Score study is crucial. There is no way around it.
Looking at a handwritten score is even better. The handwriting alone says so much about a person. A facsimile score looks like a picture created by the composer, a drawing full of energy, or elan, or full of frustration, or even full of doubt.
One of my favorite ways to experience the personality a composer is to look at his or her signature. I enjoy that mini picture the composer draws without thinking about it. I don’t intend to pass myself off as a graphologist - the people dealing with hand writing analysis -, but here are some probably crude basics: slanted to the right is the signature of a social person, to the left that of an introvert, and quite straight is the writing style of a logical and practical person. This can be taken further to the open ‘o’-s, and the placement of the dot on the ‘i’, and all sorts of other things.
No, I am not a graphologist, but Schubert, Liszt, Bartòk, Brahms, Bach, they all have their individual ways of signing, but I love the simple expression of that mini drawing, which gives me lots to muse about.
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.