Dominik Blum

Dominik and I met at the Winterthur Conservatory in 1984—he a piano student in his first year and I a teacher also in my first year in Switzerland. I had been working on the PlusOne movement of the Three Chance Pieces Plus One. I told Dominik that I was worried that this movement might be unplayable and asked if he would look at it and tell me what he thought. I heard nothing from him. Months went by and then one day he came to me and asked if I would like to hear my piano piece. I was quite overcome. He had leart it by heart and could show that it was not only playable, it was the fulminating finale which I had dreamt of.

Later that year he came to me and asked if I had anything for cello and piano. I did not, but I set to work on Snakes and Ladders. He and Andreas Ochsner (cello) not only performed this work brilliantly, they also recorded it for radio.

Since then Dominik has played nearly every work of mine for piano. He accompanied us to Russia where he had to play on a rather rickerty grand piano which had difficulty staying in tune:

Dominik in Pushkin (near St. Petersburg) playing the accompaniment to ‘Korimako’, one of the sections of After Babel, with his left hand because he also had to play a ratchet with his right hand.

Dominik is also an excellent conductor. While he was conductor the Frauenfeld Men’s Choir he commissioned from me Dies irae and for my 75th birthday he conducted the ensemble für neue musik zürich as well as accompanying Fiona for the song cycle Was liebe ist.