SOKOL | In a Brand New Key

The Chopin Fantasie-Impromptu I recently started working on may never see the light of day. It certainly won’t be performed in Ford Hall in front of sixty-some fidgeting children and marginally-less-fidgeting parents. I’m more than okay with that. Maybe, I’ll play it for friends if we’re near a keyboard, and maybe I won’t. The key to my newfound enjoyment of playing, I’ve found, is that the only applause I care about now is my own.

AHMAD | Ambition Kills Passion

I peaked when I was 10 years old. I know that sounds ridiculous. And whenever I mention it out loud to someone — my friends, parents, professors — they roll their eyes and laugh it off. To be quite honest, I don’t blame them. How many times have we heard this clichéd story before?