Five questions with pianist Britt Day

Britt Day

Pianist Britt Day

We want you to get to know the talented musicians who make up Elevate Ensemble. That’s why we’re featuring them in monthly interviews. Our musician this month is the remarkable Britt Day.

Britt, you captivated the audience at our January House Show. Performing in a venue like a private home must be vastly different from the more traditional concert hall. Could you share with our readers what you enjoyed most about performing at last month’s show?

The immediate sense of intimacy was really nice. As a performer, I try to engage and captivate audiences no matter the venue, but it certainly helps when your audience is literally five feet away! Also, I find all of the members of Elevate to be extremely cool people. There is nothing better than making music with great friends.

What was the first piece of music that blew you away?

That’s a difficult question for me to answer! As the son of two professional musicians, classical music has always been a major part of my life. One of my earliest memories is of me dancing around the living room to Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring. Honestly, that piece still blows my mind every single time that I listen to it.

Many people want to learn piano as an adult but become discouraged when they don’t see immediate progress. Do you have any advice for aspiring pianists on how to stay motivated during the beginning stages of learning the instrument?

My advice is to be patient, put in the practice time, and find music that speaks to you. Pianists are lucky to have one of the largest selections of repertoire of any instrument. There are literally hundreds of great pieces that aren’t too technically demanding, making them perfect for beginners.

Who are two performers that have inspired you over the years?

I’ll list three: my mom (Robin McKee), my dad (Tim Day), and my teacher Paul Hersh. Call me biased, but my parents are two of the greatest musicians I know. I’m stoked to be able to hear them at San Francisco Symphony shows and play music with them whenever I go back home.

What pieces of music have you been listening to recently?

I’ve recently been enjoying Poulenc’s Sonata for Clarinet and Piano, Ravel’s Miroirs for solo piano, all three of Brahms’ Violin Sonatas, and Ligeti’s Trio for Violin, Horn, and Piano.