His competition successes include the Symphony Australia Young Performers Award (keyboard) and the Australian National Piano Award.
Concerto highlights have included Rachmaninoff 3rd with the Sydney Symphony, the Rachmaninoff Rhapsody on a theme by Paganini in Beijing, and Britten with the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra. Recent concerto highlights include Beethoven’s 2nd with the Canberra Symphony Orchestra, and Shostakovich 2nd, Chopin 2nd, Rachmaninoff 3rd, Beethoven’s Emperor and Ravel’s Left Hand concerto in Melbourne.
A highly sought after chamber musician, recent collaborations include Australian and Asian tours with the Australian String Quartet, performances with violinists Natsuko Yoshimoto, Elizabeth Layton (ex-concertmaster BBC Scottish), Ilya Konovalov, (concertmaster Israel Philharmonic), Tinalley and Flinders Quartets, and cellists Li-Wei Qin and Guy Johnston. He recently performed at the Australian Festival of Chamber Music and made a return appearance at the Huntington Estate Music Festival for Musica Viva Australia. In addition, Kristian debuted for ABC-Classics with baritone Teddy Tahu-Rhodes. Other recent solo and chamber highlights include the Adelaide Festival, Adelaide International Cello Festival, the Xing Hai Festival in Guangzhou, the Port Fairy Spring Music Festival, where Kristian performed the complete Rachmaninoff Preludes and piano trios and the Beethoven Triple Concerto with Yoshimoto and Qin.
Kristian studied at the Royal Academy of Music in London with Piers Lane and Christopher Elton, and earlier with Stephen McIntyre at the University of Melbourne where Kristian currently teaches piano and chamber music. He is also a ‘Friend of Australia’ for Tourism Australia.
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We asked Kristian a few questions
- How old were you when you decided to be a musician and what led you the instrument(s) you now play? I was actually rather old when I decided to be a musician – I had hated it as a child and was largely forced to practice. Yet I was about 21 when I started listening and playing again (I had stopped for a few years) and it suddenly dawned on me that I could not live without playing music. As I had stopped the violin at 13 (I think I was much better on it than the piano!) it was the piano that was the obvious choice.
- When you’re not rehearsing/performing/teaching, where are you most likely to be? With a glass of aged red in my hand somewhere!
- After you finish a concert, what is the first drink you want to have in your hand? Well that’s pretty obvious…
- If there weren’t external factors involved, how long do you think a concert should go for? It depends on the people, the repertoire etc… I think 75 mins is plenty! But I’ve been bored in far less time, and also captivated for much longer too!
- When should we clap? I think people clap far too soon after a piece finishes. The end of a work takes time to resonate, to conclude, and this is way after the final note. I often sit there and let the work finish in my head before I move to applaud, even if it was breathtaking and I’m staggered and moved by what just occurred. Often people have been clapping for 5-6 seconds before I start.
As for between movements, I do think people should refrain. Often there are beautiful links between movements and they are ruined by spontaneous applause. That being said, if people are appreciative, I don’t mind as well between movements. However, I like the continuity of the work to follow to the end, and not be broken up!