|I was walking down Broadway in New York and couldn’t find Carnegie Hall. So I asked somebody: “How do you get to Carnegie Hall?” The answer was in 3 cryptic words: “Practice! Practice! Practice!”. My dear pianist friend
Vladimir Valjarevic knows that, and he knows New York. Is the secret in the handshake? “No,” he said, “the secret is a little known place located just around the corner from Carnegie Hall.” So, I went to this magical place that rents rooms with a grand piano in them. They can be rented by the hour or less than an hour; however long you need. They call them ‘practice rooms’ and so I went up there to the 10th floor and gave my secret handshake. That did nothing. The studio manager with the cute British accent asked me instead for my credit card and began to smile when the card checked out ok. I started to have a good feeling about this place. There were many studios and I could hear opera singers, classical piano music and Broadway show tunes, just by walking through the hallways. When I got to my hall, I closed the door and voila!, I could still hear everyone else in their own practice rooms. But it was an overhead light that emitted the disturbing buzz. So I turned it off. The grand piano was a Weber, which is a grand old American piano name, now manufactured by Young Chang in Korea. I was ready for my debut concert in close proximity to Carnegie Hall. I was ready to practice what I preach. With my eyes closed I waited for the audience and gave the secret handshake for a spirit to guide my hands, as it is my fashion. As none showed up, I simply started playing what is now known as the definitive version of ‘Not The Carnegie Hall Concert’.