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Inspiring Artistry Repertoire Project Samples

DIGITAL ONLY CONTENT: Speak out! Five-and-a-half minutes with composer, Lynda Lybeck-Robinson

Lynda Lybeck-Robinson
I met Lynda on FaceBook about five years ago and life has brought us together in real life many times since. The harmony in her compositions is a refreshingly unexpected departure from much of the pedagogical literature, and my students (young and old) all know who Ms. Lynda is. She mentions "Coal Miner's Lullaby" from Alaska Sk...
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DIGITAL-ONLY CONTENT: Music for the intermediate pianist by eight women composers

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Editor's note: This is a companion piece to the January/February 2018 article, "Women of exceptional accomplishment: Eight women composers" by Teresa Rupp, found here.Anyone who thinks there is a lack of piano music by women composers from previous centuries hasn't looked too hard. Take the music of these eight composers as a great example. Mo...
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Alice Peterson
Gail Smith's Women Composers in History music collection is a mainstay in my studio alongside the Maurice Hinson edition, as are ... Read More
Sunday, 20 October 2019 14:12
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Editorial changes at Clavier Companion

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The Frances Clark Center is pleased to recognize the outstanding contributions of Dr. Pete Jutras. Dr. Jutras is stepping down from his role as Editor-in-Chief after serving for eleven years in that capacity. Jutras, who is Professor of Piano and Associate Director at the Hugh Hodgson School of Music at The University of Georgia in Athens, GA, serv...
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DIGITAL ONLY CONTENT: Speak out! Five-and-a-half minutes with composer, Christopher Norton

What kind of composer are you? I've been known as an educational composer since the 1980s, partly because I was a victim of my own success! Arriving in the UK in 1977, I was soon published by Universal Edition – three Christmas publications, including Carol Jazz, a book of late intermediate improvisations on Christmas carols. But it was Microj...
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Recording Beethoven’s Piano Sonatas in the 21st Century: An Interview with Steinway Pianist James Brawn

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The great pianist and conductor Hans von Bülow once called Beethoven's 32 piano sonatas the New Testament of music. This bold declaration foreshadowed the lofty status Beethoven's Testament now holds in the Western canon of classical music. It also set the stage for an impressive lineage of recordings, beginning with the first-ever complete cycle by Artur Schnabel—the celebrated Austrian pianist known to Harold C. Schonberg as "the man who invented Beethoven." Among those who followed in Schnabel's footsteps are some of the greatest pianists of the 20th and 21st centuries—Claudio Arrau, Vladimir Ashkenazy, Wilhelm Backhaus, Daniel Barenboim, Alfred Brendel, Annie Fischer, and the list goes on—and so it comes as no surprise that many pianists today treat this massive undertaking as a right of passage.

In one sense, however, it's also dangerous to enter the company of such esteemed colleagues. How does one "compete"? What new can be "said" of music that has been a staple of the repertoire for so long? These are some of the questions facing Steinway Artist James Brawn as he continues his Odyssey—now half finished—to record von Bülow's New Testament.


Your project invokes a monumental legacy of inspired Beethoven interpreters. Do you feel the weight of history on your shoulders?

While it is true there is a great historical legacy of recordings, the only pressure I feel personally is to do these piano sonatas justice and play them as faithfully as I am able. The works of the great composers, like Beethoven, are such a privilege to study and perform, and I feel very lucky to have the opportunity to record this cycle for MSR Classics.


As an artist, do you draw on the work of those who came before you? Or are you a lone wanderer?

Perhaps I'm more of a lone wanderer, in the sense I've always done my own thing and in my own time. Certainly when I was a student—until my early twenties—I was influenced by my teachers, as well as recordings and performances by great living pianists. So at that time, there was always someone looking over my shoulder, so to speak. But for the last twenty years I've managed to focus on music that I can't live without. The Beethoven sonatas have become extremely important to my being, and communicating this personal passion in recital, recording, and teaching is the inevitable outcome.

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Exploring the Teaching of Mary Craig Powell

It has been my privilege for many years to know Mary Craig Powell as a colleague and friend. Although Mary Craig is an internationally renowned Suzuki specialist, her pedagogic knowledge and instructional skills reach far beyond the confines of a particular method or philosophy. Watching Mary Craig teach is a revelatory and inspiring experience, an...
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About Piano Magazine

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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