Claude Achille Debussy, pianoforte, pianos

Debussy framed articles and videos enrich our study

It's always a blissful coincidence when a piano teacher discovers a wealth of contemporary commentary about a composer whose music is under study in a partnered learning environment. With a framing introduction about the creator, a mentor and pupil can journey beyond details of notation, fingering, harmony, to absorb context, history, and varying compositional approaches… Continue reading Debussy framed articles and videos enrich our study

China, Lang Lang, Lang Lang critics, piano, piano blog, piano blogging

The Lang Lang controversy

World-renowned pianist, Lang Lang has attained rock star status in China, whereas here in the U.S., a sizable contingent of serious mentors in and out of the conservatory milieu register outright disdain for him. Many detractors publicly post their objections to LL's approach to music-making, citing his exaggerations, flamboyance, extraneous gestures, and erratic performances in… Continue reading The Lang Lang controversy

Arturo Bennedetti Michelangeli, chamber music, Classical music blog, Friedrich Edelmann, Munich Philharmonic, piano, Rebecca Rust-Edelmann, San Francisco Munich Trio

Poignant recollections about pianists, Michelangeli and Barenboim from the Munich Philharmonic’s principal bassoonist

As early Spring weather rolled into Berkeley last Sunday afternoon, I set out for Piedmont Pianos in Oakland to try out various grands, and to partake of the San Francisco Munich Trio. Friedrich Edelmann, bassoonist, and Rebecca Rust, cellist are a couple joined in marriage and music. They sometimes perform as a duo, or with… Continue reading Poignant recollections about pianists, Michelangeli and Barenboim from the Munich Philharmonic’s principal bassoonist

4000 Miles by Amy Herzog, After the Revolution by Amy Herzog, Amy Herzog, Beethoven, Fur Elise by Beethoven, Joe Josephs, Journal of a Piano Teacher from New York to California, Leepee Joseph, Lincoln Center, Mitzi E. Newhouse Theater, New York, New York City, Paul Robeson, Pete Seeger, Shirley Kirsten, Shirley Smith Kirsten, The Weavers, Uncategorized, West Village of New York

After the Revolution is my cousin, Amy Herzog’s tour de force play. (An Aurora Theatre Berkeley production)

Amy Herzog is regaled as one of the most gifted young playwrights of her generation. Not only has she been a recipient of the well-regarded Lillian Hellman prize, but she's amassed a slew of New York Times rave reviews. Charles Isherwood, Arts editor, lauded After the Revolution in a generous media spread that wove in… Continue reading After the Revolution is my cousin, Amy Herzog’s tour de force play. (An Aurora Theatre Berkeley production)

Christoph Eschenbach, classissima, classissima.com, Daniel Barenboim, Do or Die documentary about Lang Lang, Do or Die Lang Lang's Story, Gary Graffman, Lang Lang, piano, word press, word press.com, wordpress, wordpress.com, you tube video, you tube.com, youtube, youtube.com

Two sides of the Lang Lang story in and OUT of the heart-wrenching DO OR DIE Documentary

First, here's the documentary that drew my admiration for a Chinese pianist who suffered childhood adversity and abuse, yet triumphed, carving out a career most would never dream of. http://youtu.be/5Ft_xSw9Q54 We learn that Lang Lang's father fostered an "almost lunatic competitive environment," according to the narrator. At the age of 2, the toddler was already… Continue reading Two sides of the Lang Lang story in and OUT of the heart-wrenching DO OR DIE Documentary

alica delarrocha, Artur Rubinstein, Daniel Barenboim, pianists with big hands, pianists with little hands, Shirley Smith Kirsten, teaching piano, The art of phrasing at the piano, the art of piano pedaling, the art of piano playing, word press, word press.com, wordpress, wordpress.com, you tube

Piano Technique: The big hand/little hand controversy (Videos)

I don’t know how many times I’ve been asked the same question by either parents, or people I meet on Amtrak. It’s about “piano fingers,” “hand size,” and the best physiological fit for the keyboard. Next in line are queries about tone deafness and "perfect pitch." The stereotypes are: A great pianist has God-given perfect… Continue reading Piano Technique: The big hand/little hand controversy (Videos)

Aimi Kobayashi, Aristo Sham, CAPRICE ESPAGNOL MORITZ MOSZKOWSKI, Daniel Barenboim, Seymour Bernstein, word press, wordpress.com, you tube, you tube video

Piano Performance retrospectives: The seeds of greatness were sown early in life

It was fascinating to discover videos of pianists in their teens that hearken back to their earlier years of study. In all, a hallmark feel for the phrase and nuance highlights their performances in the past and present. In addition their heartfelt playing rises above the notes and communicates a musical passion that is unabashedly… Continue reading Piano Performance retrospectives: The seeds of greatness were sown early in life