Myra Hess and Wartime London, 1939-1945

Myra-Hess
Are the arts a societal luxury or a necessity?  How do people respond to the arts during times of suffering and destruction? The destruction of World War II threatened hope and morale, even in brave England. British Prime Minister Winston Churchill inspired his people to fight against the "pestilence of Nazi tyranny" and defend "all that is mo...
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Clara Schumann: Role Model for the 21st Century

Clara-Schumann-cover
Clara Josephine Wieck was born two hundred years ago on September 13, 1819, in the German city of Leipzig. Her father Friedrich chose the name Clara, which meant bright, shining, or famous, and from her birth was determined to turn her into a piano virtuoso. By age eleven, she was touring Europe as a concert pianist, often playing her own compositi...
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Summer 2019: Keyboard Kids' Companion

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Bringing Performance Experience with a Period Piano to a Modern One

If Mozart had had a modern concert grand piano, would he have composed the same music? Absolutely not! No doubt, he would have been strongly influenced by the characteristics of the modern instrument, and his musical approach on the piano would have been completely different.  Why am I so sure about this? Did I have coffee with Mozart? Un...
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This is what diversity sounds like

Price
In her book Hidden Figures (the basis for the 2016 movie of the same name), Margot Lee Shetterly observed, "The electrified fence of segregation and the centuries of shocks it delivered so effectively circumscribed the lives of American blacks that even after the current was turned off, the idea of climbing the fence inspir...
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Two Pianists in Time of War

War requires many adjustments by the populations of the countries involved, and musicians are not immune from these circumstances. The lives of two pianists, one who lived during World War I and the other during the Korean War, illustrate the pressures placed upon individuals. communities, and societies. November 11, 2...
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The recorded legacy of Claude Debussy

cm1 Mary Garden in the role of Mélisande (see endnote 1)
In 1904, soprano Mary Garden entered the Paris recording studio of Gramophone & Typewriter Ltd. with her pianist, Claude Debussy. Garden sang three excerpts from Ariettes oubliées, a set of chansons Debussy dedicated to her, as well as an excerpt from Pelléas et Mélisande, an opera for which she premiered the title role. The resulting recording...
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May/June 2018: Research: Unlocking the Keys to a Musical Mystery

Reproduction-of-George-Washingtons-1793-Longman--Broderip-2-Manual-Harpsichord
It has taken more than a year of painstakingly detailed work for Conservator John Watson to get closer to his goal of re-creating a piece of history. The Associate Curator of Musical Instruments for Colonial Williamsburg is fashioning a replica of a harpsichord George Washington purchased in 1793 for his teenage step-granddaughter Eleanor "Nelly" P...
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The legacy of Leopold Wolfsohn

Leopold Wolfsohn. You may look at this name and wonder why it seems vaguely familiar. If you access Leopold Wolfsohn on Google, it will notify you in 0.27 seconds that you have 18,700 results. Of course, as the search continues it gets further away from its initial goal. However, there is a common denominator in the vast majority of sites: Leo...
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Génie Oblige: Franz Liszt and musical service

Génie Oblige: Franz Liszt and musical service
For Franz Liszt, music was a moral force. He would surely have agreed with Alfred Cortot who used to proclaim, "Music forces Mankind to confront its nobility." Nobility! It brings us to the heart of the matter. Liszt was the first musician in history to articulate a great idea: namely, that music functions best when placed in the service of so...
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An unknown pupil of Franz Liszt

Today we know only a few composers and performers from the past in contrast to the many who were active, and even well known during their lifetime. I recently read that more than 16,000 works titled "symphony" were composed between 1720 and 1810. Yet when I think of symphony composers from this time period, Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, and perhaps a f...
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Richard Wagner at the piano

Richard Wagner at the piano
Wagner was the ultimate drama king and a lightning rod for controversy, yet he remains one of the most fascinating and uncompromising figures in the arts. Richard Wagner's 200th birthday is being celebrated this year at major opera houses including the Metropolitan Oper...
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Beethoven goes to Hollywood (and takes a few friends along)

Beethoven goes to Hollywood (and takes a few friends along)
As a faculty member at the East Carolina University School of Music, I frequently taught our Piano Literature sequence. The last time I led these classes, I decided to add a new component to the second-semester schedule: films about pianist-composers. Hollywood through the years has found the artistic life irresistible, and there are quite a f...
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The Schnabel family’s exile in Italy

Legendary for their ability to ignite the imagination in students, the Schnabel family has provided a rich musical heritage, including a teacher tree linking directly to Czerny and Beethoven through Artur's studies with Leschitizky. One of the Schnabels' most celebrated and influential students, Leon Fleisher, reflects back on his time with the Sch...
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Franz Liszt the Teacher

Franz Liszt
Franz Liszt was a legendary pianist, famous for his overwhelming technical prowess and expressive power. Many today do not realize that as a teacher he had a lasting effect upon piano playing throughout Europe and even in the United States. Most of the great pianists of the nineteenth century came under his influence, whether or not they attended h...
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Opposing perspectives

Respected as a celebrated concert artist throughout his lifetime, Sergei Rachmaninoff 's compositions were not as universally appreciated until more recent years, and were in fact sharply criticized at times. In this issue, Robert Palmieri provides an illuminating retrospective as he observes Rachmaninoff 's passionate public struggle aga...
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The life of Chopin (and autographed piano)

The Chopin Foundation of the United States has in its possession a rare and unique item: a Pleyel piano with the autograph of Frederic Chopin. This well-traveled piano has touched many lives and resided in multiple countries, not unlike the man who signed it. As we celebrate the 200th birthday of this influential composer, it is notable to con...
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Chopin and Pleyel

Translated by Deana Shuman   The first concert in Paris Chopin's first concert in Paris (February 25th, 1832) played a determining role in the artist's career, leading to his recognition as a composer and a pianist, providing him contacts with music publishers, opening the most influential salon doors to him, and thereby assuring him a st...
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Chopin's teaching

We all know Chopin's piano literature-almost every serious piano student plays (or aspires to play) his works. But what do we know about Chopin's teaching? After all, teaching was an important part of his life and provided his main source of income.1 What can we take from Chopin's teaching in the 1800s and apply to our own professional models ...
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Clara Schumann: Ambivalence and resilience

The lives of Clara and Robert Schumann make great movies.Two exist: Hollywood's "Song of Love" (1947), starring Katherine Hepburn as Clara Schumann and Paul Henreid as Robert, and the German film "Frühlingssinfonie (1983), starring Nastassja Kinski and Herbert Gronemeyer. Both films present what have become typical versions of Clara'...
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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 Piano Magazine in 2019.

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