The Collaborative Pianist's guide to Practical Technique

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About the author:
Unlike life, playing the piano is easy and doesn't hurt. This mantra has carried Neil Stannard through what might seem to others like several lifetimes-performing as a collaborative pianist, occasional soloist, symphony bassist and, through it all, a dedicated teacher. He has performed in international venues with distinguished artists, appearing in all 48 of the contiguous United States, across Canada and in many of Europe's important concert centers from London to Moscow, including Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center, the White House, Vienna's Musikverein, Berlin's Hochschule and Tchaikovsky Hall in Moscow. He has taken part in the Great Performers at Lincoln Center series, the Berlin Festival, the Vienna Festival, Tage Neue Musik (Bonn), Marlboro and the Newport Festival.
After graduating cum laude from the University of Southern California, a scholarship student of Muriel Kerr, Jacob Gimpel and John Crown, he received a Naumberg scholarship to play double bass at the Juilliard School (M.S.), during which time he performed in the American Symphony with Leopold Stokowski and in the Marlboro Festival Orchestra with Pablo Casals (Columbia Records). It was also during this time that he made his New York recital debut at Carnegie Recital Hall as a pianist with violinist Christiane Edinger, leading to a lifetime of exploration at the piano. In the early 1970s he took part in the first Dorothy Taubman Institute at Rensslaerville, NY, and studied privately for five years with Edna Golandsky. Later, he studied piano on a German government grant with Gerhard Puchelt at the Hochschule für Musik in Berlin, completed a doctorate in piano at the University of Arizona with Nicholas Zumbro and for 13 years taught graduate and undergraduate piano at the University of Texas at El Paso, where he was a tenured professor. He now teaches, writes, paints and attempts to capture the world in photographs in Los Angeles, where he also plays the cello.

The Collaborative Pianist's guide to Practical Technique

Excerpts from Instrumental Duos and Art Songs for Technical Study

Authored by Neil Stannard

Learn a song a day or a sonata movement a week. Use this material to systematically explore the many different techniques required of the collaborative pianists, and in the process expand your range of expression in solo repertoire. Collaborative pianists need all the same technical skills required of soloists, and some would argue that they need to be able to play mezzo forte and under. If you doubt this, look at cello sonatas of Rachmaninoff and Chopin, violin and cello sonatas of Brahms and songs by Strauss and Wolf, all of which are contained in this volume along with all the other major composers of duo repertoire. In the past, much confusion swirled about regarding the best avenues for achieving a reliable piano technique. Exercises of diverse and sometimes destructive patterns were readily available, and for many pianists they were considered indispensable. Despite the research-also readily available-of physiologist Otto Ortmann ("The Physiological Mechanics of Piano Technique," 1962) and others, teachers continued to dish out Czerny and Hanon exercises to naive students eager to develop "strong and "independent" fingers. They were barking up the wrong tree. (For more on this topic see "Piano Technique Demystified: Insights into Problem Solving," 2nd Ed.) I advise pianists to put away Czerny and Hanon exercises and, regardless of technical approach, apply themselves to these passages from music they intend to play-collaborative works by master composers-as building blocks for technique and musicianship. Lessons learned here on the relationship of song text to expressive pianism are applicable not just to art song but to both instrumental duos and solo repertoire.

Publication Date:
1511947861 / 9781511947862
Page Count:
Binding Type:
US Trade Paper
Trim Size:
8.5" x 11"
Black and White
Related Categories:
Music / Instruction & Study / Techniques

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