Messiaen’s Preludes

Olivier Messiaen’s eight Preludes for piano were published in 1929, the year he won the first prize for composition at the Paris Conservatoire. Debussy’s own Preludes were less than ten years old at the time, and the influence of Debussy [...] more >>

by Frances Wilson
September 14th, 2017
Forgotten Pianists: Lucette Descaves

Lucette Descaves (1906-1993) was a student of Marguerite Long’s at the Paris Conservatoire, her students, in turn, were equally distinguished, including the young Michel Legrand, and, Jean-Yves Thibaudet, Pascal Rogé, and Katia and Marielle Labèque. After she retired from the [...] more >>

by Maureen Buja
September 13th, 2017
Choosing Between the Violin and Viola? Why Not Play Both?

I play both violin and viola, and I’d never have it any other way. Yes, remaining proficient on both takes more practice time, and yes, it’s more expensive to pay for upkeep on two instruments and bows…but it’s totally worth [...] more >>

by Emily E. Hogstad
September 11th, 2017
The Systematic Musician

We are constantly being reminded of the importance of having “goals” in our lives in order to achieve certain things, from getting fit to winning a half-marathon or setting up a business. We believe that having goals motivates us to [...] more >>

by Frances Wilson
September 10th, 2017
Forgotten Pianists: Gaby Casadesus

French pianist Gaby Casadesus (1901-1999), like her husband, Robert Casadesus, studied at the Paris Conservatoire with Marguerite Long and was awarded the first prize in piano at age 16. Also like her husband, she knew the best composers of the [...] more >>

by Maureen Buja
September 6th, 2017
Andrei Gavrilov: “Playing the piano means sharing love”

Andrei Gavrilov was a teenage superstar of the Soviet Union! In 1974, aged 18, he became the youngest ever winner of the prestigious Tchaikovsky piano competition, and in the same year made his triumphant international debut at the Salzburg Festival. [...] more >>

by Georg Predota
September 3rd, 2017
The Perfectionism Trap

“Practise makes perfect” – that oft-quoted phrase beloved of instrumental teachers the world over…. It’s a neat little mantra, but one that can have serious and potentially long-lasting negative effects if taken too literally. Musicians have to practise. Repetitive, committed [...] more >>

by Frances Wilson
September 3rd, 2017
Forgotten Pianists: Jean Doyen

As with many pianists from France, Jean Doyen (1907-1982) attended the Paris Conservatoire, ending up as a student of Marguerite Long. He made his solo debut in 1924, but returned to the Conservatoire in 1926 for lessons in counterpoint and [...] more >>

by Maureen Buja
August 30th, 2017