Interview: John Lill, BBC National Orchestra of Wales
Renowned pianist John Lill speaks to Mark Rees ahead of his performance with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales at the Brangwyn Hall.
"The other boys used to laugh at me," recalls classical pianist John Lill of his childhood in London.
"They were kicking their footballs about, but I wanted to play piano."
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And it would seem that John, who has since collected an OBE and a CBE for his services to music, has had the last laugh.
"You have to be single-minded," says John of his success. "If you're really determined, you wont fail." Strong motivational tips indeed from a soloist still seeking perfection.
"Life is too short to waste time. I try to learn something new or to help somebody, every day," he adds. "One of the great buzzes of my job is aiming for perfection.
"I just keep trying to develop, and the challenge of walking on stage and preforming at your peak is such a big buzz."
From Paris to Rome, John has performed in some of the greatest concert halls in the world. But he still returns to Swansea year after year, a city very close to his heart.
"You really feel the vitality in Wales. The Brangwyn Hall is beautiful. I've performed close to 40 concerts in Swansea. It's a very warm, very cosy place. And I love the sea, so it's perfect."
John will be performing Schumann's Piano Concerto when he visits, which he describes as "very lyrical, very melodic, with no secrets or misbeats" - a perfect choice for newcomers to classical music.
BBC National Orchestra of Wales will be performing at the Brangwyn Hall on Friday, March 8, 19.30.