Thursday, March 29, 2012

The Cellist and Hymnody

He infuses this hymn with his signature playing style, with multiple layers of himself playing, driving motion with percussive strokes and pizzicato, and Celtic or Classical embellishment. 

When I teach hymns to my students, I tell them they can do the same, infuse it with their energy, as composers have done of old.  Bach's setting of Luther's A Mighty Fortress is our God is one example.  You can hear more of Nelson and the Piano Guys on YouTube or Grooveshark.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

How many other things are we missing?

This is so awesome. Please take a moment to read:

A man sat at a metro station in Washington DC and started to play the violin; it was a cold January morning. He played six Bach pieces for about 45 minutes. During that time, since it was rush hour, it was calculated that 1,100 people went through the station, most of them on their way to work.

Three minutes went by, and a middle aged man noticed there was musician playing. He slowed his pace, and stopped for a few seconds, and then hurried up to meet his schedule.

A minute later, the violinist received his first dollar tip: a woman threw the money in the till and without stopping, and continued to walk.

A few minutes later, someone leaned against the wall to listen to him, but the man looked at his watch and started to walk again. Clearly he was late for work.

The one who paid the most attention was a 3 year old boy. His mother tagged him along, hurried, but the kid stopped to look at the violinist. Finally, the mother pushed hard, and the child continued to walk, turning his head all the time. This action was repeated by several other children. All the parents, without exception, forced them to move on.

In the 45 minutes the musician played, only 6 people stopped and stayed for a while. About 20 gave him money, but continued to walk their normal pace. He collected $32. When he finished playing and silence took over, no one noticed it. No one applauded, nor was there any recognition.

No one knew this, but the violinist was Joshua Bell, one of the most talented musicians in the world. He had just played one of the most intricate pieces ever written, on a violin worth $3.5 million dollars.

Two days before his playing in the subway, Joshua Bell sold out at a theater in Boston where the seats averaged $100.

This is a real story. Joshua Bell playing incognito in the metro station was organized by the Washington Post as part of a social experiment about perception, taste, and priorities of people. The outlines were: in a commonplace environment at an inappropriate hour: Do we perceive beauty? Do we stop to appreciate it? Do we recognize the talent in an unexpected context?

One of the possible conclusions from this experience could be:

If we do not have a moment to stop and listen to one of the best musicians in the world playing the best music ever written, how many other things are we missing?

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

A little Medtner

In honor of my good friend, fellow USF student, and extraordinary pianist, Jeff Chodill, I wanted to post my favorite number from his graduate concert in Spring 2011 at USF, consisting entirely of Nikolay Medtner.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Events: Week of Mar. 25- 31

 Mar. 30 ,Orchestra Concert,  Bush Chapel, Southeastern College  7:30 p.m. FREE

Just want to put this one out because Brian Moorhead is one of my favorite professors and clarinetists in the world -

Friday, Mar. 30, 6:00 pm
Resident Artist Series:
Calvin Falwell and Brian Moorhead 
Barness Recital Hall, USF
Advance Tickets: $8/$12

Saturday, March 17, 2012

The Five Browns

After attending their concert in 2008 at Florida Southern College, I was a committed fan.  At the tiem, that meant that I borrowed their CD from library.  Now I post on my blog and add them to my youtube playlist. ;)

Malaguena Awesomeness  on Vimeo.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Events: Week of Mar. 18 - 24

    Monday, Mar. 19  Kozmik String Quartet, Concert,Southeastern College at First Presbyterian of Lakeland (Presbyterian Series), 7:30 p.m.

Thursday, Mar. 22, 7:30 pm
USF Chamber Winds: Birdsong and other Nice Tunes
Barness Recital Hall, USF

Saturday, Mar. 24, 2012, 7:30 – 9 p.m
University of Tampa,  Sykes Chapel and Center for Faith and Values
Artistry of the Piano: The South African-born pianist with credits in major venues throughout the world has been called "formidable...dizzying...magical" by the press.
Petronel Malan, piano
The Claire Lynch Band - Bluegrass. March 22, 2012,
Christ our Redeemer Lutheran Church
 304 Druid Hills Drive, Temple Terrace FL
 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm
Ticket prices: 6 - $15.00 per person at door.  More info - please call Tom Henderson at 813-988-4277

Monday, March 5, 2012

Beethoven and Shultz

When I went to visit Lauren, a dear friend and fellow piano teacher in San Jose, she took me to the MLK library Ira F. Brilliant Beethoven Center  that hosts a Beethoven museum - at that time, it was replete with Peanuts comic strips!!   Charles Shultz's love of Beethoven is unmistakable.   This fascinating union of Beethoven and Peanuts was totally new for me, and we had a grand time! 

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Mozart Church Sonata 1 in Eb Major, KV 67

I played this at a December concert for the patients at Hope Lodge, the recovery housing for cancer patients from Moffit Cancer Ctr at USF.  Dr. Brian Moorhead played the clarinet in our duet, and we have a recording I should put up!  Many thanks Dr. Moorhead of the USF  School of Music faculty and the Florida Orchestra for inviting me to perform in this wonderful event, and to Lloyd Goldstein, who  is currently Artist In Residence: Certified Music Practitioner with The Arts In Medicine Program at The Moffitt Cancer Center.