I am a 15 year old girl studying piano with a teacher in Sydney, and I have hopes of becoming a classical pianist... with the help of the odd piano competition or two. I am working on my programme for SIPCA, which I hope to be in next time it's on (2012). I will apply to be in both of the international Beethoven competitions in Germany, too...I will wait until 2013, I think- I must do Chopin Etudes very carefully in the meantime! I began piano at my own request when I was 5 and have continued practicing relentlessly ever since- all of my own volition, thank God! I am now absolutely obsessed with the music of Chopin, Brahms, Rachmaninoff, Dvorak, Beethoven... umm, I could probably go on forever, but I won't! I am doing distance education to facilitate practice, and in my spare time I listen to huge romantic concertos at a very high volume to annoy my obnoxious neighbour who plays the bass guitar with the volume, rhythm and sensitivity of a drunk gorilla. I like to read about different composers' lives (all areas!), to better understand the context and inspiration from which different pieces were derived. I also read the works of of Gorky, Alexandre Dumas and Oscar Wilde- Dorian Grey in particular- amongst many other things... I forgot to mention that I read Douglas Adams when I am feeling less serious! I will sign off in the words of Mozart: "I write this as the sows piss!"