Interview Excerpt #7
FRANK J. OTERI: Let’s talk a little bit about your playing the piano. You’ve entered competitions…
NATASHA SINHA: Yeah.
FRANK J. OTERI: …and have done quite well in those competitions. How long have you been playing the piano?
NATASHA SINHA: Ever since I was four, four and a half.
FRANK J. OTERI: One of the things I thought was so interesting is that you don’t play a lot of standard repertoire. You play all this obscure stuff. There were some composers on your demo CD that I’ve never even heard of. You’re playing music by Alexander Goldenveyser and Karl Albert Loeschhorn… I don’t even know if I’m saying their names right! And Racov… Who is Racov?
NATASHA SINHA: He’s a Russian I think. My teacher’s Russian and he likes pieces that are Russian or near Russia. I would like to start playing “Heart and Soul.”
FRANK J. OTERI: You mean the popular song?
NATASHA SINHA: Yeah. I only know the melody. I don’t know. And then sometimes when I’m playing the piano, I just start doing a tango, but I don’t really know how to play it.
FRANK J. OTERI: So these obscure pieces were things that your teacher suggested for the most part?
NATASHA SINHA: Yeah.
FRANK J. OTERI: But you enjoyed playing them?
NATASHA SINHA: Yeah, I liked playing them because I thought the songs were good. I just didn’t really know the composers that well.
FRANK J. OTERI: Who is Shin Daw Lien?
NATASHA SINHA: Um, that’s the composer who did a frog song and I used that when I went to Washington DC because there were Chinese composers there and judges. So I decided to pick a Chinese song.
FRANK J. OTERI: Great. But you haven’t played a lot of the standard stuff, you know, like Beethoven…
NATASHA SINHA: Oh actually yes. I’m playing a sonata and also I was just recently finished playing a Rachmaninoff piece a month ago. And it was very beautiful.
FRANK J. OTERI: D you feel like you want to keep going as a concert pianist and playing music?
NATASHA SINHA: Yeah, I think so. think it’ll always stay with me.
FRANK J. OTERI: How often do you practice a day?
JENNY UNDERCOFLER: Oh, that’s a mean question!
FRANK J. OTERI: It is a mean question. Sorry.
NATASHA SINHA: Well it varies, sometimes I have more time like on some nights I get in like two and a half hours or something. And then other nights, I can get half an hour or an hour in. And then usually on Sundays, before I go to my piano lesson, I go even more time like three hours.
FRANK J. OTERI: Wow.
NATASHA SINHA: Because I need that much practice because some of the pieces that I’m just starting are sort of difficult.
FRANK J. OTERI: Wow, it amazes me that you find the time to do all of this stuff. Now you study at New England Conservatory.
NATASHA SINHA: Yeah, I do theory there.
FRANK J. OTERI: Who are your teachers?
NATASHA SINHA: Alexa Vogelzang. And a few years ago I had Mr. Peisch. And he taught me musicianship, which was the very beginning. And this year in theory, I was learning about the changes in a chord and how it inverts to a different chord and how to open a chord and close a chord and how to do that.