Beginner Hand Position

This video comes from ISSTIP (International Society for theĀ  Study of Tension in Performance), and organization which was founded by one of my former teachers, Carola Grindea, and I’m happy to say that this is exactly how I instruct my students in how to lay their hands at the piano. Over the years I’ve gotten away from teaching the students to play with curved fingers…it seemed to cause too much tension. The pad of the fingertip is the most sensitive and that’s what we use to produce tone color. Playing on the bony tip seems to only produce a percussive and harsh tone. Be sure to check out the forums at ISSTIP.

La Campanella

La Campanella is one of my favorites! Here Ukranian pianist, Valentina Lesitsa, performs it as an encore. She has such effortless technique! Here’s a bit from her bio:

Valentina’s current home is in rural North Carolina where she finds refuge from her hectic travel schedule. Valentina jokingly calls herself a “redneck pianist ” because unlike many of her peers she makes her home base not in a major city but in North Carolina’s beautiful countryside. She shares her home with a jolly menagerie of four concert grands, two cats, a three-year old son, and her partner in life and piano duo ( in married and musical life ) Alexei Kuznetsoff. On rare occasions when she has some free time home she enjoys organic gardening , restoring her? old historic mansion and cooking Italian. Most of her “free” time however is devoted to practicing and learning new pieces. Music is truly her biggest passion.

House of the Flying Fingers

One of my friends emailed me about the amazing young pianist, Yuja Wang. Now I’m seeing her name everywhere I look. Here she is performing Turkish March by Mozart-Volodos. If you’re very brave you can download the score for free here.

Yuja Wang is a 22-year old pianist from China who graduated from The Curtis Institute in 2008.

Yuja Wang is widely recognized for playing that combines the spontaneity and fearless imagination of youth with the discipline and precision of a mature artist. Regularly lauded for her controlled, prodigious technique, Yuja’s command of the piano has been described as “astounding” and “superhuman,” and she has been praised for her authority over the most complex technical demands of the repertoire, the depth of ther musical insight, as well as her fresh interpretations and graceful, charismatic stage presence.

Read more on Yuja Wang’s website.