Schumann Concerto

Updated: Dec 6, 2020


October 2019.

The last trip of the year. No more traveling after that. Promise.


Since July, it was Singapore, Paris, Budapest, Mauritius, South Africa, Reunion.


So for the last time in 2019, on Corsair. 12 hours from Reunion to Paris.


This time I checked in to a comfortable AirBnb in central Paris close to the Stalingrad station.

For Paris, I never advise people to go to the hotels unless its for holidays. For most working trips, I go with AirBnb. 85euros a night, one bedroom, kitchen, huge living room. Reasonable ain't it?

I desperately needed some help with Schumann. So I decided to go play for my Master Jean Marc Luisada. The only problem was that he had another concert in Lithuania, and had to leave Paris the next morning. The only solution was to have our lesson at 8pm.

Honestly, I don't know what to say. I am so grateful.

After every lesson it feels like we always have something to celebrate to.


I played through the first movement, then we had dinner at a really cozy Italian place downstairs.

- We came back to finish up the last 2nd and 3rd movements after dinner.

Lesson till midnight.


I was dead tired after the 12 hours flight, and he had a plane to catch the next morning.

What a life!


Extremely thankful for this lesson. Now I feel like I could confidently play this concerto the way I really wanted it.



Spent 3 days practicing at school..

Went to Pho 18, a craving since 2012 (YUM)

Rue Philibert Lucot, Paris


I missed those satay noodles! Had them often when I was studying here. The perfect winter dish.

In those 3 days of practicing, Odile offered to give me some advise on the concerto.


She invited all her students to come watch the lesson. And she basically sight read through the entire accompaniment.


Always feels good to perform with second piano before rehearsing with orchestra. Helps with learning the parts, and hearing the inner voices.


Thank you Odile for your time, and for always being so supportive!



Took a day off as well hanging out with Singaporeans in Paris :)


Surprised to see so many Singaporeans in Paris for the first time! It was the first Sunday of the month. In Paris, many museums are opened to the public (free of charge). I had a friend who was going to perform at the Cite de la Musique at 2.30am!


They call it the Nuit Blanche here.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuit_Blanche


Since the metro was operating late, we stayed back a little to do some karaoke.











The next day at around 2pm, I flew from Paris to Nice.


There was someone at the airport holding a huge sign-board with my name on it spelled incorrectly. Oh well they always put the u before the y.

Conyug, Conugy, Conygu.

I don't know anymore.


Funny arriving in Nice airport, people around usually go asking like - Taxi? Taxi?

Here in Nice, you hear - Taxi? Helicopter? Cruise?

Haha, maybe next time!

Picked up Maestro Grigor at the next terminal and we were on our way to San Remo.

Throughout the trip to Italy, the views were stunning.


I checked into the hotel right next to the concert venue.

Best Western if i'm not wrong.

This concert invitation I got from my new Italian manager Alessandro was very well organized.

The orchestra got me a really nice room with a balcony facing the main square.


I took the first day to walk around the city.

There isn't much to do in San Remo but the views here were simply breath-taking.



The houses were built along the steps. I decided to get lost, go as high as possible to catch the sun set.

Overall I thought this was a pretty little town.


Let's get onto the next part, FOOD.

On the first evening, Grigor and I decided to have dinner to speak about Schumann and to get to do a little introduction. So we just booked a table at the restaurant in the hotel. I ordered squid ink gnocchi (this was the best gnocchi I ever had).

I would come back here just for the gnocchi. Serious.

Everything they served there was perfect. Fried squid - pasta dishes. Oh that seafood pasta....


- Quintessenza

https://www.hotelnazionalesanremo.com/en/eat-drink/hotel-restaurant.aspx


I'm not really a breakfast person, but when I travel - I always oblige myself.


Look at that view!!


















Jacuzzi anyone?

Later in the day...


Our first rehearsal at the Casino.


The Steinway D was a beauty. Wonderful wonderful instrument! One of the best Steinways I've played on.



Hey! They got my name right this time! :)


Strange thing to be called Maestro everywhere you go. Feels so old fashion.. I prefer Monsieur!

No wait, actually I prefer Congyu.



First Movement


Second Movement.

Sorry about the 3rd movement. The video stopped in between.

Yah yah yah I know. The 3rd movement was too fast.

I was really nervous here no idea what to expect ;)



There were 2 rehearsals scheduled initially. The first at 4pm, and the second the next morning.

As usual, there always needs to be some drama..



The rehearsal the next day was canceled, so yeah we rehearsed again in the evening at 8pm.


Well at least we got 2 rehearsals!