International Women’s Day 2019: The Pianist as Composer

To celebrate International Women’s Day, I want to share this lovely performance of one of my piano pieces, recorded by American pianist and writer, Rhonda Rizzo. Rhonda, who lives in Wisconsin, has made several CD recordings and has just written and published her first novel, The Waco Variations (more about this publication soon on my…

Micro-Lectures by Boris Giltburg

I’m delighted to feature several interesting ‘micro-lectures’ recorded by Israeli pianist Boris Giltburg. According to Boris, the videos focus on musical or technical questions relating to various pieces. Each lasting just a few minutes, they have been recorded by Louisiana Music at the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art. Click on each link below and enjoy….

Training to be a Repetiteur

A repetiteur can be a fulfilling and immensely satisfying job. Repetiteur, accompanist and teacher Kevin Thraves has enjoyed a highly successful career, and here he writes an illuminating article on the prerequisites of this demanding role. As Head of Music Staff in the School of Vocal Studies and Opera at the Royal Northern College of Music…

10 Top Tips for Tonal Beauty

The following article was originally published in Piano Professional magazine, which is an EPTA UK (European Piano Teachers Association) publication, and it appeared in the most recent edition; Issue 37.  You can read the original article by clicking on the link at the bottom of the page, and I have compiled a list of ten…

Piano Week 2014

Highlighting piano festivals and summer schools is always a pleasure. Piano Week was launched last year by pianist Samantha Ward. It’s an international festival and summer school for pianists of all ages and abilities which takes place in the beautiful surroundings of North Wales.  Piano Week 2014 is once again being held at Bangor University…

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…

From the Adjudicator’s Chair

This week several of my readers have contacted me asking whether I could write a blog post on the subject of what adjudicators or jury members are looking for in a competition performance (I’m always pleased to hear from anyone with blog post ideas). It’s wonderful that so many of you are preparing for amateur piano…

Pulse Perfection

Over the past few weeks I have been coaching several Grade 8 and diploma candidates; pianists who have come to me to play through  their set pieces and other aspects of their respective exams. It’s the time of year for cramming, studying and practising way beyond the norm in order to achieve that coveted high…

Piano Talk with Noriko Ogawa: Part 1

Japanese concert pianist has already been kind enough to take part in my Classical Conversations Series and you can enjoy the interview here. However, we decided to meet again and chat more about several subjects. In Part 1 of this two part interview which was filmed at Steinway Hall in London, we talk about the best…

Sheargold Music Interview

A few weeks ago I spoke to Steven Palmer at Sheargold Music as part of their new video-blog series, about my career and my new book. I was delighted to have the opportunity to chat on camera about So You Want To Play The Piano?  Sheargold Music own two large piano and music shops; one in Maidenhead, Berkshire (from where…