Born in Milan, pianist Emanuel Rimoldi first studied in the Conservatory of his home city with Vincenzo Balzani , and then studied at the Tchaikovsky Conservatory in Moscow with Elissò Virsaladze from 2009-2015. He is presently continuing his doctorate specialisation at the Hochschule für Musik, Theater und Medien in Hannover with Arie Vardi. In addition to his official studies, he has completed a series of master- classes with famous pianists such as Dina Yoffe, Boris Petrushansky and Vladimir Askenazy.
Emanuel has won several international competitions in Italy including the ‘Ettore Pozzoli’ in Seregno and the ‘Città di Cantù’. In 2013, he won the 1st prize at the “Top of the World” international piano competition held in Tromso (Norway), and in 2016 he won the Grand Prix and the ‘Ivo Pogorelich Prize’ at the first Manhattan International Music Competition.
Emanuel’s performances have lit up stages from the Carnegie Hall in New York to London’s Wigmore Hall, and from the Tel Aviv Museum of Art to the Great Hall of the Tchaikovsky State Conservatory in Moscow.
Prior to his last performing trip to the UK, Emanuel very kindly wrote an insightful guest post for Pianodao, following on from which we got chatting and I found that he is a keen practitioner of taichi, an interest which coincides with my own interest in ‘piano qigong’.
I am delighted that Emanuel agreed to talk about the impact his taichi practice has had on his development as a pianist in this world exclusive interview for Pianodao.
Opening the Chest is the second movement from the 18 Taiji Qigong Shibashi form, and extends the Open and Commence movement previously shared here.
Opening the Chest can be used to expand your own Qigong routine as well as to help students who have benefited from Open and Commence. Before practising “Opening the Chest”, be sure to master Earth Posture and Open and Commence.
This next exercise assumes that you are familiar and comfortable with both.
Earth Posture is a very simple Qigong stance which combines many of the most basic benefits of qigong practice, and offers a great entry point to qigong.
In this exercise you will focus on posture, alignment, balance, breathing, and release of tension. These are all crucially important for qigong practice – and for piano playing of course! Earth Posture also offers a fabulous way to quiet the mind prior to mediation, or as a meditation in itself.
Good posture (at least as assessed by external observation) seems elusive for many pianists. Qigong practice in general addresses posture through an internal awareness of alignment and balance.
At the same time, Earth Posture facilitates good circulation, thus promoting improved general health.
These benefits are, of course, not instantaneous. I would advise practising Earth Posture daily for a few weeks to experience the maximum benefit. Even many experienced Qigong and T’ai Chi practitioners return to Earth Posture as a prelude to their practice.
The full instructions are written below, but you may find it more helpful to use this recording: