Soon it is time to release Venezia e Napoli.
Thinking back to how it started takes me back to my high school friend Udo, with whom I shared an interest in listening to classical recordings. Fast forward to running into each other many years later, and to making plans to produce a recording together. Udo now works as recording engineer for the Hessischer Rundfunk Corporation in Frankfurt, Germany. He knew of a great venue in Frankfurt with a German Steinway concert grand taken care of by a fantastic piano technician. August was the time we both could free up. It was also the time of the worst heat wave in Frankfurt. The heat was unreal, like a fever. Recording is an emotional and intellectual whirlwind of the most intense kind. The heat definitely contributed to it.
The German Steinway sounded miraculously beautiful, absolutely stunning, and the piano technician was amazing. As to be expected, Udo turned out to be a highly experienced recording engineer guiding the entire recording process. It was inspiring and fun to work with the team. We had two fantastic days of intense artistic work. The recording sessions were fueled pretty much exclusively by cookies (chocolate chip!). We had the venue for two days, and we recorded a lot of notes, so there was not much room to head out for food. Udo’s wife was wise enough to hand me a big bag filled with cookies on the morning of day one. We finished them all.
Soon it's time to release the recording. All of us are thrilled about the product, and we loved the making of Venezia e Napoli. I hope you'll enjoy listening to the beautiful sounds created on those two hot days of music making!
Having recently returned from my 11th annual chamber music festival in Kaufbeuren, I realized again how important the role of music festivals for young musician really is.
We started the festival 11 years ago in the most impromptu and unstructured way imaginable, and it has grown without advertising or recruitment into a well established high caliber classical music course filled to capacity. This got me thinking on my flight back from Germany to the US. Why does a somewhat rustic and seemingly basic format like this get such resounding and positive reaction…
The Holidays are such a festive time with lots of fabulous receptions, parties and events.
I love cocktails this time of year. They are fun, they are wonderful conversation pieces, they make for such a festive atmosphere, and they look stunning.
Let me share two of my all time faves with you.
Recently I got invited to come to China to perform, adjudicate and teach in December. This marks the second tour to China this season, which is shaping into a particularly exciting and busy one.
Some of you might know, that I love to play with numbers, so I took a closer look at my travel plans. This is what I found
“How do you get to Carnegie Hall? - Practice, practice, practice!”
There is a lot of truth to this famous joke, but being a musician is not all about practice. Some aspects of our lives as musicians are seemingly unimportant and definitely less talked about. One of them is the question of what to wear on stage.
Enjoy the romantic beauty of Leos Janacek’s “A blown away Leaf” from his collection called “On an overgrown Path”
I love staying fit and I love to swim listening to my favorite tunes. Following my first blog about swimming with music I got an overwhelming 'wave' of reactions. So many of you offered creative comments and great new ideas for swimming music - thank you!
The last of two books, Feux d’artifice finishes the cycle of preludes by Claude Debussy with a festive display of fireworks, both as a musical image and as a pianistic challenge.
Feeling in the mood for a vacation? Listen to Sonetto 104 and take a trip to Italy!
Sonetto del Petrarca is part of the collection ‘Years of Pilgrimage’, a set of travel impression put to music by Franz Liszt in the most magnificent operatic way. The poem Sonetto 104 by the Renaissance humanist Petrarch focuses on a comparison between love and war as seen through the eyes of a warrior.
Time to celebate!
It has been one year since I joined my gym, and I am loving it! I am going regularly three or four times a week, and it has been fun to find out, how getting fit helps my piano playing.
Intensity and focus are just some of the words that come to mind, when I play ‘Le Vent dans La Plaine’. I love how the piece paints a picture of gusting winds, slamming windows shutters and blowing leaves.