If you live in or around Oxford then it’s time to get practising! The dates for the 20th Oxford Piano Festival have been released as being the 28th July to the 5th of August this year. For anyone who wants to either participate or observe, all applications need to be made by the 12th of April – so get your skates on! Continue reading “Oxford Piano Festival”
Aspiring pianists everywhere aim to one day be able to play the infamous Flight of the Bumblebee by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov. This phenomenal piece of piano music is challenging for a number of reasons. The sheer speed at which it is normally played poses the biggest contest, but in order for the Flight of the Bumblebee to mimic the fast beating of a bumblebee’s wings, it really does need to be played at the speed of light. Along with the speed of the piece, it is a work of technicalities. The long chromatic passages ensure that only the most technically sound players will be able to master it!
At some point in every classical pianist’s life, they have been faced with scales. From a simple C major scale to fiendish chromatic scales in minor thirds, we all have to do them if we want to pass our piano exams with flying colours, but why? Continue reading “The Importance of Scales”
Go back in time, and if you wanted to duet Chopsticks or the Jamaican Rhumba, you had to find a time that was convenient for both you and your piano playing friend. Diaries had to be consulted and spare piano stools had to be sourced. While playing a piano duet is always fantastic fun, organising the time to do such an activity has always been a bit of a nightmare. Fast forward to today, and thanks to the joy of digital pianos, you can play any duet any time of the day or night that tickles your fancy.
Baroque compositions on a Classical piano is an interesting conversation point for musicians today. Some may say Baroque pieces must be played on a harpsichord and others will say that the Classical piano gives an authentic sound to the Baroque works of great composers.
The beloved Harpsichord was a cherished instrument in the Baroque period. It allowed composers such as William Byrd and Domenico Scarlatti to be more musically flexible with the different choirs of strings that were available on the Harpsichord when composing their fugues, suites and fantasias.
A homeless man in Newcastle has reduced passers-by to tears, and gained a crowd of admirers with his hauntingly beautiful piano renditions. The man, talented 26 year old Alan Donaldson, was frequently spotted lying rough at Newcastle Central train station, owning nothing but a sleeping bag and the clothes he wore. When finally upon being asked to move along by the police, he instead took to the digital piano that lives at the train station and began to play a beautiful rendition of the Beethoven Classic ‘Fur Elise.’