Portrait Lisa Smirnova

« an adult. But that wasn't actually the problem." Worse for Lisa Smirnova was the paternalism that interfered in private issues, such as "what one could wear, how one had to behave". Then came the battle for attention from teacher Anna Kantor, who she calls a very "experienced" piano teacher. Kantor's piano classes, which Lisa Smirnova attended, included students ranging in age from five to seventeen years old. Shining centre of attention was Evgeny Kissin. Everything revolved around this "once in a century talent". For good reason, Lisa Smirnova reckons, but to the detriment of the other students.

Lisa Smirnova could not resign herself to the limitations of the repertoire either; for historic-traditional reasons the romantic repertoire was preferred. Mozart and Schubert did not appear to present a great technical challenge, for which reason they were also disregarded. Instead, composers such as Chopin, Liszt, Rachmaninoff, Prokofiev and Scriabin were given top priority, coupled with the interpretation and preference for this repertoire; not to mention historical performance practice. "The Handel suites I have now recorded would not have been possible. What one didn't know simply did not exist." And also in view of the score, that which the composer foresaw played a subordinate role. "The focus was more on musical instinct." But one thing still fascinates her about the 'Russian School': "The way to work with the sound, that's the most wonderful thing that a student can learn. This very special connection »