Topics and Programme

Pre-Conference Workshop

Date: 10 November 2019 (Sun)

Topic The Ten Pillars of Technique for all levels
  1. Posture and Co-ordination
  2. Finger independence and dexterity
  3. Movements
  4. Touches
  5. Sound
  6. Shape and rhythm
  7. Speed
  8. Strength
  9. Stamina
  10. Security
Brief Description Following on from the success of Murray McLachlan's first three books for Faber Music on Piano Technique, he is currently researching further books which will apply his new concept of structuring all of piano technique into ten categories. This talk begins by showing how this works, continues with an illustration of what basic exercises and principles pianists at all levels from beginners to concert pianist should consider regularly, then shows how teachers can systematically apply principles, games, exercises, studies and repertoire to build technique from each of the ten pillars. This approach can work from the first lesson with a beginner to the final session before a Carnegie Hall recital debut.

Conference Days

Day 1: 11 November 2019 (Mon)

Keynote speech
Brief description:
The technical connection: How we can all develop facility to express what we want. If technique is the proverbial fairy Godmother that grants all wishes at our command, can it really provide us with everything? This talk shows how technique is never limited to mechanics, and stimulates all musicians to find their own supply of technical devices to bring all of their musical dreams, desires and ambitions fully alive.

Conference session
Topic Phrasing, Colour, Voicing and Confidence through Technique
Brief Description: 'No, technique cannot give us everything. Yes, technique can give us everything'

If technique is a servant, then what do we do if the 'master' is ineffectual? What can a teacher hope to do if a pupil has no apparent musical curiosity, motivation, ideas, desire to express anything in particular? Is there such a thing as an 'unmusical pupil' and if so are there 'techniques' to stimulate sensitivity, creativity, even to help bring 'originality' and ideas out of nothing? This final discussion examines ways in which certain techniques can apparently help to teach the unteachable. Technique can help with phrasing, voicing, beauty of sound, characterization and confidence. There are techniques that help us to develop conviction and power in our performance delivery. Technique can at times be the initial energizing force in music making.

Piano masterclass
Brief description:
Piano Masterclass session

Day 2: 12 November 2019 (Tue)

Piano Recital: The Romantic Piano

  • Andante and Rondo Capriccioso, Op. 14 (Felix Mendelssohn)
  • “Widmung” (Liebeslied), S. 566 (Robert Schumann-Franz Liszt)
  • Sonata no.1 in C Major, Op. 1 (Johannes Brahms)
  • Nocturne in C minor, Op. 48, No. 1 (Frederic Chopin)
  • Ballade no. 3 in A flat Major, Op. 47 (Frederic Chopin)
  • 8 Preludes from Op. 2, 23 and 32 (Sergei Rachmaninov)

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