A Few Thoughts on Selecting Piano Diploma Repertoire

Today’s post is the second exploring piano diploma repertoire. You can read my first post, here. As the previous article describes, there are many ways of ensuring an interesting well-balanced programme, but when it comes to choosing the music itself, how and what do you select? Which pieces make ‘safe’ choices and what constitutes an…

Orchids for piano by Ed Hughes

A blog can provide the ideal opportunity to highlight less familiar Contemporary music, and this interesting set of pieces by British composer Ed Hughes (born in 1968), employs the piano in all its glory. Orchids consists of six movements written between 1990 and 2002 for a collection of fine pianists; Benjamin Morison, Stephen Gutman, Robert Saudek, Nicolas Hodges, Michael…

Sonya’s Lullaby Op. 16 by Oliver Knussen

I was introduced to Oliver Knussen’s music as a young student. Playing unusual, less familiar repertoire was always an interesting discovery. I’ve written about Contemporary piano music before and you can read my post here. Oliver Knussen was born in Glasgow in 1952. His father was the principal double bass player in the London Symphony Orchestra, with whom…

Contemporary piano music?

I was recently asked to name some late 20th and 21st century piano pieces suitable to play for diploma exams (some boards such as Trinity allow candidates to submit own choice pieces). On examining the diploma syllabus  I was struck by how little contemporary music was included – and by contemporary I mean music of today. I…