Pianist Alexandra Dariescu talks about work

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 londonpianofestival.com