This past week, Piano Cleveland spoke with Martín García García, Mixon First Prize Winner of the 2021 Cleveland International Piano Competition, to understand how he is preparing for his upcoming debut at Carnegie Hall on Wednesday, October 12th.
Q: How are you preparing for your Carnegie Hall debut and is it different from other concerts you’ve performed?
A: I am preparing in the same way I usually prepare for any concert! The best thing one can do is treat each concert as the most important of your life, and that way you gain discipline that does not fade depending on the audience size or the place. Carnegie is a legendary venue, but I think about Schubert, Chopin and Rachmaninoff now. When I arrive to the Hall, as my previous professor used to say, “the train has parted” and all is left is enjoying the moment.
Q: What are three items you always have with you the night of a concert?
A: Hm…I always wear a necklace of a silver bunny that was given to me by my fiancé. It is a sort of token of luck. Also, I cannot live without my small towels when I go on stage. I have three of them, and they are very helpful since I tend to sweat a lot. And of course my bow-tie!
Q: What is your pre-concert routine?
A: I really don’t have a routine. I try to manage my energy very carefully through the day, since I have to be awake until the concert in the evening and then spend all the energy I have in 90 minutes. I am usually very quiet on the day of concert, saving as much as I can of that precious energy!
Q: Which pianists do you admire most?
A: I would say Vladimir Horowitz, Arcadi Volodos, Radu Lupu… I should mention Jerome Rose, too!
Q: Will there be any special audience members in attendance?
A: It will be a very special evening indeed. It would take such a long time to mention all of them, so I will mention a couple: my last professor Jerome Rose and his wife, Julie Kedersha (who were of special importance last year!); my parents, grandparents and brother are taking the chance to come to NYC and come to my concert, so it will be special for them, too; many friends from Cleveland, especially the Beytas family, who took care of me during the Cleveland competition and I am very grateful to them; my fiancé, since we both live in NYC; I have even met someone in the European Center for Music Penderecki, in Poland, who is gonna be at this special concert… So it will be even a surprise to me just seeing some unexpected faces that I know!
Tickets for Martín García García’s debut at Carnegie Hall on Wednesday, October 12th can be purchased at: