What are you looking for in pieces of new piano music? Sara Laimon

Sara Laimon
Photo by Ron Gilfillan

I love to be surprised by the music I play. Usually I approach a new piece without any set expectations and look forward to the process of discovering the voice of the composer. I’m not looking for a specific style—more accurately, I’m seeking a composition that reflects something personal from its creator. This can range from being a bold or intimate statement, to being a purely intellectual realization of an idea. I enjoy the process of ‘figuring out’ a new score and making sense of something that at first glance seems illogical.

Regardless of length or style, I value compositions that offer ample room for interpretation. I am always game to approach a difficult score, and take pleasure in conquering a score that forces me to develop both technically and musically. However, I have little interest in meeting the challenges of a composition that can be more successfully realized by a computer. It should go without saying though that the composer’s ability to effectively notate a score, and to anticipate the many demands of good keyboard writing, facilitate the interpretive process. I very much enjoy being actively involved in the development of new music for the piano—both for the music itself and the interaction with the composers.