A former student of legendary pianist, Artur Schnabel, Jeanne Shapiro Bamberger sat comfortably at her piano bench, nestled in her Berkeley Hills home. She meticulously traced her East to West Coast journey that's reached beyond the boundaries of piano performance. Through decades of creative discovery, Bamberger has synthesized elements of music and cognition; form, structure,… Continue reading Jeanne Bamberger, 94, shares a rich and abundant musical life
Pianist, Leon Fleisher has given us his notable artistry over decades, while his insights about practicing and teaching have been invaluable for a vast community of mentors and students. In his latest interview that coincided with the release of a new album, All the Things You Are, Fleisher spoke eloquently about the intrinsic relationship of… Continue reading Beyond Leon Fleisher’s riveting words about pianists and vocal modeling
https://youtu.be/hnIjGICvfAU I'm grateful to Pianist/Teacher Emma Leiuman for posting this recorded ensemble of inspired voices. Leon Fleisher, Daniel Barenboim, Gyorgy Sebok and Arthur Rubinstein share an approach to music-making that is devoid of mechanics, didactics, and methodology. They speak about a cosmos of internally imagined tonal images, emotions, colors, and orchestration that spring from the… Continue reading “Great pianists speak about imagination and the singing approach”
The symposia at Carnegie Hall's Weill Music Institute brought three top flight performers together to share thoughts about performance-related issues. Leon Fleisher, Yo Yo Ma, and Pamela Frank, all fine musicians in their own instrumental cosmos, agreed that the Ego can be an impediment to anxiety-free music-making. Zeroing in on "performance pressure," Maestra Frank, a… Continue reading Performance Anxiety and Pressure Relievers
From Berkeley, California At 3:19 a.m. I had just revisited my recently posted video of Bach's Sarabande (French Suite in G)--a foreboding? http://youtu.be/hL3XnZosZ-E ... when suddenly the wall I was leaning against, ( while seated at the piano), started swaying from side-to-side. (somewhat like swells to crescendo < with releases >) Next, I felt a… Continue reading What happened during the Earthquake!
Leon Fleisher, an icon in the universe of pianists, put it succinctly. He channeled the wisdom of Artur Schnabel that embodied the idea that a musician must have an internal sense of what he expects to hear before playing a single note. http://youtu.be/mAsA9EZc08c Fleisher further insisted that playing by accident, or having a pile of… Continue reading “Hear it before you play it!”
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?
In poring over my library of blogs, with October, 2010 as their anniversary date, I found this one from May, 2011, with an embedded video that explored more ways to weigh in with the Left Hand. https://arioso7.wordpress.com/2011/05/29/piano-technique-and-weight-control-bringing-out-and-balancing-voices-video-teacher-shirley-kirsten/ A recent comment by a visitor on the subject of Left Hand enhancement, enlivened the discussion and synched… Continue reading More on boosting the Left Hand in piano playing
You can't avoid it. Athletics are part of piano playing so if you abuse your hands, arms, wrists, let alone your fingers, you'll end up benched, like an overused relief pitcher. Yesterday, I pushed the envelope, practicing rapid fire repeated notes in Domenico Scarlatti's Toccata in D minor, well into the night. Ample streams of… Continue reading Pianists and Injuries