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20 April 2024

Sound check


By Keith J Fernandez and Rachel McArthur

As part of the first Swiss+ Art Days Dubai, pianist See Siang Wong will perform at the GEMS World Academy auditorium in Dubai tonight. Wong, born in 1979 in the Netherlands, debuted with the Dutch Radio Orchestra at the age of 12. He has since recorded 15 CDs and played in 20 countries. Emirates Business talked to him before his first UAE show, tickets to which can be purchased at itptickets.com

What can we expect from tonight's gig? The concert will feature classical as well as contemporary piano pieces. Since contemporary piano music is quite unknown but fantastic music to explore, this is a chance to get to know new piano sounds.

What will be on the programme? The classical part will be with composers like Mozart, Debussy, Chopin, Schumann and the contemporary composers will be Rudolf Kelterborn and Felix Baumann. I love playing these composers and Kelterborn and Baumann are both friends of mine.

What drew you to classical music, and specifically the piano? My parents gave me a piano at the age of five, and I love the sound of the piano. Once I started to play, I couldn't stop.

If you weren't a classical pianist, what would you be?
I think I would be a chef, since I love to cook. My family are in gastronomy, so I grew up with the Asian cuisine. But my favourites are from the European and Orient kitchen!

What's your new CD about? It's works by Schumann, which is out this month. Coming up next is a release of Schumann's Piano Concerto, combined with the piano arrangement of Beethoven's Violin Concerto.

Listen... Little boots

She records songs in her bedroom and posts them on video site YouTube.com, but what sets Victoria Hesketh – better known as Little Boots – apart from other wannabes is that she is tipped to become a massive star in 2009.

The 24-year-old electro-pop singer beat the likes of other top newcomers London rock band White Lies and singer-songwriter Florence and the Machine to top the BBC's Sound of 2009 list – and she doesn't even have a single out yet.

But that doesn't mean you can't check out Boots' pop genius. You can listen to a bunch of tracks on her MySpace page, plus a free mixtape is available for download when you sign up to her mailing list.

Visit www.myspace.com/littlebootsmusic. Don't say we didn't warn you she'll be big.