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June 28, 2005

Interview Questions from Singapore

Dear Doug,

Singapore was great – and hot! (But no rain!) Humidity was high, and the de-humidifier in my dressing room was running full-force at all times.

Along with the masterclass, I did give a recital, which was my first appearance in Singapore. The concert took place at an impressive cultural complex along Marina Bay called the Esplanade. It is a beautiful building with a shopping center and several world-class theaters, all set on the waterfront.

What struck me even before my arrival in Singapore were the interview questions I received in preparation for my concert in the country. In recent years, I have been conducting preliminary interviews with journalists via email. After sending my responses, I speak with the interviewer on the phone when possible. I have found this method to be much more thorough than the conventional 10-minute phone conversation. In writing my answers, I can give at least quadruple the amount of time and ten times the energy of a long-distance phone call. I am able to give in-depth answers to most of the questions, which I would never have a chance to do otherwise.

I had a total of four email interviews several weeks in advance of the Singapore recital. I was intrigued by the orderly manner of the questions. The recurring theme of the interviews emphasized categorization: most questions wanted me to name the best, the most famous, the most favorite, the most special, and the most memorable. It seemed that such questions were asked in an effort to elicit answers that were tangible and methodical.

When I arrived in Singapore, I was fascinated by the country’s very systematic nature, at least on the surface. There are no traffic jams, the streets are clean and litter-free, and I got a sense that "everything works." I clearly saw the connection between the type of questions I received over email and how the country felt as a whole. This was very interesting indeed.

Posted by at June 28, 2005 1:34 PM