How to Create Strong, Independent Fingers at the Piano

SPOILER: It has nothing to do with muscle strength.  In fact, the fingers do not have muscles. In this video I discuss the importance of mindful practice as I navigate Philipp’s “Exercises for the Independence of the Fingers”.  Often, students of  the piano ask how they can develop stronger fingers.  Finger strength is not really […]

Innovative notation to develop complexity in rhythm, meter, form and repetition

Within a barren soundscape of quietude, the beauty of its stillness is what captivated me the most. This stillness was compounded by the unpredictable unfolding of its rhythm. Upon first hearing, Beat Furrer’s exquisite Voicelessness, The Snow Has No Voice for solo piano seemed somewhat improvisatory, at least rhythmically.  As I explored the limited recordings of […]

A Wistful Farewell to Youth – Beethoven’s Tempest, Sonata Op. 31 No.2 III.

Pianist Louis Kentner referred to the final movement of Beethoven’s Tempest sonata as “A wistful farewell to youth”. This is an appropriate observation, especially considering the ending, which vaporizes and slips away without warning.  The feeling of youth in this work is expressed through a perpetuum mobile, a driving and persistent grouping of 16th-notes that barely ceases for […]

Brahms Rhapsody Op. 79, No. 1 in b minor

Did you know that Brahms was such a perfectionist that he destroyed many of his early works because he later found them inferior? He was also a proponent of absolute music, that is, music that doesn’t have any extramusical associations– music for the sake of music. This is my favorite Brahms piece for solo piano. […]