J. K. Rotberg was born two decades ago somewhere in the middle of nowhere. Nobody really cares when, where and how. She started to play the piano at the age of 6 and subsequently ruined her first memories by practicing scales and Czerny etudes instead of playing football, the Sims or burning down Barbie dollhouses. Let’s take a moment of silence for a wasted childhood.
She did not make her first public performence at age of 5, nor did she have her debut with a symphony orchestra at age of 8. Nor did she ever receive the label of “child prodigy”. “Not bad for a youngster!” – said about her Chopin interpretations no music critic ever. “That was quite ok, but now come over here, the dinner is ready” – commented J. K.’s mom in 2006 on some fast passages in Liszt’s Hungarian Rhapsody no. 15.
J. K. Rotberg decided not to take part in prestigious international piano competitions like The International Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow (2015) (no special prize for performence of Tchaikovsky piano concerto), Concorso Pianistico Internazionale Ferruccio Busoni in Bolzano (2017), International Fryderyk Chopin Piano Competition in Warsaw (2010 & 2015) (no special prize for her interpretation of mazurkas), Arthur Rubinstein International Piano Master Competition in Tel Aviv (2014), The Van Cliburn Piano Competition in Fort Worth, Texas (2013) and Queen Elisabeth Competition in Brussels (2016), therefore she did not get first prizes there. Or any other prizes. Happens.
J. K. has not played at various prestigious venues, such as: Royal Albert Hall, Sydney Opera House, Konzerthaus Vienna, Mozarteum, Avery Fisher Hall, Salle Pleyel, Wigmore Hall, Seoul Arts Centre, Salle Cortot, Rudolfinum to name a few. In 2012 she did not make her Carnegie Hall debut. New York Times did not note that it was “a truly remarkable performence” – in fact, no review was published. Ever since she does not perform on a regular basis in most of the European countries and the US.
Believe it or not, Deutsche Grammophon did not sign a contract with her, although it was founded back in 1898.
Currently Ms Rotberg settled down on Disappointment Island, Auckland Archipelago, where, in addition to her extensive international career, she plays the piano for local birds and plants on a daily basis.