Encouraging talent

“What greater pleasure is there is life than giving young and beautiful talent a little lift in the direction of the stars though they will never reach them.”

Sir Clifford Curzon – English pianist

Pianist, No. 59, April-May 2011, Warner Group publications, p.10.




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Word of mouth encore
Leopold Stokowski gave the Philadelphia premiere of Ravel’s Bolero as an “encore” at a Friday afternoon concert. The newspaper critics had all left the hall, and so once again word of mouth had to prove its effacy, for at the Saturday night concert, after the last number, the audience applauded with unusual fervour and would […]
It’s my apartment and I’ll play if I want to
Prokofiev and his family moved into a small top floor-apartments in Paris.  Prokofiev spent much time practicing a revised version of his second piano concerto (which was to be premiered 8 May 1924).  The apartment manager demanded that Prokofiev cease playing.  His wife Lina recalled Prokofiev’s response: All right then, you don’t want to hear […]
Just as we checked the tuning …
In 1853, Brahms went on a tour of German cities with the Hungarian violinist Eduard Reményi.  In the town of Celle, they were scheduled to play Beethoven’s Sonata in c minor (op. 30, no. 2): but it was found that the piano in the hall was tuned a half tone too low.  Reményi refused to […]
Whatever we are faced with, people will continue to create
Gus Fairbairn (aka Alabaster dePlume) on the challenges of the 2020 pandemic: There is an invitation for me to respond to this pandemic with frustration, but it has allowed me the time to not spend all summer playing festivals and actually focus on my own creativity. It’s all gold. Go forth in the courage of your love as […]
The greatest applause
“The silence that accepts merit as the most natural thing in the world, is the highest applause.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson “An address delivered before the senior class in Divinity College, Cambridge, Sunday Evening, July 15, 1838”, The Works of Ralph Waldo Emerson, in 12 vols. Fireside Edition (Boston and New York, 1909). Vol. 1 […]
Quasi Dance II
Title: Quasi Dance II Composer: Greg Smith Instrumentation: Cello and piano Product medium: PDF score and part SAMPLE:
Einstein as a musician
“If I were not a physicist, I would probably be a musician. I often think in music. I live my daydreams in music. I see my life in terms of music… I get most joy in life out of music.” – Albert Einstein Cited in: Lyth, David (2019) The Road to Einstein’s Relativity. Boca Ranton: […]
Active listening
Listening to music should always be an active process, and those who attend – pregnant verb – concerts, who listen, who respond, who treasure what they hear there, are musicians. They are the ones who do not let music wash over them like a bubble bath but who actively swim in the water. When vibrations […]
The Just Will Live in the Presence of the Lord (Setting II) – Psalm 14 (15)
Title: The just will live in the presence of the Lord (Setting II) Text: Psalm 14 (15):2-5 (setting ii) Composer: Greg Smith Instrumentation: SATB and piano Product medium: PDF score and part Sample:
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