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#1544324 - 10/26/10 11:36 PM A (real) pianist running for office  
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Andromaque Offline
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New York


I read about Andrew Russo today, a pianist, trained at Juilliard and in Leipzig, who is running for office in Upstate New York.
Apparently he participated in the Cliburn competition in 2001 where he played a piece by Crumb on prepared piano. He has premiered some Crumb pieces since. I don't know much about his politics or his music making but it is an interesting tidbit of news.. in the footsteps of Padareski.. smile

Here are excerpts from the article:

New York Times 10/25/2010
Robert Stolarik

As political fund-raisers go, this one was short on speeches but long on piano-playing. First, one of the guests, former Senator Alfonse M. D’Amato, tried an amateurish but passable rendition of Debussy’s “Claire (sic!!!!!!!!) de Lune” on a spinet.


Andrew C. Russo performed at a fund-raising event this month for his bid for a State Senate seat in the Syracuse area. Mr. Russo, a Republican, is running against David J. Valesky, a Democrat.
Then the crowd moved next door, where a grand piano awaited the candidate himself. After hurling himself at two concert pieces, and cruising smoothly through some tough passages, he made an unusual campaign promise.

“I can do that,” he said, sweeping one hand toward the piano, “and I can also lower your property taxes.”

The candidate, Andrew C. Russo, a Republican challenging a Democratic incumbent from the Syracuse area, is not your conventional contender for the State Senate. He is a Juilliard-trained concert pianist and Grammy Award nominee who turned to politics in central New York, where he grew up and still lives.
(deleted political blah blah here)

As it happens, Mr. Valesky also plays the piano — and the organ, though not, he said, at Mr. Russo’s level. (..)
But now Mr. Russo is doing some things he did as a concert artist, like traveling almost constantly, and some things he did not, like raising money to pay for television commercials and other campaign expenses. That explained why he was in Forest Hills, Queens, 260 miles from the district he is running to represent, for the fund-raiser.
The evening began at Christopher D’Amato’s house and moved next door, to the home of another pianist, Hyperion Knight. Mr. Knight performed the Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2 by Liszt—“When Andy takes office in January, it will be his 200th anniversary.” (His 200th anniversary year, anyway. Liszt’s actual birth date was Oct. 22, 1811.)
“I don’t think I’ve ever been to anything like this,” said Gregory V. Serio, a former state superintendent of insurance who works for the consulting and lobbying firm that former Senator D’Amato started in 1999. “I mean, I’ve been to lots of these things. You don’t see the candidate working for his money.”


I looked him up on You Tube and did not find much (I did not spend more than 10 minutes though). Here is playing a rag.. There is another excerpt from Messiaen's Oiseaux with a gosh awful sounding orchestra..


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#1544419 - 10/27/10 03:24 AM Re: A (real) pianist running for office [Re: Andromaque]  
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debrucey Offline
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He looks like a bit of an arse. I mean, a politician. :P

#1544426 - 10/27/10 03:51 AM Re: A (real) pianist running for office [Re: Andromaque]  
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GeorgeB Offline
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well good luck for him, thats not the only place that a pianist has become a politician, here in portugal the current minister of culture is a nationally famous pianist

#1544430 - 10/27/10 03:56 AM Re: A (real) pianist running for office [Re: Andromaque]  
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debrucey Offline
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Paderewski was the prime minister of Poland laugh. Ted Heath, ex prime minister of UK was a conductor while still in office. He had a Steinway grand installed in downing street.

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#1544438 - 10/27/10 04:09 AM Re: A (real) pianist running for office [Re: Andromaque]  
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stores Offline
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Here, as opposed to there
He's a Republican so he can't be that good. By the way, I have no idea who Padareski is.



"And if we look at the works of J.S. Bach — a benevolent god to which all musicians should offer a prayer to defend themselves against mediocrity... -Debussy

"It's ok if you disagree with me. I can't force you to be right."

♪ ≠ $

#1544444 - 10/27/10 04:25 AM Re: A (real) pianist running for office [Re: Andromaque]  
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Tweedpipe Offline
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Are my ears playing up again, or is that piano badly out of tune?


Currently working on:-
C Major scale (r/h only - starting with the pinkie finger)......

Dear Noah,
We could have sworn you said the ark wasn't leaving till 5.
Yours sincerely,
The Unicorns



------------------------------

#1544502 - 10/27/10 07:02 AM Re: A (real) pianist running for office [Re: Andromaque]  
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Varcon Offline
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Mount Vernon, Georgia 30445
Paderewski was the most famous pianist of his generation and one of the most influential Polish pianists and composers. Like most personalities in the public eye he had avid admirers and dogged detractors. Politically he was most important before, during, and after WW I when he became the premier of Poland and also warned the world of Hitler and the German threat before WWII.

I'm sure being a Republican has little to do with his pianism (Russo's) but it appears that the democrat twit could use some training.

#1544510 - 10/27/10 07:25 AM Re: A (real) pianist running for office [Re: Andromaque]  
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Zindaras Offline
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Apparently, our new prime minister also plays the piano (though not competitively or at this level). This has not stopped him from making major cuts on culture and music.

Last edited by Zindaras; 10/27/10 07:25 AM.

"Practice makes perfect, but obsession makes better."
#1544515 - 10/27/10 07:33 AM Re: A (real) pianist running for office [Re: Andromaque]  
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Oz Marcus Offline
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Condoleeza Rice was a pianist of note also. Regardless of her dog awful politics


Oz Marcus
Currently working on:
Schubert Impromptu in C minor - D899
Chopin Prelude Op28 No 15, nocturne Op48 no 1
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#1544517 - 10/27/10 07:35 AM Re: A (real) pianist running for office [Re: stores]  
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Andromaque Offline
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Originally Posted by stores
He's a Republican so he can't be that good. By the way, I have no idea who Padareski is.


NITPICKER!!!!!!!!!!!


#1544537 - 10/27/10 08:14 AM Re: A (real) pianist running for office [Re: Andromaque]  
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Iowa City, IA
Russo is fairly well-known among those who like a lot of modern music. He was also nominated a Grammy for his Corigliano. (I have it, and it's very good.) We had him here a couple years ago for our state MTA convention. He seemed like a good guy and his recital was very well received.


"If we continually try to force a child to do what he is afraid to do, he will become more timid, and will use his brains and energy, not to explore the unknown, but to find ways to avoid the pressures we put on him." (John Holt)

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#1544587 - 10/27/10 09:24 AM Re: A (real) pianist running for office [Re: Andromaque]  
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Hank Drake Offline
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"Ah, Paderewski. Once you were the great pianist, now prime minister of Poland. What a comedown."

Both Harry Truman and Richard Nixon were pianists. Thomas Jefferson played the voilin. Musical talent and political leanings have nothing in common.


Hank Drake

The composers want performers be imaginative, in the direction of their thinking--not just robots, who execute orders.
George Szell
#1544797 - 10/27/10 02:13 PM Re: A (real) pianist running for office [Re: Andromaque]  
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argerichfan Offline
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Helmut Schmidt, Chancellor of West Germany from 1974 to 1982 (thank-you Wiki for the quick reference), also played the piano. He was good enough to record the Mozart 3 Piano Concerto (the easy piano part) for DG.

I haven't heard it, just read about it. Anyone here have it?


Jason
#1544876 - 10/27/10 04:45 PM Re: A (real) pianist running for office [Re: stores]  
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Skorpius Offline
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+1


Working On-

Deux Arabesques, Debussy


On Queue-

Danse Russe from Petroushka, Stravinsky
Toccata, Ravel




#1544877 - 10/27/10 04:46 PM Re: A (real) pianist running for office [Re: stores]  
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Skorpius Offline
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Originally Posted by stores
He's a Republican so he can't be that good. By the way, I have no idea who Padareski is.


+1


Working On-

Deux Arabesques, Debussy


On Queue-

Danse Russe from Petroushka, Stravinsky
Toccata, Ravel




#1544891 - 10/27/10 05:09 PM Re: A (real) pianist running for office [Re: Andromaque]  
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Andromaque Offline
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He actually wavered on his political affiliation. I think he was a registered Democrat for a while then independent then opportunistic, I mean, republican..

But that is besides the point. . I wanted to know if anyone here was familiar with his music..
And the stores guy was picking on my mispelling of Ignacy's name.. But didn't he say he teaches piano? Nitpicking is in their genes laugh

#1544896 - 10/27/10 05:19 PM Re: A (real) pianist running for office [Re: Andromaque]  
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Uncle George Offline
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I have the documentary of that Cliburn competition. Mr. Russo was shown eating his special concert/competition food (don't remember well but I think a banana and some sort of candy bar were involved). He was also shwown lying flat on his back on a kitchen floor (his host's ?) for I do not remember what purpose. Finally, he was bent to reach inside the piano to manipulate the strings of his prepared instrument. The whole affair did not seem serious to me and I got the impression that even before walking on the stage he knew he did not have a chance.

I have never heard him play though. He must have been good enough to be selected as a completitor at the Cliburn


Uncle George

#1544904 - 10/27/10 05:27 PM Re: A (real) pianist running for office [Re: Andromaque]  
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Damon Offline
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Originally Posted by Andromaque
He actually wavered on his political affiliation. I think he was a registered Democrat for a while then independent then opportunistic, I mean, republican..


So what your saying is he left the party of hateful race-baiters, I mean Commu...er Democrat? grin

#1544952 - 10/27/10 06:56 PM Re: A (real) pianist running for office [Re: Andromaque]  
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Anton Kuerti isn't a "real" pianist?


True.

#1544996 - 10/27/10 08:29 PM Re: A (real) pianist running for office [Re: mr_roberts_z]  
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stores Offline
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Here, as opposed to there
Originally Posted by mr_roberts_z
Anton Kuerti isn't a "real" pianist?


True.


Huh?



"And if we look at the works of J.S. Bach — a benevolent god to which all musicians should offer a prayer to defend themselves against mediocrity... -Debussy

"It's ok if you disagree with me. I can't force you to be right."

♪ ≠ $

#1545012 - 10/27/10 09:17 PM Re: A (real) pianist running for office [Re: Andromaque]  
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sarah_elizabeth Offline
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Wow, that's neat. If I were up there I'd surely be going to hear him and check him out.

#1545135 - 10/28/10 01:35 AM Re: A (real) pianist running for office [Re: stores]  
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argerichfan Offline
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Originally Posted by stores
Originally Posted by mr_roberts_z
Anton Kuerti isn't a "real" pianist?


True.


Huh?

I don't get this at all, what am I missing? shocked


Jason
#1545161 - 10/28/10 02:45 AM Re: A (real) pianist running for office [Re: mr_roberts_z]  
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Victor25 Offline
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Originally Posted by mr_roberts_z
Anton Kuerti isn't a "real" pianist?


True.


I vote for weirdest comment of the month!


Currently working on: Perfecting the Op 2/1, studying the 27/2 last movement. Chopin Nocturne 32/2 and Posth. C#m, 'Raindrop' prelude and Etude 10/9
Repetoire: Beethoven op 2/1, 10/1(1st, 2nd), 13, 14/1, 27/1(1st, 2nd), 27/2, 28(1st, 2nd), 31/2(1st, 3rd), 49/1, 49/2, 78(1st), 79, 90, 101(1st)
#1545276 - 10/28/10 08:04 AM Re: A (real) pianist running for office [Re: argerichfan]  
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Thracozaag Offline
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Salt Lake City
Originally Posted by argerichfan
Helmut Schmidt, Chancellor of West Germany from 1974 to 1982 (thank-you Wiki for the quick reference), also played the piano. He was good enough to record the Mozart 3 Piano Concerto (the easy piano part) for DG.

I haven't heard it, just read about it. Anyone here have it?


Yes, it's quite good, actually!


"I'm a concert pianist--that's a pretentious way of saying I'm unemployed at the moment."--Oscar Levant

http://www.youtube.com/kojiattwood
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#1545502 - 10/28/10 03:23 PM Re: A (real) pianist running for office [Re: Andromaque]  
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BruceD Offline
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Originally Posted by Andromaque
Originally Posted by stores
He's a Republican so he can't be that good. By the way, I have no idea who Padareski is.


NITPICKER!!!!!!!!!!!



Hey, that's my job!

smile


BruceD
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Estonia 190
#1545510 - 10/28/10 03:54 PM Re: A (real) pianist running for office [Re: BruceD]  
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Andromaque Offline
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Originally Posted by BruceD
Originally Posted by Andromaque
Originally Posted by stores
He's a Republican so he can't be that good. By the way, I have no idea who Padareski is.


NITPICKER!!!!!!!!!!!



Hey, that's my job!

smile


Yes but you are the doyen of the place. smile


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