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2020 Fellowship Recipient

Adam’s Music House is pleased to announce our 2020 Fellowship recipient, Angela Liu!

Angela is a high school student of Dr. Fritz Gechter in Laredo, TX. She will learn 15 minutes of music from our collection, give a 30 minute presentation about the composer and works in December in which she will speak for 15 minutes and perform 15 minutes of music. Upon completion she will receive $1000. Depending on timing of the Coronavirus, she will participate at a meet and greet at Adam’s Music House where she will perform music from her repertoire and meet the public. We chose a select list of repertoire from which Angela will choose a composer, we hope she and her teacher will be able to travel to Austin soon to make a selection with our Artistic Director, Dr. Anthony Tobin.She will be playing for our Wednesday Zoom concert this week at 6PM.

Originally from Nanjing, China, Angela Yanning Liu currently resides in Laredo, TX, where she is a sophomore euphonium player at John B. Alexander High School. She has been playing piano since the age of six for more than nine years and enjoys learning Chopin, Bach, and other classical works. Angela is a gold prize winner of the NOVYI Competition, first place winner of the Young Artist Competition at Texas State, second place winner of the Steinway Piano Competition at Austin, and an honorable mention winner at the Baylor/Waco Competition. She intends to pursue the Pre-Med pathway and minor in music in university.

Join us at 6PM today!

The repertoire Angela will choose from includes the composers:

Anton Arensky 1861-1906, Sir Arnold Bax 1883-1953, Feliz Blumenfeld 1863-1931, Serge Bortkiewicz 1877-1952, York Bowen 1884-1961, Ferruccio Busoni 1866-1924, Francois Couperin 1668-1733, Paul Creston 1906-1985, Vincent d’Indy 1851-1931, David Diamond 1915-2005, Ernst von Dohnányi 1877-1960, Ignaz Friedman 1882-1948, Robert Fuchs 1847-1927, Hans Gal 1890-1987, Alexander Glazunov 1865-1936, Stephen Heller 1813-1888, Joseph Holbrook 1878-1958, John Ireland 1879-1962, Cyril Scott 1879-1970, Anatoly Lyadov 1885-1914, Sergey Lyapunov 1857-1918, Max Reger 1873-1916, Nicolai Medtner, 1879-1951, Moritz Moszkowski 1854-1925, Vincent Perschetti 1915-1987, Jean-Phillipe Rameau1863-1754, Nicolai Roslavets 1881-1944, Anton Rubinstein 1829-1894, Kaikkhasru Sorabji 1892-1988, Karol Szymanowski 1882-1937, Ernest Toch 1887-1964, Julius Wessmann 1879-1950.

We are still alive!

Everyone at Adam’s Music House is alive and healthy and moving forward with our outreach! We will have an announcement about our latest fellowship recipient soon but in the meantime….

We started a weekly, online concert series Wednesday’s at 6PM. Musicians and singers can perform from anywhere and people can listen from their homes or other safe location! We will post the Zoom address every week, we have had 3 concerts so far and will have a cellist next week, details TBA.

Dr. Tobin performing at the April 15th, 2020 Zoom Concert.

Coronavirus

We hope everyone stays healthy and safe during this outbreak. We have not decided what to do about the Sophia Gilmson master class April 4th or the Kiyoshi Tamagawa master class April 11th. As the time approaches and the situation with the Coronavirus becomes clearer we will make a decision.

Fritz Gechter Master Class

Dr. Fritz Gechter from TAMIU in Laredo returned for another great master class on Saturday, March 7th!

Many people played, we heard Bartok’s Slovak Dance, a Haydn Scherzo, a Bach Prelude in C Major, Flying Leaves by Kölling, the Mozart D Major Duet, the Chopin Eb Nocturne, and the Chopin Etude in F Major from Opus 10!

Everyone appreciated the warm and helpful guidance provided by Dr. Gechter.

Our next master class will be with Sophia Gilmson, Professor of Pedagogy at UT Austin on April 4th from 2-4:30 PM.

That Pesky Memory….

How many of you have avoided playing for others because you can’t remember your piece, or because you are afriad you will look stupid because you might make a mistake, not play “perfectly”?

Memorization is an integral part of playing the piano, but it can be elusive and inconsistent. As children, many of us simply remembered our pieces after we played them long enough, and indeed exposure and familiarity are important aspects of memorization.

Artists as well-regarded as Martha Argerich and Pitor Andreszewski acknowledge they can never represent 100% of what they can do in private, Andreszewski said he is lucky to ever play at 60%. Performance anxiety comprises many things, fear of failure, perfectionism, being exposed and vulnerable, and perhaps at the base of it, memory. If we knew we would have no trouble remembering our piece, we would likely feel more comfortable on stage. I always feel more secure with pieces I have known longer and performed before, since I was successful before I likely can be successful again.

So how do we teach or practice memorization so performers or the casual piano player feels better about playing in front of others? Nelita True, esteemed piano pedagogue for decades at the University of Maryland and the Eastman School, thought more advanced students should have 10 places in each piece that they could jump to if something happened while they were playing, so they could always move through the piece. Then she had them practice starting at these spots backwards, from the back of the piece to the front.

I was taught and try to teach the memorization is a multi-faceted skill. It encompasses muscle memory, playing by ear or at least knowing how the piece should sound, and on more advanced levels understanding harmony, chords, form and structure. A sonata, for example, has an Exposition where the melodic, rhythmic, harmonic, and motivic ideas are introduced, the Development takes these elements through various keys before the Recapitulation revisits the materials in the original key of the piece. In order to memorize a larger structure like a sonata one must understand the underlying structure.

Likewise in simpler pieces there are themes, chords, rhythmic patterns, hand position, and intervals that can be recognized and mentioned. Through exposure and awareness of the materials the student will learn the piece but also internalize it so it becomes memorized.

I want to explore this in more depth next week, if you have any questions please ask them below or contact me at tony at adamsmusichouse dot org.

Better yet, why don’t you contact me and have a piano lesson, I would be happy to show you how this all works!