'The true cook is the perfect blend, the only perfect blend, of artist and philosopher. He knows his worth: he holds in his palm the happiness of mankind, the welfare of generations yet unborn.'

Monday, 1 April 2013

Würzburg, Germany

Sorry for abandoning my blog for more than three months! In the past three months I was focusing on my real major - piano - and was preparing for an international piano competition focusing on the works of J S Bach. Bach's music has been closest to my heart since my early childhood, so this was a challenge that was as pleasurable as it was challenging. Since I didn't have the foresight to start preparing sooner, in the past three months I had to spend all the spare time I had practising the pieces for the competition. The actual competition took place in March in Würzburg, central Germany in mid-March:

In the event, I got to the semi-finals. I was very nervous on stage and hardly played my best. In retrospect, even if I had played my best I doubt if the judges would have chosen me as a finalist. It turned out that they had rather dogmatic tastes and my style wouldn't be what they were seeking.

The former bishops's palace, opposite the music school

I hadn't heard of Würzburg prior to this competition, but it is a very beautiful city in Bavaria. Despite the devastating bombings in the Second World War, one could feel an unmistakable link to Germany's glorious cultural heritage.

I was so fortunate to have met a most wonderful host family who were unbelievably kind and generous to me. Not only did they treat me like part of their family, they took such troubles to make sure that I was well-fed and taken good care of. I cannot thank them enough and am glad to have known them as friends!

Germany has a fine home baking tradition, and my hostess made wonderful cakes for me to satisfy my sweet tooth.

A fantastic apple pie!
Mrs Sturmer even translated her recipe into English for me!

Given my love of meat, I had a fantastic time in Germany sampling their sausages and numerous meat dishes. Of the various dishes that I tried, roast chicken and pork shoulder stood out above all:

I also met some wonderful new friends who helped me enormously and with whom I spent some great time. A big thank you to them!

One thing the Germans do impeccably is recycling. We should follow suit in the States and in Asia!

Last but not least, my wonderful twin cousins came all the way from Hannover to listen to my performance in the first round! I visited them in Hannover after the competition and spend some lovely time with them too.

Thank you to everybody I met, and I'll miss the place, the food and the people so much!

I'll miss the amazing array of breads in German bakeries!

1 comment: