Once upon a time, when I was maybe fourteen, I was to play a group concert with my fellow piano students in a senior citizen's home near Rotterdam.
In itself, not an earth-shattering occurence.
But on the very morning of the concert, I got a call from my teacher, who had managed to catch the flu and was therefore unable to introduce all the students at the concert and if I could please please take over because she thought I'd probably be charming about it.
I said yes, thinking it would be a piece of cake.
As it turns out, it's a lot worse to do public speaking and performing at the same time than one would reasonably suspect. It's one of those "greater than the sum of the parts" thing, I suppose. However, despite my screaming nerves, jitters and stuttering, the senior citizens indeed did find me charming more than a decade ago (I'm guessing it was the blonde hair), and therefore from that point on I was to do the introductions at every concert.
It was only six or seven years later that I realized that speaking right before playing is a thing that improves with practice.
And having practiced that, it turns out, is amazingly handy when you're giving a salon recital.
Sunday the 27th of September I played in Voorburg, on a very cute white Grotrian-Steinweg, a recital of about an hour. Therein I was aided and abetted by Tineke Mulder, an opera singer who turns out to be rather good at reciting poetry, too.
Since it was a salon concert, I told a little about the pieces I was playing, and honestly, I haven't had so much fun at a concert in ages.
Despite the fact that I was playing quite some new repertoire, which really isn't all that good for your blood pressure.
It was also a full hour, which is not something I have done solo in qutie some time.
I am pleased to report I lasted about three hours after concert before falling into a vegetative state.
In summary - I had a fabulous afternoon.
For those interested - these fabulous afternoons are planned with some regularity, and tickets for them can be reserved! The website is in Dutch, which works fabulously well in combination with Google Translate. Plus, it's got a review of my concert on it, which is always something to be slightly smug about.
I'm really going to have to arrange for more of these concerts...