What are you looking for in pieces of new piano music? Winston Choi

Winston ChoiPhoto by Guy Vivien First of all, I am looking for something that stimulates and challenges me intellectually, emotionally, and musically. Generally, my first impression (either from looking at a score, listening to a recording, or preferably, both) makes a tremendous influence on my opinion of a piece, but of course that can quickly […]

What are you looking for in pieces of new piano music? Gloria Cheng

Gloria ChengPhoto by Christian Steiner The process of learning a new piece is like learning a new language, so I’m drawn to works that are set in a striking, imaginative, communicative idiom. Strong ideas, clear syntax, a vivid personality, drama, and structure are the elements that I enjoy shaping and responding to. A great piece […]

What are you looking for in pieces of new piano music? Sarah Cahill

Sarah CahillPhoto by David Casteel First of all, it helps if a score is clearly legible. Then, I try to get a sense of its overall structure, both away from and at the piano. If it’s impenetrable or confused, I probably won’t play it. I’m also not interested in any score that’s unnecessarily complex, or […]

What are you looking for in pieces of new piano music? Martha Braden

Martha BradenPhoto by Jay Palit What I look for from a pianist’s point of view is: …A new piece that might receive a world premiere, publication, repeated performances by other pianists, inclusion in masters programs, and perhaps—if merited—eventual archival preservation and research. This is encouraging to the patron who will commission the composer to make […]

What are you looking for in pieces of new piano music? Michael Boriskin

Michael BoriskinPhoto by Richard Bowditch, courtesy Dworkin Eliason pARTners …In a word, life. An animating, energizing force… It matters less whether this is channeled through mental or physical gymnastics, or some sort of intellectual joust, or a shameless, hedonistic revelry. Style and idiom are secondary, too. I need something basic to connect with—something that engages […]

What are you looking for in pieces of new piano music? Daniel Beliavsky

Daniel BeliavskyPhoto by Yuri Beliavsky I believe that successful contemporary piano music has metric and rhythmic vitality, harmonic novelty, melodic invention, but above all (and as a result of these factors combined), gives the player a dynamic and exciting performance experience. I will support this point by way of a short anecdote about Glenn Gould: […]

View From the West: Where Are the Notes?

Dean SuzukiPhoto by Ryan Suzuki For a very long time now there have been composers who create music directly, bypassing paper, the manuscript, the score. This has always been the case with electronic music, although graphic scores and other visual realizations of electronic works have certainly been made. There are also those who improvise or […]

What are you looking for in pieces of new piano music? Paul Barnes

Paul BarnesPhoto by Don Hunstein Given my basic core belief that music at its best can function as a type of sacramental bridge between the physical and the spiritual, I look for music that explores these types of metaphysical themes. It’s also one of the reasons I tend to be drawn to minimalism, which I […]

View From the East: Maverick Subway

Greg Sandow As I’m writing this, Zankel Hall has just opened. Of course it’s Carnegie Hall‘s new contribution to New York’s musical life, their third performing space, a multi-use hall that can be reconfigured to have seats, or no seats, a stage, or no stage—kind of fun, really, especially (I’d guess) if we could see […]