well, if we suppose that one reads two books per week, and round up the number, one would be able to read 5,000 books in 50 years. It’s just a tip of the iceberg. Therefore, as Kissin put it, “it is a luxury to read all books one can get hold of.” This applies to virtually everything in life.

A very important part of growing up is to learn to make decisions, and to give up things that you are not too passionate about or you’re not too good at. I look forward to his performance on the day after tomorrow.


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