Twitter Facebook Instagram


Here’s a date for your diary — 7th October. The pianist Alexandra Dariescu will be performing “The Nutcracker and I” at the London Piano Festival, just up the road at Kings Place.

It’s set to be a wonderful show and comes highly recommended. We caught up with Alexandra during a ciggy break (ours, not hers), and had a quick chat...

So how’s work going?
To be honest, I don’t consider being a pianist a job, it’s a lifestyle. It’s exactly like being a sportsperson, you warm up, you do your admin, and your “job” is to do about six or seven hours of pure playing every single day.

Does that ever get a bit much?
Not at all, every day is different, that’s the beauty of being a musician. I have so many projects on the go, so I’ll sit down on a Sunday night and make a plan for the whole week – what I need to practice. I usually go for the harder bits first.

Do you always work alone?
Most of the time. I travel alone all over the world, occasionally I’ll collaborate with other people which is always nice, but being a concert pianist is a very solitary life. You really have to like your own company.

Is it what you always wanted to be?
Absolutely. I was one of those very blessed children, in that I knew what I wanted to do from a very young age. I started playing the piano when I was seven, and when I was nine I had my debut with an orchestra. After I’d finished playing I came offstage and told my mother that I wanted to be a concert pianist. I had no idea what it implied, or how much hard work would be needed, I just knew it was what I wanted.

What if it hadn’t worked out?
I’ve never had a Plan B, it was always Plan A and that’s it. Now every day I’m so grateful, I sit at a piano and think wow, this is what I do for a living – it’s a blessing.

How do you unwind?
I love baking, usually Mary Berry recipes. I mix everything in a bowl, put it in the oven, go and practice for an hour, and then it’s ready.

Find out more at


newsletter signup

read past issues

clerkenwell tv

Related Items

My Clerkenwell

The Sound of Our Streets

Clerkenwell’s contribution to the music industry covers a century of technological and musical innovation. Andre Paine looks back at EC1’s greatest hits and the local history of early sound recording.


Sound & Movement

Sound & Movement, taking place on the 2nd of April in the great hall of the Old Finsbury Town Hall on Rosebery Avenue, will feature three world premieres of new works of experimental music and...