Who or what inspired you to take up the piano, and make it your career?
I cannot pin point where the inspiration came from, I guess I was just very passionate and still am about the piano.
Who or what were the most important influences on your musical life and career?
My first teacher, Edvin Alamshah, who was a former student of Arturo Michelangeli, was a huge influence in my younger days. But I think the greatest influences are the great composers, and great music.
What have been the greatest challenges of your career so far?
I like to think of the challenges more like journeys; however I think for most pianists the greatest challenges are communication. Once you have the ability to communicate with your audience you have overcome one of the greatest challenges.
Which performance/recordings are you most proud of?
I haven’t recorded a CD yet but I have made many videos for YouTube and radio broadcasts. I think my favourite performances/recordings have to be the Scriabin and Janáček piano works.
Which particular works do you think you play best?
It depends on how the coffee tastes in the morning! There is no work I think of in that way, each piece of music has a soul and its own personality which breathes like we do, and on many occasions I’ve been proven wrong with a work I thought I could play best. However, Janáček sits very closely to me and agrees with me.
How do you make your repertoire choices from season to season?
By reading lots and lots of music and seeing what speaks to me. I never listen to recordings to make these decisions.
Do you have a favourite concert venue to perform in and why?
I have to say the Sydney Conservatorium of Music Verbrugghen Hall. It has lots of memories and a huge acoustic which fits my personality on stage.
Favourite pieces to perform? Listen to?
I absolutely adore Haydn and all of his works, and I have so much fun with him while I perform.
Who are your favourite musicians?
Really don’t have favourites, just very open/honest interpretation from many musicians young and old.
What is your most memorable concert experience?
I think my most memorable was a recital where I performed lots of Galina Ustvolskaya’s chamber works. She was a student of Shostakovich.
What do you consider to be the most important ideas and concepts to impart to aspiring musicians?
My friends and colleagues will laugh at this, but I always believe you must spend more time outside your practice room, meet people, go to concerts, classic or not, drink lots of whisky and take it easy. I am not saying you should never practice – it’s very important: however some people really lose the sight of how it really is in real life. Spending 8-9 hours in a practice room can get very lonely: how are you supposed to communicate with people on stage when you can’t do that in real life?
What are you working on at the moment?
I am working on the complete works of Janáček to perform and record in 2015.
Where would you like to be in 10 years’ time?
Where I am now, happy and healthy.
What is your idea of perfect happiness?
Where I don’t feel happy 24 hours of the day.
What is your most treasured possession?
My piano scores
What do you enjoy doing most?
What is your present state of mind?
Panic (about to start teaching)
Vatche Jambazian performs works by Shostakovich, Mozart and Ustvolskaya at the 1901 Arts Club on Friday 16th May as part of the South London Concert Series. This concert is now **sold out**. Details of future South London Concert Series events here
Vatche Jambazian recently completed his BMus at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music and is now based in London performing many recitals in the UK and abroad. He has been a prizewinner in many international piano competitions such as The Russian Music Piano Competition in San Jose and the Australian National Piano Award. He is a highly dedicated piano teacher who aims to bring enjoyment as well as discipline to the lessons.
Vatche has recently been appointed Ambassador for the Commonwealth Piano Foundation.