He's arrived from Sydney, but has been spending quite a bit of time in Norway and Denmark. Tony Lee is ready for his week in the Australian National Piano Award
Questions & Answers – Profile
Name: Tony Lee
When is your birthday? 2 November 1991
Where were your born? Sydney
Where do you live this year when in Australia: Kingsford, Sydney
Do you still study & where – when will you finish?
Chappelle Musicale Reine Elisabeth, Brussels
Barratt-Due Institute Music, Oslo
Completing studies in 07/2017
What drew you to become a musician? Music was always apparent in the family and during my upbringing. My parents suggested I try the violin before moving onto piano and apparently that seemed to suit me better. In my early teens I had a good teacher who inspired me and it was after then I wanted to have really a life in music.
Do you sometimes perform in an ensemble? I relish every opportunity to play chamber music with other musicians.
What is so special about the piano and its music? The modern piano as we know now is perhaps the most versatile and powerful instrument available. It isn’t a coincidence that most composers wrote works for piano, seeing as it is such an expressive instrument with the greatest range of sound and register. The piano can be played in a vocal way and also be made to sound orchestral or even percussive.
What are you hobbies and why are you passionate about them?
I appreciate all aspects of art and enjoy visiting galleries and museums, this gives me much joy and inspiration to do what I do. In my spare time I like to read, I’m a football fanatic (soccer) also and also enjoy good food and wine so I cook often. These are among a few things I do away from the piano.
Do you do a lot of travel? Where have you been overseas etc? Yes at times. I am based currently in Brussels, study in Norway and travel to China and Australia when I have the time or engagements to play.
What are your goals over the next two years? In music, perhaps it would be to find the time to learn and hopefully perform all the things I want to.
Who inspires you and why? Perhaps not who but what. Inspiration comes from the ever reaching extent of ‘beauty’ and its organisms, as a musician I am constantly striving to find and immerse myself with this. In piano playing specifically it is the constant reciprocation of time and sound that correlates my being with this beauty.
Which musician inspires you any why? There are many and not only musicians. Maria Joao Pires has been a big influence on me the past couple years. Apart from the musical influences, I think she has inspired me to look deeper within myself and to determine and choose the paths in life, be it personal or in society.
Which composer’s music do you love and why? Again many! Beethoven is an important composer for me. This music that speaks so strongly to me has a constant yearning, struggle and hope that is so human and most truthful. Needless to say of also my admiration in his ingenious ability to create and construct works of music and break through any previous traditions and concepts.
Do you play sports? Not as much as I like to. I do enjoy ping pong and practise Tai Chi when I can.
How do you relax and unwind from rehearsing? Perhaps some beer or wine with a great book or movie.
Do you love the movies? Yes but only when there is company.
What is your favourite alcoholic drink? Red wine.
What do you hope to get out of this Australian National Piano Award?
Perhaps it is the musical process in the lead up. This is important for me. Then it is having the opportunity to share the music with a greater audience and then to hopefully meet like-minded people.