The amazing Hiromi Uehara makes me want to play the piano very fast.
Born in Shizuoka, Japan, in 1979, Hiromi started piano lessons at age six and enrolled in the Yamaha School of Music less than a year later. At age 14 she had already performed with the Czech Philharmonic. She credits her earliest teacher with encouraging her to tap into the intuitive as well as the technical aspects of music.
“Her energy was always so high, and she was so emotional,” Hiromi says of her first piano teacher. “When she wanted me to play with a certain kind of dynamics, she wouldn’t say it with technical terms. If the piece was something passionate, she would say, ‘Play red.’ Or if it was something mellow, she would say, ‘Play blue.’ I could really play from my heart that way, and not just from my ears.”
That’s what it takes…and lots of practice… octaves, Hanon, scales, repeated notes…about 10,000 hours worth, I’d say.