It's always stressful to play a recital, especially in front of a very qualified audience.
Music from the Romantic period should be easy to identify and the pianist who picked it says it will unnerve the crowd and hopefully himself at the Kerikeri International Piano Competition at the Turner Centre.
Liszt's Sonata in B minor, Chopin's Ballad Number 3 and Scherzo Number 2 as well as some other shorter Chopin pieces will ease listeners into the June 28 to July 1 celebration of music.
"It's always stressful to play a recital, especially in front of a very qualified audience, the good thing is I play first and then I get to relax and judge," adjudicator Mikhail Solovei of Monash University in Melbourne says.
It will be an accessible beginning.
"Romantic music is more personal, it's a music of infinite communication," he says.
"You communicate through the music to the audience an actual story."
It's easier for an audience to respond emotionally to music of the period, he says.
Mr Solovei says he's looking for those in the competition to read the story expressed in the musical language.
"The understanding, for me, is much more important than the execution. Providing that they understand it, the execution is also important."
He he has seen some of the pianists coming to Kerikeri in other international competitions and he's aware of the calibre of playing that he will judge.
The eigh- hour days are taxing, but he enjoys discovering new talent "people who play from their heart, and people who play well".
- © Fairfax NZ News