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Re: Piano Texas 2018 [Re: SiFi] #2748063
06/29/18 11:40 AM
06/29/18 11:40 AM
Joined: Jun 2017
Posts: 199
Taipei, Taiwan
K
Kenny Cheng Offline
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Taipei, Taiwan
I watched SiFi, Coaster, and Ken's performances. Very beautiful! Thanks for sharing.

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Re: Piano Texas 2018 [Re: SiFi] #2748219
06/30/18 05:26 AM
06/30/18 05:26 AM
Joined: Mar 2008
Posts: 2,901
Northern VA, U.S.
ClsscLib Offline

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Very nice Islamey, SiFi. I really enjoyed your master class with Olga Kern.


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"People may say I can't sing, but no one can ever say I didn't sing."

-- Florence Foster Jenkins
Re: Piano Texas 2018 [Re: SiFi] #2748299
06/30/18 10:54 AM
06/30/18 10:54 AM
Joined: Mar 2012
Posts: 180
Maryland, USA
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OK now it's intermission and I can hear people laughing, but I can't hear the joke...just so much mumbling...

Re: Piano Texas 2018 [Re: SiFi] #2748505
07/01/18 09:11 AM
07/01/18 09:11 AM
Joined: Mar 2012
Posts: 180
Maryland, USA
scriabinfanatic Offline
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Yay!...it's coaster first in the hotseat for the master class this morning...playing the Gm ballade again...

Re: Piano Texas 2018 [Re: SiFi] #2748510
07/01/18 09:38 AM
07/01/18 09:38 AM
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Maryland, USA
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OMG! It was even better this time...seemed more relaxed,...nice and slow and savored at the beginning, joyous in the middle, nailed the ending...way to go coaster!

Re: Piano Texas 2018 [Re: SiFi] #2749075
07/03/18 02:03 PM
07/03/18 02:03 PM
Joined: May 2011
Posts: 109
Foster City, CA, US
K
Ken Iisaka Offline
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Bar none, it was among the most intense piano-related experience I've had in my life. It was my first time to attend a "Piano Camp" since Aspen in 1992, but the 11-day session was far more intense and richer.

I got to perform in 2 group recitals at TCU, a community concert at a local church, and a concerto movement with the FWSO, my second time. With the festival's Russian music theme, I brought a fistful of music by Medtner, along with the first movement of Prokofiev 3. I didn't get to perform everything due to time constraints, but it was somewhat cathartic to "unload".

Most memorable were playing Medtner Sonata Reminiscenza, Op.38, No.1 for Olga Kern. Her vibrant enthusiasm was infectious, even though I was somewhat unsettled in my own interpretation after played the same for two different teachers (Dmitry Alexyev and Andrey Ponochevny) who gave me opposite, contradictory instructions. It felt Olga encouraged me to be more of myself. Perhaps the indecisiveness was frustrating for her to hear. In the end, I am left with a stronger conviction of my interpretation, reinforced with clearly needed improvements.

Upon arrival, I signed up to play in the very first recital. Given that only 3 people initially signed up (another joined later) we were allowed more than the usual 10 minutes: I played three movements of the Forgotten Melodies, Op.38: the aforementioned Sonata Reminiscenza, then Canzona Serenata (No.6) and Alla Reminiscenza (No.8). I think I succeeded in seducing some of the ears to this wonderful, rich world of Medtner, hearing them for the first time.

For performances, we had 6 fine pianos at disposal: NY and Hamburg Steinway, Yamaha CFX, Shigeru Kawai SK-EX, Bösendorfer 280VC "VC1", and a Fazioli F278. I got to play the Hamburg, Shigeru and Fazioli. I was told that the Bösendorfer was the very first 280VC made, and is used by Andras Schiff for his concerts in the eastern US. From the audience, they all sounded beautiful, though with very different personalities. The Steinway showed its typical weak 6th octave, while Kawai and Yamaha were quite well balanced. I was a bit disappointed with the Fazioli, in comparison to the one I have at home. I like the super-responsiveness of new Faziolis. For some reason, some of the colors were hard to reach.

I waited perhaps 10 years for all the stars to line up. I'm not sure if I will return next two years, as I'm considering Piano Bridges Competition in St.Petersburg next year, and returning to Cliburn in 2020. However, being a gathering of kindred spirits, new friends were made, and I returned home richer than ever.

Re: Piano Texas 2018 [Re: SiFi] #2749095
07/03/18 03:41 PM
07/03/18 03:41 PM
Joined: May 2011
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Foster City, CA, US
K
Ken Iisaka Offline
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Oh, I forgot to mention the concerto.

By far, it was singularity the most frightening thing I've ever done in my life. During the dress rehearsal, Ungár Tamás kept yelling at me, "Louder!" as if I had any more power in my hands. Not that I've done it before or ever will, it felt like riding a tsunami on a little surfboard. The torrent of sound coming from the orchestra was tremendous, as the orchestra clearly knew the piece far better than I.

During the rehearsals with pianist, Chui-Fun Poon, she was encouraging me to rein it in a bit, to keep it "safe." The strategy probably worked to get selected. However, during the meeting with the conductor, Alejandro Gómez Guillén, I was repeatedly asked whether I could go faster. Having heard FWSO perform before, I had a sense of what the orchestra does, so we were back to the tempi that I became more accustomed. It's not quite Argerich, but FAST.

Came the day of performance, I was filled with adrenalin. Aside from a couple of giant clams, it went reasonably well. Then came the coda. I took a glance at the conductor, and WENT FOR IT. I probably started at 160, and accelerated even further in the last four measures. The orchestra knew what was happening, and the violin section right next to me was riding along at the insane speed. We all ended together explosively, which was what I wanted, given that it was the last piece in the evening. If I were continuing onto the next movements, I wouldn't have over-done it, as I did, wanting to save some for the finale of the third movement. However, it worked.

When I took a knowing glance at the conductor just before the coda, I was thinking that this was the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for which I had waited 30+ years. I knew I'd never play with an orchestra of this caliber again. Knowing what the orchestra can do, giving me a sense of security like a bungee cord, I took a leap.

There was another participant, who brought the third movement of the concerto. I was really hoping that she would perform after me, to give a "heroic" performance of the thrilling repertoire. But alas, it was not to be. There really is no surprise that Joel Oliansky chose this piece in his 1980 movie, "The Competition." Let's admit it: a lot of us heard the piece for the first time watching that. LOL

Re: Piano Texas 2018 [Re: SiFi] #2749103
07/03/18 04:38 PM
07/03/18 04:38 PM
Joined: Nov 2004
Posts: 480
Connecticut/Cincinnati
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Congrats everyone on fine performances. Ken, I am very happy for you! It must have been such an amazing experience, and congratulations on pulling it off!

I was looking for a link to watch the performance, but could not find one. Do you know where we can enjoy it?

Re: Piano Texas 2018 [Re: computerpro3] #2749106
07/03/18 04:55 PM
07/03/18 04:55 PM
Joined: May 2011
Posts: 109
Foster City, CA, US
K
Ken Iisaka Offline
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Originally Posted by computerpro3

I was looking for a link to watch the performance, but could not find one. Do you know where we can enjoy it?


I was told that, due to rights issues, video from the concerto concerts were not streamed and will not be available publicly.

Re: Piano Texas 2018 [Re: SiFi] #2749130
07/03/18 08:05 PM
07/03/18 08:05 PM
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Posts: 180
Maryland, USA
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Well I for one greatly appreciated your Medtner set, Ken! (but then I became an avid Medtner convert about 18 years ago) Nice touch adding on some of the interrelated pieces of op. 38 to the sonata, and giving that intro talk to set the scene for the material. That is why the Barrie Martyn bio is such a treasure for me....Medtner's life and works are interrelated in interesting ways. BTW have you ever played the op. 49 "Hymns" set? Probably my favorite Medtner, and yet seemingly one of his most obscure works. The Funerailles was a surprise in that last live feed (wasn't on your list?) and another 'wow' performance (major goosebumps with that long crescendo at the end).

Re: Piano Texas 2018 [Re: scriabinfanatic] #2749507
07/05/18 11:15 AM
07/05/18 11:15 AM
Joined: Jan 2009
Posts: 257
Virginia
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Originally Posted by scriabinfanatic
OMG! It was even better this time...seemed more relaxed,...nice and slow and savored at the beginning, joyous in the middle, nailed the ending...way to go coaster!


Thanks, Scriabinfanatic! I had a lesson with Tamas Ungar the day after my first performance.

PianoTexas was an incredible experience. I probably can't go back next year, though. frown Wish I could!


aka LadyArabesque (or Kermit the Frog)
I will keep playing and singing as long as it makes people happy.
Re: Piano Texas 2018 [Re: BruceD] #2750699
07/11/18 12:03 AM
07/11/18 12:03 AM
Joined: Aug 2014
Posts: 1,665
Washington, DC
SiFi Offline OP
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Originally Posted by BruceD
Thanks, coaster!

I caught about the last ten or twelve minutes of SiFi's Islamey. I hope that we'll get some personal reactions later from SiFi.

Personal reactions? Well unfortunately that would be personal, though I will say that Olga now qualifies as one of my "piano girlfriends", properly defined as a professional female pianist whom I admire from a distance but whom I have met in person. This expression was not coined by me but by my daughter, who understands the distinction between platonic and whatever the other thing is.

The masterclass with Ms. Kern was wonderful. I was profoundly nervous in a way that I have never been before, especially knowing that some of you guys might be watching. And it was Islamey, after all, which Olga was going to be performing two days later. Yes, the nerves were obvious, as were the mistakes, but I wasn't appalled by my performance; the fact of my not being appalled is to me a significant thing.

It was interesting to see what she liked and didn't like. There were two cases where I had incorporated changes based on advice from Emmanuel Kracovsksy, with whom I had had a lesson a few days before. Olga was essentially telling me to play the passages like I had always played them before Emmanuel's lesson and I'm thinking to myself, why would one be so stupid as to change an interpretation two days before a performance in a masterclass with Olga Kern on the basis of one person's advice? Anyway, if you watch carefully, you'll see exactly where this happened. It's quite funny (Olga: "I LOVE Emmanuel, but is it natural for you?").

I could write a book on this experience, which I shall never forget. Below is a link to the recorded webcast (I don't think Coaster's link works any more). I wish I'd done better, but it's fine; I don't really care (do U?). Be sure to listen to Ken's delightful and profound Medtner earlier in the class. I'm hoping TCU will leave this up as an unlisted video, but they may not, so watch it now! Just sit back and revel in that gorgeous Russian accent. The piano stuff is ancillary; Olga Kern is the shining star.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l5g2bbW4G3s&feature=youtu.be&t=8895


SRF
Re: Piano Texas 2018 [Re: SiFi] #2750720
07/11/18 04:05 AM
07/11/18 04:05 AM
Joined: Jun 2017
Posts: 199
Taipei, Taiwan
K
Kenny Cheng Offline
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Taipei, Taiwan
SiFi,

You did a fantastic job! I enjoy it very much.

Thanks for sharing!

Re: Piano Texas 2018 [Re: SiFi] #2750732
07/11/18 06:23 AM
07/11/18 06:23 AM
Joined: Mar 2008
Posts: 2,901
Northern VA, U.S.
ClsscLib Offline

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Joined: Mar 2008
Posts: 2,901
Northern VA, U.S.
Well done, SiFi, Coaster, and all of the other participants. Even for those of us only watching from afar, this event was glorious. Glad you all enjoyed it.


[Linked Image][Linked Image]
[Linked Image]

"People may say I can't sing, but no one can ever say I didn't sing."

-- Florence Foster Jenkins
Re: Piano Texas 2018 [Re: SiFi] #2750734
07/11/18 06:38 AM
07/11/18 06:38 AM
Joined: Jan 2018
Posts: 971
In the Ozarks of Missouri
NobleHouse Online content
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Originally Posted by SiFi
Originally Posted by BruceD
Thanks, coaster!

I caught about the last ten or twelve minutes of SiFi's Islamey. I hope that we'll get some personal reactions later from SiFi.

Personal reactions? Well unfortunately that would be personal, though I will say that Olga now qualifies as one of my "piano girlfriends", properly defined as a professional female pianist whom I admire from a distance but whom I have met in person. This expression was not coined by me but by my daughter, who understands the distinction between platonic and whatever the other thing is.

The masterclass with Ms. Kern was wonderful. I was profoundly nervous in a way that I have never been before, especially knowing that some of you guys might be watching. And it was Islamey, after all, which Olga was going to be performing two days later. Yes, the nerves were obvious, as were the mistakes, but I wasn't appalled by my performance; the fact of my not being appalled is to me a significant thing.

It was interesting to see what she liked and didn't like. There were two cases where I had incorporated changes based on advice from Emmanuel Kracovsksy, with whom I had had a lesson a few days before. Olga was essentially telling me to play the passages like I had always played them before Emmanuel's lesson and I'm thinking to myself, why would one be so stupid as to change an interpretation two days before a performance in a masterclass with Olga Kern on the basis of one person's advice? Anyway, if you watch carefully, you'll see exactly where this happened. It's quite funny (Olga: "I LOVE Emmanuel, but is it natural for you?").

I could write a book on this experience, which I shall never forget. Below is a link to the recorded webcast (I don't think Coaster's link works any more). I wish I'd done better, but it's fine; I don't really care (do U?). Be sure to listen to Ken's delightful and profound Medtner earlier in the class. I'm hoping TCU will leave this up as an unlisted video, but they may not, so watch it now! Just sit back and revel in that gorgeous Russian accent. The piano stuff is ancillary; Olga Kern is the shining star.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l5g2bbW4G3s&feature=youtu.be&t=8895




I thought you did a fantastic job as well! What a great experience for you.

Re: Piano Texas 2018 [Re: ClsscLib] #2750756
07/11/18 10:40 AM
07/11/18 10:40 AM
Joined: Nov 2009
Posts: 22,149
New York
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Originally Posted by ClsscLib
Well done, SiFi, Coaster, and all of the other participants. Even for those of us only watching from afar, this event was glorious. Glad you all enjoyed it.

For me likewise.
You all made it feel like an event very well worth being in. For some reason I never thought of it before, never had any impression that it was a special event. Now I know it is.

Re: Piano Texas 2018 [Re: Mark_C] #2751602
07/15/18 12:11 AM
07/15/18 12:11 AM
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Originally Posted by Mark_C
Originally Posted by ClsscLib
Well done, SiFi, Coaster, and all of the other participants. Even for those of us only watching from afar, this event was glorious. Glad you all enjoyed it.

For me likewise.
You all made it feel like an event very well worth being in. For some reason I never thought of it before, never had any impression that it was a special event. Now I know it is.

It is a special event. When I went for the mini-session before the last Cliburn, I thought, this is intense". After 10 days of PianoTexas this year, I'm left thinking, "That was VERY intense." 4 recitals, 2 lessons, a concerto competition, 1 masterclass, various "meet the artist" events, and free access to the all the concerts, including the junior artist concerto events: That was a lot.

As I said, I couldn't have been more nervous performing before Olga; it was a dream come true. The fact that I didn't screw up badly was moderately important. I could then listen and internalize what she said subsequently without too much anxiety. It was one of the most wonderful experiences of my life. And then, when we were seated onstage during her recital, which she ended with "Islamey", it was just pure, unadulterated euphoria; a huge, almost dizzy, high that even hard narcotics could not reproduce.

PianoTexas is a wonderful festival. We -- as many of the Pianist Corner can do it -- should all get together at TCU sometime in the future and have as much of a blast as I and my terrific piano/teacher friends did this summer. Ken Iisaka will provide Negronis

Last edited by SiFi; 07/15/18 12:13 AM. Reason: typos

SRF
Re: Piano Texas 2018 [Re: SiFi] #2751642
07/15/18 08:38 AM
07/15/18 08:38 AM
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Virginia
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Originally Posted by SiFi

PianoTexas is a wonderful festival. We -- as many of the Pianist Corner can do it -- should all get together at TCU sometime in the future and have as much of a blast as I and my terrific piano/teacher friends did this summer. Ken Iisaka will provide Negronis


I agree!
But next year... St. Petersburg!

And before that... WIPAC. See you in 2 weeks!


aka LadyArabesque (or Kermit the Frog)
I will keep playing and singing as long as it makes people happy.
Re: Piano Texas 2018 [Re: SiFi] #2751671
07/15/18 09:57 AM
07/15/18 09:57 AM
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Maryland, USA
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Thanks for the link SiFi. Yes I was already amazed with Olga after watching the livestream of one of her master classes with one of the "young artists." The young artist was a teenage waif who sat down and played a jaw-droppingly technically perfect Rachmaninoff Sonata 2 first movement. Olga sat there and not only didn't look impressed, but almost looked like she was kind of bored and not even paying much attention. And then after it was over, Olga went through the performance in detail with a whole list of spot-on critiques and great ideas. Wow.

Re: Piano Texas 2018 [Re: SiFi] #2751796
07/15/18 09:47 PM
07/15/18 09:47 PM
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Taipei, Taiwan
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Kenny Cheng Offline
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I went over the masterclass videos and am very impressed by this special event. I hope I can do it in 2020. Is it about the same time as Cliburn?

Looks like some of you will be at St. Petersburg next year. I'll be at Paris next year.

Re: Piano Texas 2018 [Re: Kenny Cheng] #2751863
07/16/18 10:03 AM
07/16/18 10:03 AM
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Originally Posted by Kenny Cheng
I went over the masterclass videos and am very impressed by this special event. I hope I can do it in 2020. Is it about the same time as Cliburn?

Kenny, you might consider doing what a few of us did in 2016. PianoTexas offered a "mini-session" at the end of the regular festival. This was basically a 3-day crash preparation for the Cliburn that included 3 recitals and two masterclasses. I would highly recommend it if you are planning to compete in the Cliburn, but prepare yourself for intense. We arrived for orientation around 4:00 PM. 3 hours later we were performing onstage!


SRF
Re: Piano Texas 2018 [Re: SiFi] #2751960
07/16/18 04:53 PM
07/16/18 04:53 PM
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Foster City, CA, US
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Ken Iisaka Offline
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One aspect of such events that I cannot under-stressed is that they are gatherings of kindred spirits.

Fort Worth was where I found my tribe. At every visit since 2007, when I first competed at the Cliburn (then known as IPCOA), new friendships were formed, and doors to new repertoire were opened.

To me, the tribe has been a life saver. I was in a terrible life situation, and being connected to my newly found tribe showed me what truly matter in my life. My life went through heck for much of the last 10 years, but music has returned to me as my constant companion, as it had been for much of my childhood. Along with the music came the tribe.

Thanks for being my tribe.

Last edited by Ken Iisaka; 07/16/18 04:53 PM.
Re: Piano Texas 2018 [Re: Ken Iisaka] #2751993
07/16/18 07:36 PM
07/16/18 07:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Ken Iisaka
One aspect of such events that I cannot under-stressed is that they are gatherings of kindred spirits.

Fort Worth was where I found my tribe. At every visit since 2007, when I first competed at the Cliburn (then known as IPCOA), new friendships were formed, and doors to new repertoire were opened.

To me, the tribe has been a life saver. I was in a terrible life situation, and being connected to my newly found tribe showed me what truly matter in my life. My life went through heck for much of the last 10 years, but music has returned to me as my constant companion, as it had been for much of my childhood. Along with the music came the tribe.

Thanks for being my tribe.


3hearts heart


aka LadyArabesque (or Kermit the Frog)
I will keep playing and singing as long as it makes people happy.
Re: Piano Texas 2018 [Re: coaster] #2751998
07/16/18 08:12 PM
07/16/18 08:12 PM
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3hearts heart 3hearts heart 3hearts heart

Re: Piano Texas 2018 [Re: Mark_C] #2752071
07/17/18 08:30 AM
07/17/18 08:30 AM
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3hearts heart 3hearts heart 3hearts heart 3hearts heart
Or maybe just +1


SRF
Re: Piano Texas 2018 [Re: Ken Iisaka] #2752382
07/18/18 12:07 PM
07/18/18 12:07 PM
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In addition to the events (competitions, festivals) that have established the friendships and mutual support mechanisms underpinning our respective tribes, I would cite PianoWorld's forums, including in particular this very one. Of course, virtual interaction is never as meaningful as the real thing, but I certainly feel that the community, shared interests, and comity (for the most part!) of this online group have helped me in my rediscovery of the joys and passions of music making and the pleasure that comes even from just talking about music with kindred spirits, as Ken so aptly described us.


SRF
Re: Piano Texas 2018 [Re: SiFi] #2752572
07/19/18 07:35 AM
07/19/18 07:35 AM
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+1


"I will hear in Heaven." Beethoven
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Wilhelm Grotrian WGS-165
by jarobi. 11/17/18 01:51 PM
Contemporary piano exercises/etudes
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Hello from Liverpool UK
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