We had the good fortune of connecting with Robert Thies and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Robert, do you have a favorite quote or affirmation?
A quote from Martha Graham to Agnes de Mille: “There is a vitality, a life force, a quickening that is translated through you into action, and there is only one of you in all time, this expression is unique, and if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium; and be lost. The world will not have it. It is not your business to determine how good it is, not how it compares with other expression. It is your business to keep it yours clearly and directly, to keep the channel open. You do not even have to believe in yourself or your work. You have to keep open and aware directly to the urges that motivate you. Keep the channel open. No artist is pleased. There is no satisfaction whatever at any time. There is only a queer, divine dissatisfaction, a blessed unrest that keeps us marching and makes us more alive than the others.”
I love this quote because it is a constant reminder that I have a responsibility to pursue my art in any of its myriad forms. If I sometimes lack confidence that my efforts are not up to par, or appreciated by others, these words inspire me to push forward, create, and expand beyond my comfort zone. In doing so, I hope to leave something behind that is good for the world.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I cannot deny the excitement of winning the Prokofiev Competition in St. Petersburg, Russia, making me the first and only pianist since Van Cliburn to win a piano competition in Russia. The event inspired and motivated me to pursue a life as a concert pianist. and attain some beautiful performance experiences that I shall always treasure. I am also very proud of the creative outlet I’ve found in the music of Blue Landscapes. This music seems to resonate with people from all walks of life, and brings them peace and focus. The music also draws on my love for nature and the mysteries of our beautiful planet. But arguably my greatest accomplishment for which I am most proud, is for being able to sustain a career in music. I feel a tremendous amount of gratitude that I am able to pursue my passion in life. I owe so much to my parents for affording me the opportunity to pursue my love for music. I know so many talented friends who were just as deserving of careers, but weren’t afforded the opportunities I was, and it keeps me grounded and teaches humility.. And no, there is nothing easy about this path I’ve chosen. But the daily struggle allows me to appreciate any accomplishments along the way that much more. And I take nothing for granted.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I would take them to the coast to appreciate the vitality of life there. I would take them into the mountains for a hike. I would take them to my favorite museums in Los Angeles. I would take them downtown to Disney Hall and enjoy some of the historical landmarks there. I would take them to down to San Pedro Harbor to witness the happy family gatherings of our Latino community and enjoy the fresh seafood catch together. There is so much culture in Los Angeles, and so much raw beauty along the coastline.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
My teachers and mentors: Robert Turner, Daniel Pollack, Harold Heiberg, and countless musicians and composers who have provided me inspiration.
Other: https://www.facebook.com/BlueLandscapesMusic/ https://www.instagram.com/bluelandscapesmusic/ https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCMKo8qz_iqueDqHiuTSyLeg
Elaine Lim Hannah Arista Dennis Au