I’ve had an intensely “cultural” few days recently, culminating in a chamber recital last night by pianist Alessandro Taverna. Taverna was a finalist in the 2009 Leeds Piano Competition and it’s true to say me and my girls have become Taverna groupies ever since because I think we have seen every one of his Yorkshire recitals.
Our fan club began when we had him practicing on our piano prior to the 2009 competition. One of the wonderful benefits of owning a piano in Leeds is being able to host competitors’ practice sessions in the run up to the competition. We certainly struck lucky last time, with two of the top three finalists having tickled the ivories in our home.
But it’s not just about having heard Taverna practise and appreciating his technical virtuosity. It’s just as much about the fact he is a wonderful communicator, and Leeds audiences have clearly taken him to their hearts. Musically he communicates beautifully of course, but there is also a warmth and humility in the way he engages with the audience and takes his applause.
It all adds up to a winning relationship, and reinforces how art of any kind demands communication to be of moving relevance, and is both nurtured and strengthened to the enjoyment of all when it happens in this way.