Stories » Steven Isserlis on coping with stage fright / Sydney Morning Herald

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Steven Isserlis on coping with stage fright / Sydney Morning Herald

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"I hope you don't mind the smell of garlic," says Steven Isserlis​ as he meets me at the door of his apartment in north London. "My son has been cooking." He ushers me into his practice room, a Dickensian space dominated by a grand piano and shelves stuffed with books and musical scores. One of his favourite cellos – a Stradivarius on long-term loan from the Royal Academy of Music – is swung expertly into its case and the locks snapped shut. He has been practising a Bach suite, he says, which he will perform at cities in America and Canada in the next couple of weeks.

"I'm convinced every time I walk on stage I'm going to forget it," he says with a sigh. "It's a horrible feeling. Generally, I cope. But there was one concert last year when I felt I didn't play my best because I just couldn't relax. I was too nervous."c '[Stage fright] is a horrible feeling. Generally, I cope. But there was one concert last year when I felt I didn't play my best because I just couldn't relax. I was too nervous.'       Photo: Jack Saltmiras

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