Most piano students don't get ample opportunity to play piano trios, quartets, quintets, etc. because they're consumed with learning solo repertoire and developing their technical/musical skills. Thankfully, the ongoing Cliburn International Piano Competition, in progress, fills this common void by reminding us that chamber music is integral to the development of a well-rounded musician. It… Continue reading Chamber music and pianists: seamless interaction, ensemble, and musical growth
Sometimes winners of piano competitions are not true messengers of great musical artistry. They might succeed in pleasing a panel of judges who often reward interpretive conformity and convention bundled in pyrotechnical displays, bestowing the Gold medal upon the least offending contender. Yet such a career launch may be short-lived once the round-by-round environment is… Continue reading Alessandro Deljavan is a uniquely gifted pianist
An encore tribute to Maestro Pressler caught my eye on FB's Art of Piano Pedagogy forum. Deborah Rambo Sinn, a fine musician and teacher in her own right posted "My violinist's interview" with the octogenarian plus ten. It was the perfect supplement to a 2012 blog that I'd dedicated to Menahem that resonates into the… Continue reading Facebook puts Menahem Pressler center stage, practicing “with love.”
The "A" word is officially banished from my vocabulary, even if its residual usage in books, newspapers, old reviews, can't be controlled. To boot, anyone who's been handed a stack of music by the High School vocal teacher to ready for the mid-year Christmas program and a few others in between Thanksgiving and semester break,… Continue reading A pianist is a COLLABORATOR NOT an “accompanist”
Andante: second movement, Mozart Sonata K. 545 played on my Steinway, 1917, M. http://youtu.be/PPYKK3hOjnk **** My relationship to Mozart and his music began with the violin. At the Merrywood Music Camp in Lenox, Massachusetts, only a stone's throw from Tanglewood, I encountered Eugene Lehner, first violist of the Boston Symphony when I played second violin… Continue reading Mozart memories, reflections and revisits (Videos)
Was I dreaming? Did I wake up in a chicken coop on a hot and humid July morning? The summer before I was a Merrywood camper, encapsulated in a forest of pines bordering Lenox, Massachusetts. A short journey to Tanglewood for a Sunday morning BSO rehearsal, was followed by a breakfast of sizzling waffles and… Continue reading Appel Farm Music Camp and the Chicken Coops
If I let my imagination run wild, I would frame this writing around Robin Hood. The backdrop was the Merrywood Music Camp, nestled in the Berkshires in a dense forest where a friendly outlaw could easily rob from the rich in Lenox, and retreat into the pines, practically unnoticed. Merrywood was a stone’s throw from… Continue reading A Breathtaking Merrywood Music Camp Finale!