Robert Weirich leads an extremely active career as a pianist, teacher, author, and activist. He has performed at venues including Alice Tully Hall, the Kennedy Center, Chicago’s Orchestra Hall, Tanglewood, Ravinia, and Marlboro. He holds the Jack Strandberg Missouri Endowed Chair in Piano at the UMKC Conservatory in Kansas City, MO. He has been...

Robert Weirich leads an extremely active career as a pianist, teacher, author, and activist. He has performed at venues including Alice Tully Hall, the Kennedy Center, Chicago’s Orchestra Hall, Tanglewood, Ravinia, and Marlboro. He holds the Jack Strandberg Missouri Endowed Chair in Piano at the UMKC Conservatory in Kansas City, MO. He has been a frequent contributor to many publications, and from 1984 to 2003 he wrote the columns “The View from the Second Floor” and “Out of the Woods” for Clavier. He is a past president of the College Music Society, and he has twice received the Educational Press Achievement Award for his writing.

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November/December 2018: Winds of Change

I n the last two columns I have  danced around acknowledging  that I have retired from  university teaching. Now it seems  the right time to retire this column as well.  There are many reasons for the decision,  and with a new editor at  Clavier Companion ,  I step aside to make room for new ideas and  f...
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July/August 2018: Winds of Change

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As you read this column, have pity for the long-suffering editor —my submission was way past the usual deadline. As an excuse I can only offer that unique syndrome, Retirement Nervous Breakdown. You may think retiring is easy, but I have found it exactly the opposite. After forty years of university teaching, with a "view from the second floor" as ...
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Virginia Houser
Congratulations, Mr. Weirich, on your retirement! May it prove to be a time of satisfaction and enjoyment in your pursuits. And ... Read More
Wednesday, 11 July 2018 11:22
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March/April 2018: The Winds of Change

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You may have heard that  I am retiring from my  teaching position. If all  goes according to plan, 2017–2018  will be my final year of piano "professordom." It  was not an easy decision, but after forty years  in the studio, it's time to make room for others.  I will still teach, but independently. I recently look...
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Winds of Change: July/August 2017

Pianists are blessed with an incredibly rich, diverse repertoire. I have thought a lot recently about how one chooses a recital program—so much to learn, so little time. Risking too much self-revelation, I will share the experience of my most recent attempt to reach an audience. Much of this column is based on the program notes I wrote for the reci...
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Winds of Change: March/April 2017

Change has been on our minds a lot lately. When I coined the name of this column in 2009, I had no idea how prescient it was (some of these recent changes would have been hard to predict even a year ago). With the future certain only insofar as there will be a future, please allow me some personal ruminations about "modern music" and its role in br...
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Winds of Change

While this column usually focuses on change as it transforms our profession and sometimes flus ters its practitioners, I want to think about something that doesn't change: the effect of artistry and its long-lasting impact. These thoughts come to mind as I reminisce about the unexpected effect Phyllis Curtin had on my life. Phyllis was an admired A...
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Winds of Change

In the heat of this political season, the airwaves are full of talk about systems that don't work, about reform. I recently gave a political speech of sorts at the MTNA national conference, not carried by any of the networks, in which I said that we all needed to be activists. With apologies to those who heard it, I will revisit some of my thoughts...
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Winds of change

Time's passage has been much on my mind of late. The winds of change blow on. We rush toward the future, the way paved by technologies that only get faster and more pervasive. I long for a leeward island, enough out of the wind to consider the things that don't change, or shouldn't. Should piano teachers perform? There is more than one answer. Teac...
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Winds of Change

I've found myself thinking a lot about competitions lately. One of my first pieces for Clavier , even before I started a regular column, dealt with "The Competition Syndrome." Re-reading it, I'm struck by how little things have changed, other than the fact that I'm much less certain of things than I was in my thirties.  That early essay decrie...
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Winds of change

The deadline for this column arrived as the Boston Marathon attack unfolded. For five days we watched madness spread across a city, paralyzing the Athens of America, usurping thought and rationality as horror reigned  supreme. At the same time, I happened to be attending the finals of a high level piano competition. Five gi...
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Winds of Change

My last column, a broadside against the sterility of the classical piano recital, engendered a lot of comment (see Letters to the Editor, Jan/Feb 2013 and page six of this issue). I'm grateful to those who agreed with me, and I thank those who didn't as well. The trouble is it's hard to be subtle in an 1,100-word column. I went for the Big Effect a...
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Winds of Change

​A funny thing happened on the way to writing this column: I started questioning everything about this profession of ours. Even more than I usually do.  In future columns I'll get at more of this, but let's start with the institution we call the piano recital. In fact, we'll begin at the very pinnacle of the art form, the height to which ...
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Winds of Change

​"Hello chatter, my old friend." So wrote  ​New York Times ​ columnist Maureen Dowd, who in calling attention to the new silent film  ​The Artist ​ last December 7, 2011, took on much more (all quoted paragraphs below come from her column).  "The sounds of silence are a dim recollection now, like mystery, privacy and paying atte...
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Winds of Change

It's midsummer as this issue sees print, and the quiet time since those year-end recitals and juries has been most welcomed. After thirty weeks of lessons, I'm ready for a change. The longer the term goes on, the more I feel that I can't hear my students' progress—I'm too close to them, too familiar with their tendencies. They undoubtedly feel the ...
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Winds of Change

​In the ongoing effort to stimulate my students, I have occasionally tried an all-studio repertoire project. For example, in the winter of 2009 my students performed two recitals devoted to the complete solo piano music of Maurice Ravel. This turned out to be a splendid choice: two quite advanced students had already undertaken Gaspard de la Nuit a...
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Winds of Change

I  recall that in my undergraduate years, eons ago, the concert piano received a tuning before every senior recital. The tuning often occurred within the hour or so before the recital itself; when scheduling prevented this, a sign was placed on the piano declaring it off-limits to heavy use. Such attention to detail seemed natural in an enviro...
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Winds of Change

My last column began with the statement, "We're in the communication business." When I go home after a day spent with the information floodgates wide open between me and everyone I see, I feel I've earned my paycheck. Then there are the days when I'm in the evaluation business, a very different form of communication. College professors officially g...
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Winds of Change

We're in the communication business. We may think our job is teaching little fingers to play, or furthering the mission statements of our music schools, or projecting our understanding of a long dead composer's score to a passive but attentive (we hope) audience. But what we really do everyday , in each of these arenas , is give or exchange informa...
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Winds of Change

Within days of this new magazine's release, the forty-fourth President of the United States will take office. The Constitution remains the same - legislative, executive, and judicial branches continue to operate as they have since George Washington's inauguration in 1789. No one would deny, though, that the man taking office in 2009 represents a fu...
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About The Piano Magazine

The Piano Magazine is the leading resource for pianists, piano teachers, and piano enthusiasts. We bring you informative, interesting, and inspiring ideas on all aspects of piano teaching, learning, and performing. The official name of Clavier Companion magazine was changed to the Piano Magazine in 2019.

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