In the course of teaching that encompasses interactive learning and partnered journeys of discovery, I find myself wanting to share pupil/mentor epiphanies that flow from lessons. Most recently the subject of arm weight transfer in legato and staccato emerged from a cocoon of mystery for many. Some of my adult students kept saying, "I just… Continue reading Piano Technique: The Weight transfer cosmos, and thumb fluid motions
What better way to celebrate the joys of this season and passage to 2022 than with Martha Argerich and Maria Joao Pires playing Mozart's Concerto for Two Pianos in E-flat Major, KV 365. https://youtu.be/7fzYOtaJcxU And for good measure, I've added one of the composer's most soulful middle sonata movements. (Adagio, Sonata, K. 332) https://youtu.be/NgyYk0NlzVM With… Continue reading Saying Happy Holidays with Mozart!
2020 was to be the banner year to honor the 250th anniversary of Ludwig Van Beethoven's birth, (b. 1770-d. 1827) but the pandemic extended the celebration into 2021. My earliest infatuation with the composer's music dated to my violin studies that accompanied my piano learning journey. It was Beethoven's 7th Symphony, second movement, Allegretto, that… Continue reading Celebrating Beethoven!
My newest Online student from the San Jose area was having to plow through the keys of a 1980's era Wurlitzer studio size piano whose tone was unremarkable, and at times raucous. I felt that her talents and musical intuition were lost in the din of noise this piano produced. (Here she's playing Burgmuller's "Pastorale,… Continue reading A step up to a New Piano for a student
There were 85 pianists rolled out in the LIVE streamed continuation of the XVIII International Chopin Piano Competition in Warsaw commencing October 2, 2021. (The preliminaries had taken place between July 12 and 23rd.) With a current paring down to 45 pianists, the Stage 2 phase is in progress with Stage 3 and the Finals… Continue reading Kyohei Sorita is a standout at the Chopin Piano Competition in Poland
I remember Leeds 1972 when my classmate from High School, Murray Perahia entered and prevailed as the First Place winner. "Murray" as he was known at the NYC HS of Performing Arts-"P.A." (aka the FAME school) was rightly recognized as a teen phenom! I, for one, would gather with other piano majors, around an old,… Continue reading Leeds Piano Competition 2021, and a look back!
My first association to Dvorak is the composer's New World Symphony without consciousness of his precious 2 "Pearls" for piano solo. These double your pleasure treasures derive from the collection, Young Czech Pianist, published in Prague by Urbanek with Dvorak describing them as "undemanding works aimed at children." (The autograph went missing for many years but… Continue reading A Walk Down memory lane with Dvorak
It looks like the pandemic was true to form in igniting interest in buying pianos-- mostly NEW for my brood, with one fully restored grand plucked from Coach House Pianos in South Wales: A 1950's era Hamburg Steinway 'B,' that shimmers with a well-defined resonant bass supporting a tonally beautiful mid and upper range. https://youtu.be/EkQ6cu5b7Nw… Continue reading New pianos abound for my students!
Every five years, Chopin's Polish homeland hosts an International Competition in Warsaw that includes many illustrious names in its roster of winners: Martha Argerich, Garrick Ohlsson, Alexei Sultanov, Krystian Zimerman, among others. The event was first initiated in 1927. This year Maestra Argerich is one of the judges on a panel that will hear entrants… Continue reading The Preliminary Round of the Chopin XVIII International Piano Competition in Poland
After many decades of working with adult pupils who have rekindled an interest in taking lessons at various life junctures, (including retirement), I've learned that affording them opportunities to choose repertoire is the best route to a harmonious and rewarding learning journey. Naturally, once an adult student has mastered rudimentary note reading and basic rhythm… Continue reading Partnering with Adult Piano Students in choosing pieces