New York-based Australian pianist Sarah Grunstein returns home for recitals in the Sydney Opera House’s Utzon Room in September and October. She spoke to Limelight about her programs.

You’re performing the Goldberg Variations in Sydney in October – when did you first come into contact with this music?

I think that piano students who are serious about Bach know his keyboard literature – not necessarily playing it all, but certainly learning about it. In the piano studio of my mentor at the Sydney Conservatorium, Nancy Salas, we were exposed to a huge range of keyboard literature and it was then that I became knowledgeable about the Inventions, the Well-Tempered Clavier, the suites, the partitas, and his four volumes of the Clavier-Übung of which the Goldberg Variations form a part.

Sarah GrunsteinSarah Grunstein. Photo: supplied

How has your relationship with the Goldbergs evolved since then?

One of my greatest delights is finding something in a musical work that I may not have seen the last time I played it (whether last year or yesterday). The Goldbergs contain a myriad opportunities to find something new: to explore a new rhythmic twist; to bring out from the piano...