Jimmy Lin blushing at JKP's effusive compliments

Cho-Liang “Jimmy” Lin is a rock star in Taiwan. I had suspected this was the case even prior to our arrival here, but today’s press conference definitely proved the point.

I’ve been interviewed many times in my life, but it’s an entirely different ballgame to face a phalanx of reporters with cameras, video cameras, and digital recorders capturing your every twitch.

Each of us made a statement. A representative of Mercedes Benz spoke of an important part of this tour: educational and outreach concerts, including a special performance for aboriginal students at Chin-Ai Elementary School in Nantou County.

Taiwanese press in our faces...

Jimmy, unfailingly gracious, thanked me for joining him on this tour, and spoke of his recurring emotions at returning to perform in his home country. (I discovered later that his childhood home has been registered as a national landmark.)

I tell Jimmy how impressed I am that he commands this kind of attention. He modestly points out that it’s not entirely uncommon for any visiting soloist to give a press conference. And then I remember that one of the only times I gave one myself was here in Taipei, on the occasion of my first Taiwanese tour, about 25 years ago.

I have to admit that whenever I see this many people taking photos and videos of the same thing, I do wonder why they don’t just hire one photographer and one videographer and share the proceeds? This scene seems like such overkill. But maybe I’m missing the point. It’s a lot of fun being surrounded by this much camera equipment, and at one point I decide to turn the tables on them and whip out my brand new Olympus E-PL2 and take a shot of all of them!

My view of a room filled with expensive optics

After all of the questions and answers, we took to the piano and gave a brief performance. The piano and acoustics are of the hotel restaurant variety, but we play a little of Stravinsky’s Suite Italienne and call it a day.

A brief performance for the Taiwanese press

Our tour has begun!