If I have coffee before a concert, it’s usually because I’m jet-lagged
Generally, I don’t feel the need for a set routine before going on stage. We always have a rehearsal a few hours before giving an evening concert, so I feel quite warmed up already. I play a few notes to tune up the instrument and make sure there’s nothing wrong, but really I favour a bit of peace and quiet. I used to smoke cigars until the concert was almost due to begin, but I was forced to give it up about a year ago for health reasons.
I never eat before a performance, unlike my colleagues. They gobble up biscuits, bananas and light meals, especially if the concert’s starting late in the evening. I feel uncomfortable if I have anything after lunchtime, though, and only drink water. When I was younger I drank coffee all the time, but if I have a cup before a concert now, it’s usually because I’m still feeling jet-lagged after just coming off a plane.
Photo: Astrid Karger