The London Youth Piano Competition 2022

Competitions have always been a popular fixture in music. Whether you agree with them or not, contests have taken place since the beginning of time, and it’s often the case that the ‘best’ person doesn’t necessarily win; music, being so subjective, is open to many interpretations and, often, beyond technical issues, it’s all a matter…

Border Tune by Christopher Norton

My guest writer this week is world-renowned composer Christopher Norton. In this post, he offers practice suggestions for his piece Border Tune, which is the second piece from the volume Country Preludes Collection for piano. This piece is featured in List B of the Trinity College London Grade 7 piano exam 2021 – 2023 syllabus. …

The Resilient Artist: Rachael Forsyth and Helen Sanderdon-White

I’m delighted to welcome Rachael Forsyth and Helen Sanderson-White as my guest writers this week. They have recently written an eBook; The Resilient Artist – a book which will, no doubt, be especially useful for those who have suffered during this terrible pandemic. The eBook is available as a download, all you need to do…

London College of Music Pre-Grade 1 Piano Exam Syllabus

I’m delighted to have written, compiled and annotated the new London College of Music Exams Pre-Grade 1 2021 – 2024 syllabus.  I also worked on the Grade 1 – 8 2021 – 2024 piano syllabus, too, selecting some of the repertoire as well as writing many of the performance notes, as I had done for…

Spot Finger Practice

Pianist Magazine is currently celebrating its twentieth year, and it has been an honour to write for the magazine since 2014. I write a ‘How-to-play’ article in every issue and a ‘5 Tips’ based article for the bi-monthly newsletter. The following piece first appeared in the magazine’s most recent newsletter. It’s a subject which I…

Narrative Musicianship 2021 at The Juilliard School

My guest writer today is Russian American concert pianist Konstantin Soukhovetski, who is based in New York. Amongst his many exciting projects, Konstantin directs a Narrative Musicianship Course at The Juilliard School. In this post, he writes about the course and his reason for instigating it. Over to Konstantin… Narrative Musicianship is back at Juilliard…

Montecatini International Piano Competition 2021 | Online Edition

I am delighted to welcome pianist, artistic director and Steinway Artist Aisa Ijiri to the blog. She has written the following guest post highlighting this year’s Montecatini International Piano Competition, of which she is the founder and artistic director. The Montecatini Competition is open to pianists of all nationalities and age groups. There are a…

Chetham’s International Piano Summer School 2021

I can clearly recall the first time I was made aware of Chetham’s International Piano Summer School. A friend had participated as a student and had waxed lyrical about the bountiful facets she had encountered; the high calibre artists and teachers on the faculty, the opportunity to eavesdrop on lessons and forge new piano friendships,…

A Master Class with Zoltán Kocsis

Hungarian pianist Zoltán Kocsis was one of the finest pianists of his generation. He was a true representative of the Hungarian school and a great contemporary pianist (as well as a conductor and composer). His teaching serves to evoke the major figures of the great Hungarian piano tradition, from Franz Liszt, via Béla Bartók and Ernst…

Teaching Fast and Slow

Over the last few weeks I have been preparing for what will no doubt be the highlight of my year; directing the Piano Teachers’ Course at Chetham’s International Piano Summer School. This preparation has prompted a reflection on my own teaching, hence the subject of this blog post. There is often a general perception that…