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{ Category Archives } inspiration

A heartbreaking story of commitment

The New Yorker published this article about early Facebook employee and serious amateur violinist Eric Sun, whose life was cut dreadfully short by brain cancer.  Knowing that his time was short, he devoted himself more than ever to his music. A Tech Pioneer’s Final, Unexpected Act _ The New Yorker

Wow. Just wow.

This is *not* about playing the piano.  But it is about creating music, and artistic dedication to a beautiful idea. The Wintergatan Marble Machine.

Tickle those ivories

A lovely article by David Dubal about the power and joy of playing the piano: Some of my favorite quotes:   When you commune with Bach or Schubert, you can reach the heights of Mount Parnassus, where the atmosphere is rarified. Playing the piano should be an act without material value. The piano won’t […]

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Pianos are more fun than climbing stairs

The Fun Theory (from VW!)

Music in the heart

I just read The Song is You, by Arthur Phillips.  Usually I only write here about books concerning pianos and pianists, but this novel about music and art and passion is so good I wanted to make note. The story focuses on Julian, a young middle-aged director of commercials who loves his iPod, and Cait, a […]

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Harriette Brower, Piano Mastery

Harriette Brower’s 1915 book, Piano Mastery, is online in a public domain Project Gutenberg edition.  She recounts interviews she did with about 20 master pianists and teachers (e.g., Busoni, Paderewski, Goodson), includes essays on interpretation by William Mason and William Sherwood, and offers her own essay on technique (from hand position through practicing, memorizing, tone […]

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Lang Lang cannot be bottled

Lang Lang has as many critics as fans it seems: he is too showy, his technique outstrips his musicianship, etc. The thing I find most wonderful about him, and that all artists can celebrate, is the boundless fun he has and how comfortable he is expressing his feelings.  Perhaps this particularly appeals to me because […]

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Novels about pianists

I recently read two novels about pianists that my wife gave me for Christmas, and both were excellent. I will also briefly mention a third I read several years ago. I’m not going to try to write very thoughtful or complete book reviews here; I’ll briefly describe them and then point to reviews elsewhere. The […]

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Inspiration from Yo Yo Ma

When I was in middle school and high school I played cello in addition to piano. I was not as committed: I only took school lessons, not private, and I didn’t practice very diligently. (The best thing going for me was that for my first year in high school orchestra, our first cello was Carter […]