Gunther Schuller, 88, still composing 15 hours a day

November 18, 2013 § 1 Comment

schuleer-1You may remember Gunther Schuller. In his youth, he made a big splash in the classical music world by taking jazz seriously and mixing it with classical idioms. It is hard to remember now, but just a short while ago a classically trained musician couldn’t get much respect if he dabbled in jazz.

Schuller did more than dabble. He played  with Miles Davis, Dizzy Gillespie, Charles Mingus. He also was president of the New England Conservatory of Music and has had his works played by the Boston Symphony Orchestra, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and the Berlin Philharmonic. Those are pretty good credentials from both sides of the aisle.

Schuller almost single-handedly made Scott Joplin’s ragtime piano music a part of every pianist’s repertoire.

Here is a recent story on him in the Dallas Observer.

Pianist Frank Glazer, 98, plays piano recital of Haydn, Liszt, Barber

November 9, 2013 § 2 Comments

Pianists can easily keep playing into their 90’s and still have something to say. Here is Frank Glazer, a student of Schnabel, which puts him in my lineage from Leschetizky, giving a recital at age 98. He played Nov. 6 in Kalamazoo, Michigan.

“Glazer, 98, is a pianist, composer and music professor, who began playing piano when he was 3 years old and now has spent almost 60 years as a professional performer”.  You can read the full article on MichiganLive here.

A review of an August concert in Wisconsin is here. In other words, he plays concerts all the time.



Click here to hear an interview with Glazer on American Public Radio’s “The Story”. 

Want to have a great old age? Play the piano.


Where, in the US, do they (we) buy the most classical records?

April 23, 2012 Comments Off on Where, in the US, do they (we) buy the most classical records?

Right here in River City, Stump Town, The Rose City, PDX, Puddle Town, Rip City.

Here is the full article, by Norman Lebrecht at Slipped Disc.  I would summarize it in some artful way but I have some practicing to do. You’ll have to read it yourself, if you’re done practicing for today.

What do my students do when they aren’t playing the piano?

April 14, 2012 Comments Off on What do my students do when they aren’t playing the piano?

Here’s the first in what I hope to be a continuing series on what pianists do in their spare time.

Saurav Sengupta, wonderful Chopin player, has produced  another game for the Android. Also available through Amazon for the Kindle Fire tablet.

A retro 2D side-scroller based on Indian mythology.

Avoid traps, fight enemies, and collect diamonds as you rescue your princess.  You can get it from the Google store here as well as read reviews and check out his other games.

What do YOU do when you aren’t making music?

Music and Memory

April 14, 2012 Comments Off on Music and Memory

Here’s a wonderful clip from a documentary on the Music and Memory non-profit project. It shows a man in a nursing home being brought back to life by listening to music.

2,300 year old lyre part found in Scottish cave

April 2, 2012 Comments Off on 2,300 year old lyre part found in Scottish cave

So it’s true: my ancestors were living in caves, singing and telling stories while the real work of civilization was going on in China and India. Why am I not surprised? Has anything changed?

The whole story of this archeological find can be read here.

Not Sold In Stores

March 25, 2012 Comments Off on Not Sold In Stores

187 full-length selections from the beloved 12-tone masters of the Second Viennese School.

I remember when playing Pierrot Lunaire on the lo-fi would make my mom pull her hair out in mock horror. Now Schoenberg provokes nostalgia for the lost days when these sounds were new. Groups play this 100-year-old music with real enthusiasm today, instead of the dreary earnestness of my youth. Is there nothing shocking in music anymore?


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