Richard Goode

The eminent pianist Richard Goode, who will perform April 24 and 26 with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, doesn’t like to listen to his own recordings.

Except, perhaps, when he’s at the dentist. In an interview with the Herald of Glasgow, Scotland, Goode insists that he avoids listening to his discography. “Nope, that is total no-no,” he told the Herald. “I’m too afraid that I won’t agree with my interpretations!”

But at a recent appointment, while waiting for his dentist to set a filling, he found himself listening to a Brahms intermezzo over the office’s radio. “I sort of enjoyed the performance, and when it finished, I said to my dentist, ‘I wonder who was playing that?’ It turned out to be Goode himself. He admits he pleased by the discovery but “mostly I just thought that I should probably go to the dentist more often.”

With the CSO, under Sir Mark Elder, Goode will perform Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 23. In the Herald interview, he discusses his experience with Mozart in general and his artistic search in particular. After 50 years as a performer, Goode says he is still searching. “Always searching for the right expression, and it’s maddening. Take the Mozart G Major Concerto [No. 17]. It’s one of the first pieces I ever played. The challenge is to find the right balance of humor, grace and vivacity. Every time it’s still different, but when I find it — that is, when the conductor and the orchestra and I all manage to get that balance right together — I enter a kind of groove. That’s the sweet spot. That’s what I’m searching for.”

For the full interview, click here.