Music Talk with Erica Worth

It’s been a real pleasure chatting to many wonderful concert pianists and pedagogues on camera over the past year, but the interview today takes a slightly different form to that of my Classical Conversations Series. I’m introducing a little subsidiary series, Music Talk, which focuses on those who work in areas connected to the piano, music education and the music industry in…

Vanessa Latarche in conversation with Melanie Spanswick

My Classical Conversations Series is celebrating its first birthday today! I started this series with Ukrainian concert pianist Valentina Lisitsa, whom I met in Cardiff on a very cold and wet day, before she performed Rachmaninov’s Second Piano Concerto for Radio 3’s Children in Need concert; you can enjoy our interview here. My twenty-fifth interview…

In Praise of Slow Practice

There are so many different ways of practising the piano and whilst it’s relatively easy to identify those that are ineffective or plain incorrect, it’s much harder to establish fail-safe methods which will work every time on every piece. Many believe slow practice is of little use and can be distracting or even damaging, but if worked at regularly…

Salon Music

The piano is the perfect vehicle for Salon music; music more suited to the drawing-room as opposed to the concert hall. This genre was popular in Europe in the Nineteenth Century. During this period, many composers were also performers, and they loved to write little pieces to perform at house recitals or soirées, showcasing their talents in relatively short…

Clara Rodriguez in conversation with Melanie Spanswick

The twenty second interview in my Classical Conversations Series features Venezuelan pianist Clara Rodriguez and I was delighted to chat to her earlier in the week at Steinway Hall in London. Clara is one of the most distinguished of the present generation of international artists and has often been described as an Ambassador of her homeland music….

Celebrating the Left Hand

Many students have ongoing problems regarding their left hand. These difficulties may include inability to read the bass clef properly, weaker fingers or just lack of co-ordination and movement. A languid left hand can be caused by so many culprits, so today I thought it may be a good idea to examine the reasons why the…

Structuring Your Piano Practice

This week’s piano post has been suggested by many of you; ‘structured practice for the more advanced pianist’ has been whirling around my inbox recently. I have written about it several times for beginners, but it does take on a different mantle for those of you who have clearly passed that stage. Piano practice has frequently…

Hungarian Dances at The Musical Museum

Finding a new venue is always an exciting discovery; I had never visited The Musical Museum at Kew Bridge in West London, but it is celebrating its 50th Anniversary this year and in addition to housing some interesting musical artefacts it also hosts a concert series as well as many other activities. The Museum’s concert…

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…

Angela Hewitt in conversation with Melanie Spanswick

This is the Twentieth Classical Conversation in my Series, and I’m delighted to welcome celebrated British Canadian concert pianist Angela Hewitt to mark the occasion. Angela Hewitt is a phenomenal artist who has established herself at the highest level over the last few years not least through her superb, award-winning recordings for Hyperion. Completed in 2005, her…