A Anxiety is not the word I would have ever used. Other than sometimes in the plane when it starts making noises. And since I have seen the film “Flight,” I am really checking out carefully all the pilots. No, anxiety is not part of my stage life. Excitement and tension are what I feel, and you are totally geared up to that moment. And once you are on stage, you are confronted with yourself and what you are capable of bringing to the stage at that very moment. Let’s be honest, it’s always a work in progress.
Q You and Lambert have worked so long together that you’re really collaborators, yes? Except that you’re the star.
A That is just the label applied. So let’s remove the label. We had a wonderful musical start in 1988. You never know, in a personal or musical relationship where each of these individual beings are headed to. We are both curious musicians and he is so rooted in contemporary music. I am just a beginner compared to that. And his passion for period instruments and historic performance style has contributed to my interpretation of Beethoven. My style has rubbed off on him as well.
Q Did you once talk about possible retirement?
A (Laughs) I’m 49, for God’s sake! No one would retire at 49, particularly not an artist. Should I? Are you tired of me being on stage?
Q Not at all. Do you have a favorite classical work you are listening to?
A I love silence a lot because I am doing music so much. So when I am at home, silence is really key. The first recording I bought at the age of 11 was Bruckner Four. Bruckner is not terribly popular, particularly in America, and that’s a pity. He is a little like the German language where you have this sentence that takes forever to unfold and then there is this verb at the end of it — which is key to everything you’ve heard the last 10 minutes. Bruckner is pretty much in that direction.
Q Have you done anything fun on your tour?
A I was at the Oscars last weekend! I wanted to meet Dustin Hoffman. I was so honored that he chose “Quartet” for his directorial debut. It shows his love for music and the film is just beautiful.
Q Did everyone there know who you were?
A Are you kidding? Can we change the subject please?
Q It’s too bad great musicians are not as popular as film stars.