Category Archives: Van Cliburn

Van Cliburn’s Tchaikovsky No. 1 concerto revisited

Van Cliburn’s named popped up on one of the piano forums. Would he have made the same formidable impression in today’s Moscow Competition as he did in 1958? The answer is simply YES, and resurrecting a flashback of his winning … Continue reading

Posted in piano, piano blog, piano blogging, piano competition, Tchaikovsky Piano Competition, Van Cliburn | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

Piano “Competitions”–Do we need them?

The word “competition” in the realm of music-making doesn’t work for me. Those who serve the poetry of music and view technique, not as athletically driven, but as a means to a higher artistic end can be offended by glitzy, … Continue reading

Posted in, Journal of a Piano Teacher from New York to California, piano, piano competitions, Teh 14th International Van Cliburn Piano Competition, Van Cliburn, word press | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Rekindling memories of Van Cliburn, the Cold War, Kirill Kondrashin, etc

A friend sent me a link to her favorite performance of Tschaikovsky’s Bb minor, WARHORSE concerto– the one with the big splash CHORD opener. Pianists dream of conquering these sonorities without a falter, but not necessarily in their lifetime. For … Continue reading

Posted in 1958 Tschaikovsky Piano Competition, Moscow, piano, piano competitions, Tschaikovsky, Tschaikovsky Piano concerto in Bb minor, Van Cliburn, word press,, you tube, you tube video, you, yout tube, | 4 Comments

An ageless pianist and her historic concert (I was there)

This is the program that I preserved from the event. It was contained in a boxful of musical artifacts that my mother sent me. On March 28th, 1960, I was present at Madame Rosina Lhevinne’s Eightieth Birthday celebration concert held … Continue reading

Posted in Chopin Piano Concerto in E minor, Frederic Chopin, John Browning, Juilliard School, Juilliard School Orchestra under Jean Morel, Leonard Bernstein and the NY Philharmonic, Mozart Piano Concerto no. 21 in C, Rosina Lhevinne, Rosina Lhevinne's 80th birthday concert, The Legacy Of Rosina Lhevinne: A Portrait Of The Legendary Pianist, Van Cliburn, William Schuman, word press,, you tube, you tube video | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Great Piano Teaching Moments

This remarkable piece of film footage inspired a stream of others. Nadia Boulanger (b.1887-d.1979) the esteemed teacher, composer, theoretician, organist, pianist, taught and influenced so many great musical creators such as Leonard Bernstein, Aaron Copeland, Virgil Thomson, Walter Piston and … Continue reading

Posted in piano, music, piano teacher, pianist, Shirley Kirsten, Steinway piano, you tube,, El Cerrito, arpeggios, Beethoven, Baroque music, word press, piano technique,, classical music, keyboard technique, piano lesson, you tube video, New York City High School of Performing Arts, Juilliard, piano student, Piano World,, Classical era, Rondo form, J.S. Bach, counterpoint, Teach Street, Bach Invention,, piano scales, technique, pianoworld, uk-piano-forums, Steinway and Sons, piano room, Steinway grand piano, Steinway M grand piano, Shirley Kirsten blog, El Cerrito California, musicology, Exposition in piano sonata, piano pedagogy, gymnastics, Classical period sonata, California, Shirley Smith Kirsten, Bach Prelude in C Major, The Well Tempered Clavier, piano addict, Creative Fresno, Romantic music, 20th Century music, Music Teachers Asssociation of California, Romantic era music, 19th Century music, piano teaching repertoire, Circle of Fifths, Van Cliburn, "Just Being At the Piano", whole body music listening, music and heart, Internet,, Oberlin Conservatory, piano practicing, Bach Inventions, tempo rubato, Rosina Lhevinne, Bard College, John Browning | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Teens, popular music then and now, Taylor Swift, throw in Five for Fighting “100 Years”

Today was by no means a first for me, a long-haired musician raised on Bach, Beethoven and Brahms teaching a teen some pop tunes by John Ondrasik and Taylor Swift while I sailed through the universe of “Liz on Top … Continue reading

Posted in 100 years, 6 degrees of separation, 77 Sunset Strip, arpeggios, authorsden, Bay area, Bill Haley and the Comets, Bob Dylan, Bronx, Bronx dialect, California, cd baby, cdbaby, Classical era, Creative Fresno, Dario Marianelli, dream piano, Edith Piaf, El Cerrito, El Cerrito California, El Cerrito piano studio, Elvis Presley, Facebook, Featherbed Lane, five finger positions, five finger warm-ups, Five for Fighting, Forever and Always, Fresno, Fresno California, Fresno Famous, gymnastics, humor, J.S. Bach, Jane Austen, Johnny Mathis, JS Bach, keyboard technique, Liz on Top of the World, Major and minor scales, memoir, music, music appreciation classes, music history, music teachers association of california, Music Teachers Asssociation of California, Music Together, my space, New York, New York City High School of Performing Arts, Northwest Bronx, Northwest Fresno, Oberlin Conservatory, New York City High School of Performing Arts, Old Fig Garden in Fresno, Pete Seeger, Peter Paul and Mary, pianist, piano, piano addict, piano instruction, piano lesson, piano room, piano sale, Piano Street, piano student, piano teacher, piano teaching repertoire, piano technique, piano warm-ups, Piano World,,, pianoworld,, popular music, Pride and Prejudice, Romantic era music, satire, scales, Shirley Kirsten, Shirley Kirsten blog, Shirley Smith Kirsten, Sohmer upright, sports, Steinway and Sons, Steinway grand piano, Steinway M grand piano,, Teach Street, teaching piano to teenagers, technique, tennis, The Beatles, Twenty five Progressive pieces by Burgmuller, used piano, used pianos, Van Cliburn, Well Tempered Clavier, word press,, you tube, you tube video | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment