Hamish Milne: reflective memories

The relationship between piano teacher and piano student can last a lifetime. When the teacher passes, inevitably, the student takes stock and reflects. Concert pianist and pedagogue Hamish Milne was a highly respected, much-loved piano professor at the Royal Academy of Music in London, where he taught for over forty years. He died earlier this…

At the piano with Phyllis Sellick, by Clara Rodriguez

My guest writer today is Venezuelan pianist and teacher Clara Rodriguez. Clara came to the UK as a young student on a scholarship to study at the Royal College of Music in London. At the RCM, she studied with eminent professor Phyllis Sellick, who had a profound influence on her development as a pianist and…

A student’s memories: Patricia Carroll (1932 – 2017)

Last Friday I attended the funeral (probably the most beautiful and moving I have ever witnessed) of one of my piano professors, and I felt compelled to write this short, personal reflection. Teachers have a huge impact on our lives, particularly when we worked with them as youngsters; they influence everything from repertoire choices and…

Ruth Nye in conversation with Melanie Spanswick

The twenty-fourth interview in my Classical Conversations Series features Australian pianist and esteemed teacher, Ruth Nye. I caught up with Ruth a few weeks ago and we chatted at Jaques Samuel Pianos in London. Ruth was invited to study in New York with Claudio Arrau after the Maestro heard her perform in Melbourne, Australia.  A…

Piers Lane in conversation with Melanie Spanswick

My twenty-first Classical Conversation is with Australian concert pianist Piers Lane, who chatted to me last week at Steinway Hall in London. London-based Australian pianist Piers Lane has a flourishing international career, which has taken him to more than forty countries. Highlights of the past year include world premiere performances of Carl Vine’s second piano…