Catherine Kautsky, Chair of Keyboard at Lawrence University, has played on five continents and is the author of Debussy’s Paris: Piano Portraits of the Belle Epoque. Her CD of the Debussy Preludes was said to “bring out all the power, majesty, and mystery of Debussy’s conception,” and a CD of the Brahms Sonatas for Piano and Violin will be released... shortly. Ms. Kautsky has won the Lawrence Excellence in Teaching Award and holds a named professorship.  More

Touching Debussy, Teaching Alchemy

faries-are-dancing The Fairies are Exquisite Dancers, Illustration in 'Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens' by J.M Barrie
Sound is touch at a distance. Jad Abumrad, from Radiolab "Sound is touch at a distance." I heard this quote at a recent talk given by Radio Lab creator, Jad Abumrad, and I couldn't get it out of my mind. Over and over it repeated itself. Mothers sing to babies after they put them down as a way of continuing physical contact, Jad told us. So, i...
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Elizabeth Medici
Wonderful discussion of Debussy's elegant and refined style that gives us so much emotional freedom at the piano. It is also a ver... Read More
Thursday, 12 July 2018 10:22
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Piano Talk

​For quite some time, I've found myself noting the vocabulary we use to describe our peculiar life-enterprise as pianists. We steal from everywhere, and each theft seems to convey some facet of our identity. Some of those identities might best be discarded; others serve to remind us vividly of music's broad affinities.  I was first struck...
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Preparing an Audition Program

As the conservatory audition season cycles in once again —as predictable as the ice and snow that always accompanies it in my neck of the woods—it has occurred to me that a simple checklist for teachers might be useful in preparing guileless students for what lies in store. Thus the following brief suggestions for "less pain, more gain": 1) A year ...
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Ruminations on Musicality

Ruminations on Musicality
The conversion of a series of black dots into a piece of music is a magical process, but one all too easily derailed. The alchemy occurs in two steps: the first step—relatively simple—converts dots into audible pitches, while the second—far more complex— converts pitches into intelligible language. As teachers, we're responsible for teaching both, ...
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