When working on executing ornaments with an adult student as they appear in J.S. Bach's Prelude in F minor, I thought instantly of Claudio Arrau's allusions to "shaking" these out, without having a thread of tension in the arms, wrists, and hands. One of his biographers, Joseph Horowitz, profiled the pianist in an extensive interview… Continue reading Piano Technique: Shaking out Bach Ornaments! and the influence of Claudio Arrau
This week's practicing and You Tubing hearkened back to my student days in New York City. Lillian Lefkofsky Freundlich was my Rosina Lhevinne. She, like her Russian counterpart, was married to a high profile husband, Irwin Freundlich who doubled as her 4-hand piano partner. When Irwin passed away in his late 60s quite suddenly, as… Continue reading Husband and wife pianists I have known and their legacy
The Back Story: After having spent about 30 years in hometown New York City, I emigrated to the agriculture-rich San Joaquin Valley, California, planting myself and family in Fresno. This seemed to be a God forsaken place with excruciating heat (though dry). With its relentless air pollution; bad water from contaminated wells, and high incidence… Continue reading Honoring my “neighborhood” piano teacher amidst melting degrees of separation
A further blend of music and seascapes, not to mention muted swans. Ena Bronstein was my former teacher in Fresno before she departed for the East Coast. Currently, she's on the faculty of Westminster Choir College of Rider University, Princeton, N.J. http://youtu.be/SB6PyiyShtc LINK: https://arioso7.wordpress.com/2012/04/30/virtuosity-and-poetry-in-motion-hallmark-ena-bronsteins-musical-return-to-fresno/
One of my adult students echoed a belief that has resonated for generations in piano studios across the country, if not the world. The OLD school of thought was that you played piano with a rigid, arched hand, and if you slipped into a longer, relaxed curve, or dared to DIP your wrist below the… Continue reading Piano Technique: The dipping wrist, and how it defies convention (Videos)
Mister Rogers would have welcomed Ena Bronstein back to the "neighborhood" that she left over 25 years ago. He'd say that she planned to honor her friends, former neighbors, and piano students by giving them a very special reunion concert wrapped in love. And so it happened that our Fresno "neighborhood" piano teacher who had… Continue reading Virtuosity and Poetry in Motion hallmark Ena Bronstein’s musical return to Fresno
It's been well over 20 years since I sauntered just a few blocks over to West San Madele, a quaint street with manicured lawns and California ranch-style homes. But one particular residence, with an adobe brick exterior, stood out because of its warm musical welcome mat. It promised entry into a magical space with a… Continue reading My neighborhood piano teacher will return to Fresno to give a benefit concert! (Video)
The musical universe is smaller than we think. And perhaps this writing will incubate a linked chain of "connections" that will go further--especially since my relocation to Berkeley, California (September, 2012) So here it is: Now that I'm well past my Oberlin Conservatory student years, I notice that Lillian Freundlich, my beloved teacher during my… Continue reading Shrinking degrees of separation in the music world?