Acclaimed pianist Kathryn Stott is well aware of life's little uncertainties!
You'd think that in an industry where you get booked up years in advance, things would be plain sailing. But months of playing and touring in excruciating pain made an operation on her back vital, and she had to pull out of some long planned concerts as a result.
|"Your health has to come first - if you don't get your self fixed up first, then that's it - there aren't any concerts. Especially with back injuries. I had a slipped disc and this is the second time they've fixed it, so hopefully thngs will be fine now. I've had a really painful few months," she says.
Pain had become part of the concert experience for Kathryn. But she says, there's something about being a musician which kicks in for performance.
"But it took a lot of concentration and a huge amount of energy."
"Anyone who has suffered something really painfull or had daily pain will know how tiring that is. The biggest problem I had was absolute excricuating sciatica... it's just a really debilitating condition. Sometimes it extended to having pins and needles in my foot - so that's great for pedalling isn't it!"
"The last tour I managed to get through really scraping myself off the floor. It was a tour in the states with Yo Yo Ma, and I thought if I can do anything with anyone it would be him. We've played together for 25 years. I just geared myself up every day for those two hours, amd somehow I did it and then just collapsed again."
But, finger's crossed, it's all sorted, and Kathryn's itching to get back to the keyboard for her first concerts back - with Manchester Camerata - on Friday 21 May in Stafford and Saturday 22 May at The Bridgewater Hall in Manchester.
"Mozart's Piano Concerto no.20 is a piece I have played with Camerata before and with Dougie Boyd conducting. What's nice is that I do know some of them socially. You go in and you see people as friends who play music. And Dougie, I really love his energy."
Kathryn believes it's crucial to be happy when you play, and also to be amongst friends.
"If we don't enjoy it then there's no hope for the audience. Audiences really do pick up on a good vibe. They feel you are committed, they feel you are enthusiastic about the music. People realy do understand that."
To hear a longer interview with Kathryn Stott, visit out Podcasts section by clicking here.
To read more about the Stafford and Manchester concerts click here.