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When a Virtual Piano Student becomes a Reality!

A North Carolina ONLINE piano student comes to Berkeley, California for a LIVE lesson right before the Super Bowl!

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What’s Frightening about Schumann’s “Frightening? ” (Kinderszenen, Op. 15, no. 11)

What convinces most pianists that Schumann's "Furchtenmachen" (Frightening) is an expression of fear or perhaps more specifically anxiety, are the markedly impulsive sections that contrast with lyrical, reflective ones. And not to be overlooked, are the interjections of syncopated SF's (accentuated outbursts) that are quite STARTLING and must be well communicated in measures 21-24, as… Continue reading What’s Frightening about Schumann’s “Frightening? ” (Kinderszenen, Op. 15, no. 11)

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Haydn on the harpsichord or piano? (Competition interlude)

Elaine Comparone insists that playing Haydn's works on the harpsichord stirs her "imagination to new heights." The harpsichordist's upload of Haydn's eloquent Sonata No. 52 in Eb Major ironically paralleled Reed Tetzloff's piano performance in Moscow which introduces an aesthetic comparison or two. Reed's You Tube channel features the opening Allegro movement, https://youtu.be/q6l2qguKhik while his… Continue reading Haydn on the harpsichord or piano? (Competition interlude)

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Medici TV presents FREE LIVE stream of the XV INTERNATIONAL Tchaikovsky Competition from Moscow

http://tch15.medici.tv/en/live/piano This is a unique opportunity to savor performances by a roster of international contestants, one of whom is our very own, pianist, George Li, a loyal Facebook Friend to so many of his avid fans. We're tracking his global-wide performances with great interest. Li's scheduled opening Recital is THURSDAY, JUNE 18: 3:50 PM Piano:… Continue reading Medici TV presents FREE LIVE stream of the XV INTERNATIONAL Tchaikovsky Competition from Moscow

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Piano Technique: Stabilizing tempo, presence of mind, and breathing through scales and arpeggios

This has to be one of my favorite reciprocal teaching/learning videos because it fleshes out the importance of breathing through scales with mindful concentration. Framed by a singing pulse, the scale becomes a model for all playing. Here's B minor in Contrary Motion (legato) with my annotations that reference the BREATH and mindfulness. https://youtu.be/kVmCWbA32bg Important… Continue reading Piano Technique: Stabilizing tempo, presence of mind, and breathing through scales and arpeggios

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J.S. Bach, the piano, harpsichord and early music tunings

Elaine Comparone, a well-regarded harpsichordist rendered a dance movement from J.S. Bach's French Suite No. 5 in G, (BWV 816) that I'd performed on the pianoforte. In the Loure, (written in G Major) I was immediately struck by a pitch disparity between our respective instruments. While Loure was composed in the key of G Major,… Continue reading J.S. Bach, the piano, harpsichord and early music tunings

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Does approaching notes in different ways at the piano affect tone production?

Emanuel Ax, well-known concert pianist and teacher asserts that one note struck cannot be varied by physical approach (except for volume) and I'm assuming duration (a clipped staccato release vs. a lingering sustain without pedal) Yet he didn't provide enough specific details about duration, dynamics, and how delays into notes using supple wrist motions could… Continue reading Does approaching notes in different ways at the piano affect tone production?