Happy birthday Fats Waller!

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Fats Waller (May 21, 1904-December 15, 1943) was an American jazz pianist, composer, singer, and entertainer. He toured and recorded among some of the era's greats including Sara Martin and Sidney Bechet.

Published in Today's Birthday

Happy birthday Sergei Rachmaninoff!

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Sergei Rachmaninoff (April 1, 1873 – 28 March 1943) was a Russian pianist, composer, and conductor. He is known as Russia's last great romantic composer. Part of the Russian bourgeoisie, he left Russia at the start of the Bolshevik Revolution. Once in the United States, he spent much of his time in the company of other Russians. His work was largely influenced by Russians, including Tchaikovsky and Rimsy-Korsakov. He is known for his virtuosic compositions which made use of his talent for performance.

Published in Today's Birthday

 

Happy birthday Rudolf Serkin!

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Rudolf Serkin (March 28, 1903 – May 8, 1991) was a Russian-Jewish pianist, born in Eger, Bohemia, in what is now the Czech Republic. Serkin began studying piano at the age of nine, and by twelve, was performing at the Vienna Philharmonic. To escape Nazi persecution, he and his family moved to Switzerland in the 1930s. He performed in New York's Philharmonic Orchestra and later became head of the piano department at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, where he spent the majority of his career. He taught many burgeoning pianists throughout his career and continued to tour and record until 1989.

Published in Today's Birthday

Happy Birthday Frédéric Chopin!

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Frédéric François Chopin (22 February 1810 – 17 October 1849) was a Polish composer and virtuoso pianist. Chopin grew up in Warsaw, where he was considered a child prodigy from a young age. He would leave Poland in 1830 to settle in Paris as part of Poland's Great Emigration. Though Chopin did not like to play concerts to large audiences, his work was prized and he is considered to be one of the world's greatest Romantic composers. Chopin suffered from terrible health for all of his life and died from tuberculosis at the age of 39. Chopin wrote most of his work for solo piano, but also wrote two concertos. He made vast innovations to the piano sonata, mazurka, waltz, nocturne, polonaise, étude, impromptu, scherzo and prélude styles. Chopin's sound is best remembered for its light, tender and improvised qualities.

Published in Today's Birthday

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Happy birthday Nina Simone!

Born Eunice Kathleen Waymon (February 21, 1933 – April 21, 2003), Nina Simone was an American singer who enjoyed success in several genres of music, including jazz, blues, folk, and R&B music. Simone attended Juilliard and intended to pursue a career as a classical pianist, but changed paths when she was turned away from the Curtis Institute of Music. She began performing in clubs, singing American standards, jazz, and blues, and adopted her stage name Nina Simone, after the actress Simone Signoret. Her most popular songs include "I Put A Spell on You", "Lilac Wine", "Feelin' Good", and "Sinnerman". Simone became known as the "High Priestess of Soul".

Published in Today's Birthday
Saturday, 16 February 2013 21:01

Come and Play with Us... Forever

Identical twin sisters Susan and Sarah Wang (Susan is older by three minutes) have been playing piano together since the age of seven.

They recently completed their Konzert Exam studies at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater in Rostock, Germany, and have subsequently been playing, and winning awards, all over the world.

Though originally from New Jersey, they currently live in Berlin and Schwerin.

Published in Rising Star Interviews
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Today, Canadian pianist and composer Glenn Gould will be accorded a posthumous Lifetime Achievement Award at the 55th annual Grammy Awards. To mark the occasion, the National Film Board has released two documentary portraits of Mr. Gould produced in 1959.

Glenn Gould - On the Record by Wolf Koenig & by Roman Kroitor, National Film Board of Canada

Glenn Gould - Off the Record by Wolf Koenig & by Roman Kroitor, National Film Board of Canada

Published in Best of the Web
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In April 2011 Dotan Negrin quit his day job to go on a musical journey, equipped with a van, his dog and his piano. Since then he has visited 53 cities across America and used up his life savings repairing six different instruments but has been welcomed with kindess by couchsurfer hosts in every state. Watch his video below!

Published in Best of the Web

 

Happy Birthday Alfred Brendel,  Maurizio Pollini, and Arturo Benedetti Michangeli!

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Take note, musical parents: January 5 seems to be a good day for the birth of prolific pianists! Today is the birthday of three: Alfred Brendel, Maurizio Pollini, and Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli.

Published in Today's Birthday
Thursday, 29 November 2012 14:03

The Piano Bag

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Gasp! The perfect piano bag for my sheet music and an early Christmas present for myself! If you are a pianist, you would understand my excitement.

I seized this brown bag, but no worries, the black version is still available, and the seller would be happy to make you one in any color.

Published in Best of the Web
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