Bumping into Brahms: A conversation about the Intermezzo, Op. 118, No. 2

JM: Oh! Sorry sir, you startled me! I almost bumped into you. But wait, I know you! Are you not Herr Doktor Brahms?Brahms: Guten Tag? Bitte, kein Doktor.I am amazed that we have somehow encountered one another here. Might it be because I have played so many of your wonderful song accompaniments and piano pieces recently? Would you possibly be willi...
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Enrique Granados's musical postcards

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The centennial of Enrique Granados's death in 2016 and the sesquicentennial of his birth in 2017 allow musicians an opportunity to celebrate the piano works of the Spanish author, pianist, composer, and pedagogue, who lived from 1867 to 1916. Granados is considered to be the "Father of the Modern Catalán School of Piano." After a two-year...
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The teaching of Enrique Granados

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In addition to being a great composer, Enrique Granados was also a dedicated and innovative teacher whose pedagogical approach has been explored only recently. Many of his ideas were not published during his lifetime, but rather entered into his diaries, passed on to his pupils verbally, and annotated on scores. Many of his pedagogical works were, ...
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William Gillock: A centennial retrospective

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"To provide a musically thrilling experience." --Willam Gillock, on the purpose of student piano literature​I often ask my piano pedagogy students to take a few moments to reflect on their motivations for being a music major. After all, studying music is challenging and time consuming, and there's no clear-cut promise of financial riches at the end...
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Playing composers' slurs: From Mozart to the nineteenth century

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In recent decades, scholars and publishers have reproduced composers' original notations in so-called Urtext editions. In these scholarly editions and facsimiles of composers' autographs, pianists will notice two slurring patterns—slurs obviously cutting off a phrase or a melody, or a slur ending before the bar line when the end of the phrase or me...
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How do you know when a student is ready to perform a piece?

​​​One of my studio recitals just ended. As I write this, I am eating a leftover brownie and may snarf down a couple more. Would wine be better? Probably, but it is only four in the afternoon. The recital went well. For one thing, everyone showed up. This doesn't always happen. For another, no one was wearing a sports uniform. While I am ...
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The Chinese Phenomenon in the Piano World

During the past twenty or so years,most professional pianists and piano teachers have noticed the influx of Asian pianists. They appear at piano recitals and competitions locally and internationally, often comprising the majority of the performers. The names of Yundi Li, Yuja Wang, and certainly Lang Lang are better known today than most past giant...
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Understanding Spanish music

​I have enjoyed playing, teaching, and listening to Spanish music throughout my musical life. The guitar effects, exotic rhythms and harmonies, and mesmerizing moods captured my imagination and emotions, as well as that of my students. I enjoyed playing Andaluza, Córdoba, Capriccio Catalano, Asturias, Granada, Sevilla, and The Jota Aragonese. One o...
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Did the piano kill Liszt?

An interview with Liszt's great-granddaughter Blandine Ollivier de Prévaux The following interview took place in 1970 and was originally published in Clavier. The valuable recollections and thoughts from a direct descendant of Liszt along with firsthand accounts from her father and grandfather make this a fascinating story—one worth reading fo...
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Frank Glazer

Frank Glazer in 1936. Photograph by Ben Pinchot.
Many people have played all thirty-two Beethoven Sonatas in one concert season before, but I would be willing to bet that no one has done it for the first time at age ninety-five. Frank Glazer holds a unique place among concert pianists and teachers. He is the last living student from the Berlin days of the great Beethoven interpreter Artur Schnabe...
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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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How do you use DVDs and YouTube videos of historical pianists in your teaching?

A few years ago I asked piano majors in a piano pedagogy class to name some twentieth-century pianists. Elton John and Liberace were mentioned, but few classical pianists were identified. I later did a presentation to the group on historical pianists, beginning with Ludwig van Beethoven, his student Carl Czerny, and his two nineteenth-cen...
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What is the role of "etudes" in a pianist's development? Which ones do you use and when?

Daily I am reminded of the numerous things that should be taught in lessons to develop knowledgeable and proficient pianists. Certainly in a 30 or even 60-minute lesson, priorities must be established for what will be included and what will be left for another day. In my early years of teaching I emphasized the basic keyboard patterns of scale...
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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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