Known and Unknown: an interview with composer Rodney Sharman
No Dead Guys: A Piano Blog
by Rhonda Rizzo
5d ago
Rodney Sharman is fascinated with what he refers to as the “afterimage” of sounds. Never is that more apparent than in this collection of his solo piano works, expertly and lovingly played by the talented Rachel Kiyo Iwaasa. Known and Unknown isn’t an album for light listening. These tracks challenge the listener to follow the composer and the pianist to the outer edges of the sound universe. Whether it be a complete reimagining of a section of a beloved opera or compositions for speaking pianist that tell stories through notes and words, each turn and twist invites the listener to follow Sha ..read more
Visit website
How to play piano for a wedding
No Dead Guys: A Piano Blog
by Rhonda Rizzo
2w ago
I once knew an organist who had a three fees for playing for a wedding— a low fee if he picked the music, a moderate fee if the bride picked the music, and a high fee if the mother of the bride picked the music. Most wedding musicians lack the courage to try this themselves, but they all understand the wisdom of his thinking: there are few gigs that contain as much potential for unmitigated drama than playing for a wedding. Emotions run high, everyone has an opinion, and expectations are frequently unrealistic. Yet once the pianist learns how to navigate these charged waters, playing for wedd ..read more
Visit website
Pianists and the Good Student Syndrome
No Dead Guys: A Piano Blog
by Rhonda Rizzo
1M ago
Good students are easy to identify. They’re the ones who finish every assignment they’re given. They’re attentive. They get high marks in school. They’re always prepared. They thrive on structure and external goals and they love the recognition they receive for having met others’ expectations. Most advanced pianists are good students. While their less-structured compatriots chose not to practice or fail to prepare adequately for lessons or performances, the good student shows up at the piano every day. They arrive at every lesson fully prepared and on time. Recognized for their accomplishment ..read more
Visit website
New York Études: an interview with composer Jeff Beal
No Dead Guys: A Piano Blog
by Rhonda Rizzo
1M ago
You may not know it, but you’re likely to have heard at least one composition by the multi-faceted composer Jeff Beal. This five time Emmy Award winner’s music has underscored numerous movies and TV shows, including Pollock, JFK Revisited, House of Cards, Monk, and numerous other projects. In addition to his thriving career as a film composer, his commissioned concert works have been performed by a glittering array of orchestras, choirs, and solo musicians all over the world. He is, in short, a musician’s musician. His music blends sophistication and accessibility, jazz and classical. It find ..read more
Visit website
Alternative Classical: an interview with publicist Hannah Fiddy
No Dead Guys: A Piano Blog
by Rhonda Rizzo
1M ago
Stuffy. Elitist. Out-of-touch. In this era of rapid globalization and changing values, these characterizations (and more) have been leveled at classical music for years. Fair or not, classical musicians and arts presenters have been challenged to respond to these accusations one of two ways: refuse to innovate and watch audiences dwindle, or find new ways to present timeless music to new audiences. Hannah Fiddy, publicist and founder of Alternative Classical, is a passionate advocate for classical music who has dedicated her career to building new generations of classical music lovers. Armed ..read more
Visit website
Let the music be your guide
No Dead Guys: A Piano Blog
by Rhonda Rizzo
1M ago
Give and take. Speaking and listening. Nothing replaces the magic of a good conversation between friends. We’re heard and we listen and because of the communication between us, both parties walk away with their worlds a little bigger and a little warmer. Sadly, these kinds of conversations are becoming rare. We’re still talking but we’ve stopped listening. Armed with an insular sense of righteousness we broadcast our I-Me-Mine thoughts to the world, never taking the time to absorb others’ opinions or experiences. Potentially rich exchanges are cheapened and we find ourselves living in a comba ..read more
Visit website
Lifting the Lid: an interview with pianist, author, and publicist Frances Wilson
No Dead Guys: A Piano Blog
by Rhonda Rizzo
2M ago
Concert pianist. Thanks to movies and popular culture, this job title brings to mind conflicting images of a starving artist, mad genius, or supernaturally talented magician who communes with the Muse—almost never the hardworking professional that a pianist must be in order to maintain a successful performing career. Lifting the Lid: interviews with concert pianists seeks to change this. In this brief book, authors Michael Johnson and Frances Wilson give readers a personal, off-stage glimpse of some of the world’s most accomplished concert pianists. This thoughtfully-curated collection of int ..read more
Visit website
4 performance advice articles for adult pianists
No Dead Guys: A Piano Blog
by Rhonda Rizzo
2M ago
Very few things in life prepare one for the experience of performing the piano in public. Even when our music is learned well, the presence of an audience changes how we hear and experience what we’re playing and can derail our performance. The frustrating thing is that learning how to play for an audience is a skill that’s learned through the doing of it. The good thing is that there are steps we can take to make the transition to public playing easier. The 4 articles I’ve featured in this post offer real-life advice on how to prepare to play publicly. They cover topics such as choosing musi ..read more
Visit website
Classicism: an interview with jazz pianist Michael Arbenz
No Dead Guys: A Piano Blog
by Rhonda Rizzo
2M ago
Many jazz pianists have sought to blend classical music with jazz. Several have succeeded. Pianist Michael Arbenz is one of the rare few who possess such command of both styles that the resulting creations become musical hybrids that are organically natural and stunning. Classicism: A Point of View celebrates what’s best in both classical and jazz styles of music. Throughout this recording Arbenz fearlessly treats these classical pieces as harmonic material and expands them in directions completely unexpected but deeply satisfying. Nothing is forced. He makes no gratuitous choices and he neve ..read more
Visit website
Finding Beauty in Small Places
No Dead Guys: A Piano Blog
by Rhonda Rizzo
2M ago
Breathe in…breathe out…joys, sorrows, beauty, and ugliness. Breathe in…breathe out…space, quiet, stability, and hope. In breath lies life and meaning. In breath lies the center of ourselves. Chester Biscardi’s Finding Beauty in Small Places is an invitation to return to the expansiveness of our own breaths. This aural meditation silences the endless outside voices clamoring for attention and ushers us into the sanctuary of ourselves. The notes never dictate meaning; they simply hold space for us to find our way back home to who we truly are. Chester Biscardi writes this about the piece: The ..read more
Visit website

Follow No Dead Guys: A Piano Blog on FeedSpot

Continue with Google
Continue with Apple
OR