Pianists From The Past: Sergei Rachmaninov

My Pianists From The Past series continues this week featuring the great Russian pianist and composer Sergei Rachmaninov. Today’s fascinating article has been penned by British concert pianist, teacher and broadcaster Robin Zebaida. Over to Robin… Aspects of Rachmaninov the pianist Although I first became familiar with Rachmaninov’s recordings in my mid-teens while studying his…

Tricky Corners: The Opening Phrase

I’ve been working with a student on Franz Joseph Haydn’s beautiful Sonata in E flat major Hob 52. Haydn’s final piano sonata was written in 1794, and it’s full of joie de vivre, a characteristic synonymous with Haydn’s music. Set in my favourite key, this work exudes warmth, colour, and a quite different harmonic and…

Ornaments: 5 Practice Tips

My most recent article for Pianist Magazine’s newsletter focuses on Ornaments. I hope you find it of interest. An aspect of piano playing which can be extremely tricky to implement is the inclusion of ornaments. An ornament is an embellishment or a ‘decorative’ added note pattern, in other words, notes which are not intrinsic to…

TIPA Live Show

Last week I wrote about the Tokyo International Piano Association (you can read this blog post, here), and this week I would like to continue with a little information about the new TIPA Live Show which will be taking place each month, hosted by TIPA’s artistic director, Aisa Ijiri. Japanese pianist Aisa will interview a…

Tokyo International Piano Association (TIPA)

I’m extremely honoured to be on the faculty of this inspiring and versatile association, and, in today’s blog post, I would like to share a little more information about its achievements, aims and aspirations. The Tokyo International Piano Association (TIPA) was founded in 2016 by Japanese concert pianist and Artistic Director Aisa Ijiri. Aisa’s dream…

Developing the Fourth and Fifth Finger

My most recent piano technique feature article for Piano Professional, which is the European Piano Teachers Association’s primary UK publication, focuses on a host of different ways to help students become aware, and start using (albeit carefully), their fourth and fifth fingers. I hope it’s of interest. In my last article, I discussed the importance…

Master Class with Alfred Brendel

It’s been a while since I last posted a master class, but I’ve always enjoyed highlighting them here on my blog. The following class is particularly interesting as it focuses entirely on Franz Liszt’s monumental Sonata in B minor S.178, and is hosted by legendary Austrian pianist Alfred Brendel. Recorded at the Royal College of…

Explorer Piano Duets: the winners

Many thanks to all those who took part in my weekend competition. I had two copies of Australian composer Wendy Hiscocks’ Explorer Piano Duets to give away to two lucky winners. The winners are: Julie Reeman and AmyPianist Many congratulations! Please send your full name and address via my contact page on this blog, and…

Explorer Piano Duets: Weekend Competition

Over the coming weekend, I’m running one of my weekend competitions, featuring a publication by renowned Australian composer Wendy Hiscocks. Explorer piano duets are intended for adventurous students and teachers, and this valuable resource will bring the magic of music making alive for less advanced pianists. Imaginative accompaniments for teachers transform the student’s part and…

Tricky Corners: Smooth Passagework

In my previous Tricky Corners post, I focused on fifth finger leaps within a passage from C P E Bach’s Sonata in A flat, H. 31 (first movement, Un poco allegro); you can read the article, here. Today’s post will continue with this piece, looking, this time, at another caveat which can present serious issues…