Argh, matey!

Posted Monday, May. 27, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

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There was no patch on his eye or parrot on his shoulder, but Chinese pianist Ruoyo Huang saw himself as a pirate when he played the first of his two preliminary round recitals at the Cliburn on Monday morning.

“It comes from a Japanese cartoon,” said the 24-year-old pianist, who performed works by Haydn and Chopin in his recital.

After that, it gets complicated. Huang explained that the pirate in the cartoon was not a negative character, but rather just a seafarer in search of the freedom to pursue his dreams. Huang feels that musicians are sometimes like that — they long to have the freedom to follow their musical dreams wherever they make take them.

“That is why I say I am a pirate,” said Huang, whose father is a stage and television actor.

As for his swashbuckling performance on Monday, Huang said there were a few little flaws that he hoped the judges did not notice. But he was not overly concerned.

“I really don’t care about those [technical] things. If I have then all right, then perfect. But what I really care about is capturing the spirit of the piece.”

— Punch Shaw, Special to the Star-Telegram

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