What are your first musical recollections?
I was four when I first discovered the piano, which my mother used to play at home. We also listened to recordings of Horowitz, Heifetz, Toscanini and others.
It was a gradual discovery which took place even before I had a teacher. I was attracted by the various possible combinations of sounds as if they were a game. This natural discovery developed, when I was about six, into a compulsion to improvise and compose musical passages dedicated to people and situations.
Every time I was asked to play these pieces, I would repeat them exactly, though I had yet to learn to read and write musical notes and begin my formal musical education. I consider these years a fundamental period during which music was like a food to me.
Tell us about your musical education.
I began my musical education with a cousin – a pupil of maestro Vincenzo Scaramuzza, and a concert artist in her own right – who took me through the first steps of piano technique, musical theory and the study of Bach’s The Well-tempered Clavier.
Soon after, I took classes with the great maestro Scaramuzza himself and with one of his most important pupils, Mrs. Ana Gelber. These teachers were pivotal to my musical development. To complete my education, I later studied composition, conducting and musicology, in addition to master classes and seminars.
In those years, not that long ago, Buenos Aires was still a cosmopolitan musical metropolis where the great Russian, German and Italian teachers would receive pupils from all over the world.
However, these later studies did not add much to the basic core which I had acquired under my first two teachers that is a deep love for music, the idea that technique is an aspect of musical energy, and that the body, the mind, the soul, the arms and the hands together form a psycho-physical unity which can express thoughts and musical intuitions.
Is music your main activity?
Yes, if by music you mean drawing constant inspiration and channelling that into teaching, recording and performing.
I have always lived with the idea of the piano and music as my microcosm, but I felt that my education should not be limited to the narrow confines of keyboard specialisation. Hence, I have developed interests in psychology, philosophy and religion which have helped me develop my truly global idea of music.
Your recordings are marked by a bright and powerful sound. Where do you see the border lines between sonority and expressiveness?
There are no border lines because the expressiveness is required by the composer, but sonority depends on an inner state of the performer.
The concentration on sound for its own sake makes for good listening, but meaning is conveyed where there is a coherence between the idea itself and the obtained sound.
Judging by your recordings, your repertoire is huge. However, who are the composers you view as essential?
At the moment I perform a composition from any composer, I have to feel it is the most beautiful and important. Yet, within this repertoire, there are composers whom I regard as essential. Among them are Bach, Beethoven, Schubert, Schumann, Brahms and Scriabin.