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January/February 2019: Book Reviews

​ Managing Stage Fright: A Guide for Musicians and Music  Teachers , by Julie Jaffee Nagel.  Julie Nagel possesses a rare combination of skills. She has two music degrees from The Juilliard School, three psychology degrees from the University of Michigan, and further training at  the Michigan Psychoanalytic Institute. I often joke wi...
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January/February 2019: New Music Reviews

(S3-4) Nocturnes in Minor:  An Artistic Intermediate/Late Intermediate Collection for Solo Piano , by Jeanne Costello.   As a young pianist, I remember playing my first Chopin nocturne and thinking, "Now I'm really playing some difficult piano music." The piece left a lasting impression that, in many ways,  hooked me on classical mus...
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Closer Look: Visit the Menagerie

(S4) Truly Astounding Animals , by Peter Rudzik. Canadian composer Peter Rudzik's collection of twelve short piano solos for intermediate-to-advancing pianists takes us on a delightful, creative romp through the animal world. Reminiscent in spirit to Camille Saint-Saëns's  Carnival of the ...
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November/December 2018: Book Review

The Pianist's Guide to Standard Teaching and Performance Concertos: An Invaluable Resource of Keyboard Concertos from Baroque through Contemporary Periods for Teachers, Students, and Performers, by Karen Beres and Christopher Hahn. Review by Kate Boyd. Susan Geffen, Editor The Pianist's Guide to Standard ...
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September/October 2018: First Looks, New Music Reviews

jingle-bells (S1-2) Jingle Bells, arranged by Wendy Stevens.
New Music Reviews Editor's note Ho, ho, ho! The holidays are on the horizon. We know how it is for piano teachers (we're teachers ourselves). We frantically run to the music store, hoping to snag our favorites before the teacher with 120 students cleans out the inventory. Clavier Companion is here to help. This issue's holiday reviews will help you...
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Cliburn 2017

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Every four years, piano fans gather in Fort Worth, Texas, for one of the piano world's biggest parties: the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition. At this year's Cliburn—the fifteenth—Yekwon Sunwoo, 28, earned the Gold Medal. Although a native of South Korea, Sunwoo has degrees from Curtis and Juilliard (and, yes, he played the Rach 3). The S...
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Our woman at the Cliburn: He was robbed

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Author's Note: Like so many of you, I watched the June 10 Cliburn finals online. (My daughter was graduating from high school on June 10. I can't imagine why the school district didn't plan around the Cliburn.) God save the child whose piano lesson followed little Georgy Tchaidze's. Georgy has his own. And he was robbed. Certainly, all six finalist...
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Our woman at the Cliburn: Judgment is nigh

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"Dies Irae." Judgment Day. In Fort Worth, that day is tomorrow, June 10, when, at the end of the three-week Van Cliburn International Piano Competition, final judgment will be passed on the six finalists. How apt, then, that, in Friday's night concerto round, American Kenneth Broberg performed Rachmaninoff's Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini, Op. 43....
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Our woman at the Cliburn: Brahms triumphant

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There's good, and there's Brahms. The Franck F-Minor Quintet and the Dvořák Op. 81 in A Major allow pianists to display their chops, but, baby, when Brahms enters the room, other composers might as well step aside. It takes intellect as well as musicality to play the Brahms Op. 34 Quintet in F-Minor, and Cliburn finalist Rachel Cheung possesses bot...
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Our woman at the Cliburn: Exposure on the concert stage

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Performing Mozart is precarious business. The pianist who tackles a Mozart concerto—in public, no less—is a brave person indeed.  To play Mozart is to risk exposure; so many things can go wrong. Miss a note, and there is no thick, Romantic, bulwark of harmony to cover your mistake. Minimize the shading, and the scalar passages sound like click...
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Our Woman at the Cliburn: Dvořák. And More Dvořák.

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​ How much Dvořák is an innocent listener expected to endure? Quite a bit, apparently, at least if the listener is attending this year's Van Cliburn International Piano Competition. The competition has moved into the final rounds, and each of the six remaining contestants joins the Brentano Quartet in the Cliburn's chamber portion. The finalists co...
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First Looks: January/February 2017

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Closer Look: (S3-4) Béla Bartók: Ten Easy Pieces, edited by Immanuela Gruenberg. Immanuela Gruenberg creates a real gem for teachers and students alike in her study edition of Béla Bartók's Ten Easy Pieces, Sz. 39. As a study edition, Gruenberg's book will fully inform both teachers and students about Bartók, his use of folk music, and the individu...
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Brain trust: Words of wisdom from early childhood experts

Brain trust: Words of wisdom from early childhood experts
There's nothing more invigorating than a room full of young children eager to learn music. And there may not be anything more important to all music educators than giving these young children a good start.  In addition to a love of music and children, early childhood specialists need comprehensive training. Three top thinkers in early childhoo...
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