Having recently started mentoring a new student whose principal instrument is guitar, I realized that repertoire offered at the beginner level requires the same sensitive understanding of phrasing, nuance, framing rhythm and the underlying singing tone that applies to music of greater complexity. (Not to overlook the common cultivation of all-embracing mindfulness, focus, and full… Continue reading No piece is too easy
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
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)
Here's a photo-imported version of "I Got Rhythm!" (Click HD) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8vaOK7MosFo&feature=youtu.be On the artist's CD menu are the following treats: 1. Gershwin Improvisations for Solo Piano: Clap Yo' Hands 2. Someone to Watch Over Me 3. Sweet and Lowdown 4. Maybe 5. S'Wonderful/Funny Face 6. That Certain Feeling 7. Looking for a Boy 8. Earl… Continue reading Irina Morozova plays Gershwin!
This was a SKYPE Day to remember! Not a sinking ship, but a catastrophic event at a musical climax. The Brazilian student, in good form, however, was SAVED by the NEAPOLITAN! He rendered the UNEXPECTED with show-stopping emphasis! Bravo, cavalheiro! Here's the snatch on You Tube: (A CRASH HEARD 'Round the WORLD!) http://youtu.be/OvdiASfJU14 Life isn't… Continue reading Piano Lesson to Brazil: Trills and Spills (Beethoven Presto, “MOONLIGHT” Sonata)
I didn't think twice about getting double mileage from re-playing J.S. Bach's ethereal Prelude in C minor, BWV 847. It turned out to be nature-inspired. On a late afternoon trail trek to Tilden Park, I came equipped with a modest Sony Cyber shot digi-cam that provided a generous supply of photos. These would be imported… Continue reading Bach to nature: Pairing a Prelude with scenes from Tilden Regional Park (Berkeley CA)
Divine music-making from a seasoned pianist in a memorable retrospective