piano

LSU

The fourth season of the Texas State International Piano Festival includes guests as far away as South Korea, China, along with locally-renowned pianists such as Anton Nel. The week-long festival starts June 1 with performances, lectures, masterclasses and lessons, and runs through Sunday, June 9.

"You'll be tired, and inspired!" advises co-founder and pianist Jason Kwak for audience members and students who plan to attend every event. He is very excited about the finale - a live taping of NPR's From The Top with Christopher O'Riley on June 9.

Flickr user Jochen Spalding (b_lumenkraft) / cc

After his mighty "Hammerklavier Sonata," Ludwig van Beethoven continued with writing sonatas, but on a smaller and more intimate scale.

The "Sonata No. 30 in E" is a rare combination of nostalgia, youthful vigor and an antiquarian's love of baroque musical forms.

In the first movement, the music swims out of the void into being and the composer weaves passages that simultaneously project them forward and fall back into reminiscence.

John Clare / Texas Public Radio

Igor Stravinsky made an original piano version of his ballet "Petrushka," so why would someone else make one?

"Well, I played it as a student, and I remember thinking, you know, I would actually trill this octave, not that one," says Jon "Jackie" Kimura Parker.

Parker has made a solo piano version of the entire ballet, not just a few scenes.

Flickr user southtyrolean / cc

What a difference there was between Mozart and Beethoven. Where the former was often forced to wear livery and eat with the servants, Beethoven hobnobbed with nobility and taught some of them music and piano.

When he didn't feel he was getting what he deserved, the composer, in 1808, put out the rumor that he was considering a position with a Napoleon brother and would leave for Westphalia.

Courtesy of Sony Classical

Mixing genres in music can be easily compared to cooking, or baking. But none of them are easy tasks. While Simone Dinnerstein and Tift Merritt make it sound (and even look) effortless, their journey together wasn't easy. Night, their collaboration out now on Sony Classical, is delicious.

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