Shanghai was my first stop on the Asia tour. Some of my experiments included waking up at 6am and sitting outside a nearby coffee shop and teaching my students in New York by skype! I had a wonderful tour of Shanghai’s old city from a student of Yun Sun, a very kind piano professor at the Shanghai conservatory. The concert was held at a German expat’s home in a high-rise apartment building. I noticed that the building did not have a 4th floor, or a 14th floor as those are both unlucky numbers in China. Also, it did not have a 13th floor to accommodate the westerners’ superstitions as well. So in the elevator it was 1,2,3…5, 6,7,8,9,10,11,12…15. Ha!
At the concert I performed a piece “Postlude” by the Chinese composer Huang Ruo, a friend of mine from Juilliard. This piece spurred on a discussion about cultural identity in music ie. What is “Chinese” music? Someone brought up a piece of traditional Chinese music on his ipad and had me sightread it. After the concert all of my hosts colleagues and friends stayed around and we played games for several hours.