A new resource for young piano students 

I was excited to learn about Nate Holder’s book, Why Is My Piano Black and White? The Ultimate Fun Facts Guide published this year and the entire Why Books series. It’s a fun book to poke around in and there is a lot of information at hand. Nevertheless it left me with questions – some about the book itself, and some that pointed to issues in music education generally. 

The book is structured much like an encyclopedia with entry pages for styles, periods or major composers, with smaller lists of short…

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Online piano exams 

We are excited to announce our new online piano exams! In response to canceled in-person exams this past spring due to COVID-19, we recognized the need for students to have an opportunity to showcase their accomplishments. So, we launched an online exam that requires three pieces, one of which should be taken from our newly curated lists to highlight a diverse range of composers and styles. Students also have the opportunity to perform their own composition. Examiners and repertoire curators include…

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"Kampf Um Sichtbarkeit"

Alte Nationalgalerie, Berlin

(Until March 8, 2020)

A major survey of women artists of the 19th and early 20th centuries is currently on exhibit at the Old National Gallery in Berlin. Titled “Struggle for Visibility,” the aim of the exhibit is to highlight a wide array of artists whose lives and works demonstrate aspects of this struggle. The exhibit includes works that have been in the holdings of the museum’s permanent collection for quite some time and others that were purchased…

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Peru negro 

Although the Philly O had to engage in a bit of crisis management earlier in the year due to its lack of programming of women composers on any season concert, the recent showcase of "South American Sounds" was a welcome addition to the season line-up as a nod to the need for including global perspectives on classical music in the 21st century. The program was flawlessly curated to feature works across the geographic region and from a span of just under a hundred years. It opened with Gershwin, a staple of…

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Norwegian Airlines... 

should be out of business.

It was only after I had booked a ticket on the airline that I noticed social media posts about sudden cancellations, and in fact, my return flight to the US was also canceled - without reason or explanation. Luckily, I was observant enough on the initial leg of the flight to realize there was not going to be any help rebooking the flight - the flight attendants on the "Norwegian" carrier didn't seem to have any affiliation with a Norwegian business, wore uniforms that said…

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Szekely's Temptation 

Temptation by Janos Szekely is due to be released as a reprint edition this month. I first read the book in German (Verlockung) – because it hasn’t been available in English since Szekely died in Berlin in 1958. Following an illustrious career in Hollywood, which included an Academy Award for best screenplay (Arise My Love, 1940), Szekely was black-listed during the McCarthy era and forced to leave the U.S. His works fell into disregard, including Temptation, though the novel makes clear his extraordinary…

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Uncovering corruption, or ... 

How many production companies does it take to make a film about government and police corruption in Egypt? Three. 

German, Swedish, and Danish. 

The thing is, the plot felt remarkably familiar to cases that seem to plague the state of Texas as well. Specifically, academia. Specifically, female faculty members. Or maybe that's just the world I'm familiar with. I wonder if Perry feels like he's in prison, perhaps he's being blackmailed, or perhaps he views it as protective custody. The security chief in the…

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Yep, that's right... In the next segment of our story (Chapter 3) Oskar has a run-in with the postman!


Chapter 3. The Escape

Maurus had gone. But he had left his books behind. I immersed myself in them. Then he sent for them, and that joy was taken from me. Anna, or “Nanndl” as we called her, also read everything I gave her. The world of fiction had a strong hold over us. What to do?

We saw an advertisement in the newspaper for Bong Classics. It had a picture of the books, and they looked very…

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Baker's Hours 

Baker's Hours or 'Wia die Wuiden' (Chapter 2)

In the first installment for We Are Prisoners I mentioned the fact that the work was first translated in the 1920s (immediately after the book's publication in German), so I thought I'd provide a rationale for a new translation and the second chapter already more than provides that rationale. The original translation was by Margaret Green for Alfred Knopf (and which I am consulting as I work on my own). It strikes me as hurried at best and profoundly negligent…

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We Are Prisoners 

As a new track for the blog, I will post chapters of a translation I am working on for We Are Prisoners (Wir Sind Gefangene), an autobiographical 'confession' by Bavarian author Oskar Maria Graf (1894-1967). Look for a new chapter each week!

Though a contract to publish is not in the works, and I haven't secured individual copyright, I do assert all claims to intellectual property for this translation. I find the work is in such need of a new translation - which hasn't been made since the first one in the…

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Use the contact button to schedule a first lesson, and we have new links to register for our online classes!

Learn about Ottoman composer Leyla Saz and listen to her Victory March from 1908 in several arrangements. This work is featured on ...And We Were Heard in a performance by Jacob Wallace and the South Dakota State University Wind Ensemble (also available in the audio player below). Peruse instrumental arrangements available for purchase here


 Check out the video pages for the Anthology of Turkish Piano Music:

Volume I

Volume II

Volume III


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