"Music has been my entire life," says Trinity Goff, who began piano lessons at age 3 and gave her first performance a year later.
But for Goff, the 6th NTD International Piano Competition was in many ways a pleasant change of pace.
One noteworthy feature of the competition is its focus on repertoire before 1900, and the other is the requirement to play a specially commissioned work that pianists have only 45 days to prepare for.
Though Goff plays music from all eras, the focus on pre-Impressionist era music only meant a focus on music that never had to be "brought back down to earth," music that was never meant to contend with any ugly reality.
"It's nice to have it all be beautiful," said Goff, who performed Chopin's Sonata No. 3 and Schubert's Sonata in C minor during the final round at the Kaufman Music Center in New York City on Tuesday.
"The Chopin Sonata is very important to me. It's a piece you have to perform your whole life to even have a great understanding of it," she said. "My understanding of it changes every time I play it; it's a different story, it's a different idea, and also as I prepared it for this competition it's been different."
To Goff, Bach and Chopin's work are representations of perfect beauty.
"Bach is perfect, and Chopin is very beautiful," she said. "Chopin's not as different from Bach as we think, though it might seem at first."
"Bach is very pure and very perfect; everything fits together—it's like a beautiful puzzle of some kind, like everything is just exactly just right," Goff said. "Chopin isn't that way as much, but he does similar ways; his melodies and the way the left hand and the right hand pick up after each other, it does fit together in that beautiful, perfect way, in a closer way to Bach than some other composers."
As an artist, Goff is determined to make music because she loves it, "and to make the piano sing."