We interview Anna Goldsworthy

Described by The Australian as a ‘musical ambassador,’ Anna Goldsworthy is one of Australia’s most acclaimed and versatile musicians. As a piano soloist, she has performed extensively throughout Australia and internationally, and as a chamber musician she is a founding member of Seraphim Trio. Anna’s literary publications include the memoirs Piano Lessons and Welcome to Your New Life, as well as the Quarterly Essay Unfinished Business.

Anna records for the ABC Classics label. Her most recent CD is ‘Beethoven Piano Trios’ with Seraphim Trio, released in February 2016. She is currently a Senior Lecturer at the Elder Conservatorium of Music, and the Kenneth Moore Memorial Music Scholar at Janet Clarke Hall. Recent musical hightlights include solo appearances with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra and the Melbourne Chamber Orchestra; a nine-city solo piano tour of China; Seraphim Trio’s Australian concert season celebrating the history of the piano trio; and Seraphim Trio’s London debut. Anna curated the mini-festival ‘Chamber Landscapes’ for the 2017 Adelaide Festival, and edited Best Australian Essays 2017. She has recently been appointed Artistic Director of the Coriole Music Festival.


Who inspired you the most, and why?

My teacher Eleonora Sivan was a great inspiration from an early age. Her passion for music is contagious, and she instilled a real sense of mission.

How would you describe your creative process when you begin a new work?

I like to read it through an get an overview. The interpretation grows and evolves throughout the learning process, but I try to hold on to the freshness of that first encounter. For me, the learning process for me comprises a whole lot of analysis: structure, harmony, positions, fingering, phrasing etc. – depending on style and genre. I often devise my own exercises or reductions to solve technical challenges. And then all of that process needs to be absorbed and almost forgotten, so that the performance unfolds like something discovered in the moment.

What is an average day like for you?

There is no average day, beyond the structural markers of getting my children ready for school, and conveyed to extracurricular activities.

What are some of your favourite performance venues?

Ukaria in Mount Barker and the Melbourne Recital Centre.

What do you consider “success” as a performing artist?

Reaching an audience: awakening something in them, or causing them to be moved.

How do you interact with and respond to fans? 

Audiences are an essential part of the experience: almost a collaborative partner. I love meeting and interacting with them after recitals.

What are the best and worst things about being a musician? 

It is a luxury to live within the beauty and greatness of this art form, and a privilege to share it with audiences. The price of this is the unstinting discipline required to maintain the craft, and the few opportunities to ‘take it easy’. But on balance, it seems to be worth it!

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