PolishookPiano News


British association for musical therapy

This coming Thursday, 29 April, am very excited to be giving an improvisation workshop to a group from the British Association for Musical Therapy. If you or your organisation are interested in an improvisation workshop, contact me know and we can discuss details.

International Audio Art Festival

Next fall, I’ll be returning to Kraków for the first time since 2004 to perform a solo piano concert in the International Audio Art Festival. Will be better than amazing to see my old friend Marek Choloniewski. At one point Marek and I set up an exchange program for Polish and American students. In general we were behind a lot of mischief–always for the good, the artistic, and the benefit of others. Always!

Salon-style concerts

Have begun giving a series of salon-style concerts at my house. Well, the first one has been given and two more are now in planning.

I’m fortunate to have a Steingraeber Phoenix 205 piano. It’s a perfect instrument for this sort of thing. I can speak easily without stopping for quite a long time about why I say that and why I like this instrument so much.

Most of what I’d talk about has to do with the range of tone colours it creates, with some input form the pianist of course, and how honestly it reproduces what it’s given.

Truly, it’s a magnificent instrument, I got it from Hurstwood Farm Pianos in Seven Oaks in the UK. Not a day goes by where I don’t marvel at my luck in finding and acquiring it.

International opportunities in the works

If planning for the coming year goes well, they’ll be some international travel to here and there with concerts and masterclasses in various institutions. Have to say less rather than more right now because the details are far from finalised. But it’s nice looking out at the future on this and possibilities that may arise.

A music theory course through the lens of Arnold Schoenberg

The Arnold Schoenberg music theory course I began last September on Skype is still up and running. We remain committed and immersed in figuring out just exactly what and why Schoenberg wrote what he did about tonal harmony. Last night we were writing modulations from C to Em to G and then from C to E (major) and on to G.

That may or may not sound interesting, difficult, or magical. But to get it right and to do it all in the spirit of Schoenberg is a very different experience than working at those things though most other music theory texts. Because when you work with Schoenberg you’ll dealing as much with (his) philosophy and 20th century modernism as much as with the actual music and sounds of the modulations.

If you or a group are interested in studying harmony, counterpoint, or any sort of theory or related subject let me know. The miracle that is Skype enables a lot. In the case of the group I’m now leading we meet during three very different time zones. I’m not sure I’ll quite get used to how exactly that works but there is some magic to it all!