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
These past few weeks I found myself zoning in on structural patterns in two Baroque keyboard works: Scarlatti Sonata K. 146 in G Major and J.S. Bach's Little Prelude in A minor, BWV 942. https://youtu.be/f7gOaaNsQ4I The Scarlatti Sonata is distinct for its symmetry. It opens with a spirited upswing to a descending G Major Arpeggio… Continue reading Scarlatti and Bach Tutorials: Patterns in Analysis
Cruising the Internet on May 24th, I sprang upon a link to Angela Hewitt's second appearance at Wigmore Hall since the pandemic. Tantalized by her program of Domenico Scarlatti and Enrique Granados, composers wedded by their dance-like rhythmic vitality and folkloric, heart-throbbing melodies, I set aside my own practicing to affix my attention to the… Continue reading Pianist, Angela Hewitt Triumphs at Wigmore!
Domenico Scarlatti entered and enriched my life when I embarked upon studies with pianist, Lillian Freundlich. It was during my high school years at "P.A.," known officially as the New York City High School of Performing Arts that I found myself drooling over Baroque era works---some had been previewed by classmate Murray Perahia during our… Continue reading Revisiting Scarlatti Sonatas!
One of my piano students who is learning J.S. Bach's Little Prelude in E minor, BWV 941 wanted to explore the modulations permeating this soulful work to advance her understanding of phrasing. The Analysis: In a series of broken chords through 22 measures, the composer artfully departs from the home key of E minor to… Continue reading J.S. Bach, Harmonic Analysis and Phrasing
Arioso (aka "Ari") arrived here in his new home just a week ago. He was a shelter cat who found his way to PetSmart in Pinole CA. Since there was a local shortage of possibilities, I ventured to a kitten event about 26 miles away, and found myself second in line to choose among 4… Continue reading My newly adopted kitten loves J.S. Bach