The stage of the International Telekom Beethoven Competition Bonn will once again sparkle with musical splendour in 2023, and Xuanrong Lynn Ye, a talented pianist from Ningbo, China, will be right in the middle of it all. She has already taken part in numerous competitions and has won many of them. Immediately after her performance in the second round, I met Lynn in her practice room, where she gave me an insight into the preparation and arrangement of her repertoire.
It is remarkable that she studied all the compositions especially for this competition. Although she had already encountered a few titles in the course of her career as a pianist, including Robert Schumann's Symphonic Etudes op. 13, a piece she first heard from her teacher and was keen to present in this competition. It was a composition that moved her deeply emotionally, but also presented a significant challenge due to its length and complexity. In general, the preparation for this competition was extremely intensive.
When asked how she chose the pieces, Lynn said that it was important to her to win over the audience with a broad spectrum of different emotions, techniques and compositions. And this is no easy task, as the interpretation of these well-known works proves to be challenging, as there is a fine line between clearly emphasising one's own character and preserving the composer's intention. Lynn emphasised that musicians should follow their feelings. Her way is to put her heart into the music and thus captivate the audience. At the same time, however, she is careful not to neglect the context within a composition or the overall picture and incorporates this into her playing.
Lynn also described the level of the competition as extremely demanding. Despite her extensive experience in competitions, she was clearly nervous when she entered the practice room and saw the impressive performances of the other participants.
Nevertheless, Lynn sees this competition as an ideal opportunity to develop as a pianist. She said that she had not practised as hard as she had for this competition for a long time and emphasised that even if she did not win a prize, the practice and experience she had gained would be invaluable.
Text written by: Ben Weber