Thursday, January 20, 2011

An Ecstatic Entourage - and a talk with Timo Andres at the Ecstatic Music Festival Marathon Initiation









Being in a state of ecstasy, according to the American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, means being joyful or also enraptured.This accurately describes the vibrant atmosphere at Merkin Concert Hall’s “Ecstatic Music Festival” that opened on Martin Luther King’s Day, Marathon on January 17t.h.
Many of the participating artists of the festival who will give individual concert performances at Merkin Hall throughout March 28th were mixing with the audience during the 7-8 hours continuum of performances. And integration was a keyword, igniting sparks of enthusiasm and instilling excitement. The crowds spilled over into the lobby and out into the street, in front of the Kaufmann Center’s Upper Westside performance hub.
As announced by the New Yorker, the festival “…provides a window into {the} movement in music {established during} the past decade, where a critical mass of young New York based composer/performers {has} been blurring the boundaries between classical and popular styles.”
But being there actually felt much more emotionally charged than the above description even comes close to.
The festival’s curator, Judd Greenstein, created a very personal feel, by choosing from what seems like a conglomerate collaboration of his own entourage.
As managing director of the (also included at the festival) NOW Ensemble, a chamber music quintet with unique instrumentation (flute, clarinet, electric guitar, double bass, and piano) and as a composer in his own right, Greenstein has also successfully figured out new music marketing possibilities and, in the process, created a revelation.
He also co-directs New Amsterdam Records, a record label and artist’s service organization based in New York City. According to his own mission statement, he is committed to making: “music without filters, made by musicians who bring the breadth of their listening experience and the love they have for many different kinds of music into their own playing, writing and producing. It is music without walls, without an agenda, and without a central organizing principle…opening doors for artists to enter, creating new spaces for them to fill, and touching new outer edges where musics meet.”
At the festival, pianist/composer Timo Andres performed his “Everything is an Onion” from his 2010 composition: “It takes a long time to become a good composer”, as well as Charles Ive’s “The Alcotts” from Piano Sonata No.2, at the Marathon.
He is one of several performers who studied composition at Yale University. Like many of the festival participants, he is active in a broad spectrum of activities which make for a lifestyle of music. He, like many of his colleagues, likes to share his thoughts, articulated on his blog, as well as in person. We shared a coffee and a conversation in between performances.
“Like for any musician, my musical impulse is a result of many different influences. I attribute it as much to the open-mindedness of some of my mentors who guided me, as to things I discovered on my own. I grew up with my paternal grandfather listening to – then – cutting edge music of Bartok and Shostakovich and I never have to worry about the mechanics of the piano, thanks to my wonderful teacher Eleanor Hancock, who taught me during eleven years the principals of a natural piano technique, based on the research of Dorothy Taubman.“ He later also studied with Frederic Chiu and has performed avidly, specializing in contemporary music series, such as the wordless Music Series that was initiated by (le)Poisson Rouge music director Ronen Givony, as well as giving solo recitals with the momentum-gaining Metropolis Ensemble, which prompted Boston Globe critic Richard Dyer to assert: ”New music cannot be intimidating when played with this degree of skill and zest.”

Timo Andres at a Metropolis House Concert
Andres’ debut album, “Shy and Mighty” released in May 2010 by Nonesuch, features ten interrelated pieces performed by Andres and co-pianist David Kaplan, another Yale graduate, who also attended the ‘Ecstatic’ marathon performance. Alex Ross in the New Yorker described the composition: Shy and Mighty “…achieves an unhurried grandeur that has rarely been felt in American music since John Adams came on the scene…more mighty than shy, {Andres} sounds like himself”. Sections of Shy and Mighty will also be performed by Andres with pianist Bred Mehldau at Carnegie Hall’s Zankel Hall in March.
Andres is fully aware that his generation has re-enacted a long history of composers who were also performers from Mozart onwards. These artists were not only creative as musicians but also creative in managing their own careers and bringing their music to new audiences.
When he tells me he is “self-published”, he points out his knowledge of typographical work and how it helps to design a readable score. His engagement with Bookbinding and page layout has made his individual score production process, an A-Z reality. His composing and performing are two sides of the same coin.

Timo Andres
“I could not ever give up one for the other – they inform each other; it’s a continuum”, he says. And for influential impact on his compositions he explains, “A lot of music I listen to is all electronic or integrates electronics. My music is very influenced by these musical techniques, with structures and forms looking back to Minimalism and based on repetition. Looping patterns to build musical structure always fascinated me, from the first day I heard Steve Reich’s music.”
Describing the festival and his relation to Greenberg as its curator he says: “The festival represents some of the best trends in the experimental music tradition. In a sense it is a laboratory for trying out new things in a collaborative environment, where people are open to be surprised and the only boundaries are one’s own taste. The festival represents Judd’s taste, whose compositions and general intelligence I already admired as a freshman, when he was a graduate-student. All my friends have records on his label today which certainly brought some definition to the New York musical scene.”
What the festival seems to offer in particular is a home based scene for its involved artists, creating somewhat of a new music milieu.
There is a remarkable overlap of festival- participating artists who, at the same time, are some of today’s most passionate and significant entrepreneurs of current music-business ventures.
Vicky Chow, is the classically trained pianist for the New York based eclectic contemporary sextet Bang on a Can All –Stars. In 1987 three young composers, fresh out of Yale, made their first concert into an inspiring 12 hour -marathon of new music, testing the market for their programs. In 2000 they founded the “people’s commissioning fund” that encouraged audience members to participate in the commissioning for new works. Chow also produces and curates a new music series at the Gershwin Hotel in New York City, and Bang on a Can runs a summer ‘educational’ festival for young composers, located in the Berkshires.
“Neurotic and Lonely,” a title from composer/performer Gabriel Kahane’s acclaimed “Craigslist Lieder” album recorded in 2006, brilliantly plays on this generation’s neuroses. Cynically insightful, the modern day bard presents his charming and diverse artistry, time and again putting classical Schumann or Schubert -Lieder presentations in direct rapport with contemporary ones, to great effect.
In Kahane’s compositions, traditional music rings new – promoting a timeless feel for both –the old and new genres. Son of acclaimed pianist Jeffrey Kahane, the “piano chops” may fall naturally not far from the tree, as David Kaplan points out to me.
That he is a child of his own time, Gabriel shows with his curatorial creativity, promoting a particular sensitive strand of music making DNA. For a commission, as part of the MATA festival held in November of 2010 at Brooklyn’s “Issue Project Room”, Kahane curated and presented contemporary compositions, including his own, as well as Schubert’s “Dichterliebe”, in German Diction at the piano.
“I am certain that we can all agree that the phrases “genre-bending” and “genre-defying” are not long for this world….The plan is very simple: create a static frame – in this case the pianist who sings – and then offer a varied repertoire..” says this protagonist of music who simply seeks musical inclusiveness, showing what new and old have in common. “I defy you not to hear Pop music in {Schumann’s} “Ich grolle nicht”, says Kahane.
And perhaps our focus should indeed not be on differentiations within the performance culture and stylistic distinction but should instead embrace the festival’s “constructive narrative” as Greenstein, Andres and Kahane – amongst others- are ecstatically pitching for.
Kahane concludes: “ …the listener will come to the conclusion that distinctions of genre can be done away with, leaving us with Duke Ellington’s oft –quoted nugget: “There are only two kind of music: good music, and the other kind”.

Kahane, himself a Brown graduate, had commissioned a piece by Andres for the MATA project. He and the young Yale-trained composer do share a lot of common interests, says Andres. They will perform together at the Merkin festival’s March 5thconcert, exploring the composer Charles Ives and dissecting various musical influences on Ives’ music and their own compositions.
This concert will include a wide trip throughout music history, starting with Bach- arrangements by Kurtag as well as some songs of Ives, performed by Kahane.
“I am arranging “Conneticut gospels” – for piano and Hammond organ with the influence of Ives in mind, so to speak from one Connecticut composer to another”, says Andres acknowledging, not without a certain kind of pride, that Ives, like him, went to Yale and was recognized as the first genuine “American” composer.

Ecstatic Music Festival at Merkin Concert Hall until March 28th

For a complete schedule and more on all the other participants of the ecstatic music festival go to: ecstaticmusicfestival.com

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Inbal Segev - A Love Story with the Cello




At the invitation of Isaac Stern, whom she met at a master class at the Mishkenoth Festival in Jerusalem, Inbal Segev left her native Israel in 1990, to pursue her passion for the cello in the United States. Only 16 years old at the time, she lived at the residence of cello pedagogue Aldo Parisot, attending his famed studio class. She then matriculated at Yale University’s class of 93 and then also attended Julliard’s class of 98, where she studied with Joel Krosnick, a cellist with the Juilliard String Quartet, and Harvey Shapiro of the Primrose Quartet.

Inbal Segev
She also did eight years of independent study with Beaux Arts Trio-founder Bernhard Greenhouse, a musician she greatly admires.
Looking back on her years of formal study and training, she acknowledges the importance of her degrees, a bachelor from Juilliard and a master’s degree from Yale, but she also feels that it was a good choice for her to follow the lead of inspiring teachers, regardless of their association with any particular school.
If she has any regrets at all, it would be that she did not take full advantage of the range of intellectual challenges available to her at Yale. Limited English language skills and a rather timid personality made her focus on the one thing she could do best back then: playing the cello.
“I breathed cello”, Segev remembers.
And then she talks about her love for the instrument that has dominated her life. She was only five years old, when her mother, a high school teacher, introduced her to classical music broadcasts. Some broadcasts featured the cello, leading to Segev’s first cello lessons. When, at age seven, her exceptional talent became apparent, the America Israel Cultural Foundation (AICF) provided for her education at the Rubin Academy in Jerusalem.
Her love story with the cello continues to this day. “The cello is more than a beautiful instrument, it’s my friend”, says Segev, meanwhile a mother of three. “Fortunately, my husband and my parents have helped me tremendously to maintain a balance between my career and my family,” she was quoted as saying in an interview with Cosmos in 2008.
She recalls how her Mom and grandmother had made it possible to buy her first good instrument, a Gaetano Rossi. When she got married, her husband knew how much she would love an ‘upgrade’. With the help of a loan from his employer, her new cello was a 1673 instrument built by Francesco Ruggieri, a contemporary of Stradivarius.
She also remembers one of many times her family supported her spontaneously and without hesitation:
“I was pregnant with the twins Joseph and Shira – now four, when I got a call from Christian Steiner at two in the afternoon. There was an emergency cancellation of a cellist who was supposed to perform that same night, and Christian wanted me to fill in. I knew the famous Messiaen’s score that was programmed, “Quartet for the End of Time”, and said ‘OK. I will do it’. My husband - bless his heart - rushed to the car rental and returned to chauffeur me and my cello for the four-hour ride. My Mom came to babysit Ariel, now six years old, and Steiner, star photographer to musicians and himself a concert pianist and artistic director of Tannery Pond, was thrilled that I made it in time, pregnant and all.”
Segev’s last minute performance at the prestigious summer chamber music series at Tannery Pond in the Berkshires was a big success; in 2010, she returned for the third time, with pianist Alon Goldstein.
She often performs with musicians she has known for a long time, such as former Aldo Parisot student, Jian Wang, one of the stars of Parisot’s Yale cello ensemble.
When I meet with her just before the great snowstorm at the end of December, she had just returned from an Israeli Consulate co-sponsored concert tour that had taken Goldstein and her to Beijing, Wuhan and Zhengzhou.
Every now and again, ‘old’ connections even create new opportunities. This was the case when pianist Alon Goldstein recently introduced Segev to Avner Dorman, the young Israeli composer whose mandolin concerto for Israeli mandolinist Avi Avital just received a Grammy nomination (see my article http://blogcritics.org/music/article/notes-on-the-grammy-nomination-party/).
Dorman will now compose a cello concerto for Segev.”It will be an interesting process”, she says. “I wanted something Middle Eastern for the cello. It’s going to be difficult, but I like challenging scores.”
Dorman’s composition will not be the first concerto written for her: Accompanied by the Polish Radio National Symphony, she had recorded a cello concerto by American composer Max Schubel for the Opus One label in 2001.
Neither will it be the first recording with a Jewish connotation:
“I discovered I have something to offer there”, says Segev, who does not describe herself as observant, but rather as someone who likes a little bit of tradition. As an Israeli, she also identifies with her cultural heritage.

Inbal Segev
In 2004, Segev released her third solo CD, “Nigun”, a compilation of Jewish music, under the VOX label.
Back in 1991, she had her orchestral debut performance with the Israeli Philharmonic and the Berlin Philharmonic under Zubin Mehta. She remembers the strong impression her early experience of performing with Maestro Mehta had made on her:
”At the time I was 17. That was back in 1991, and we performed at the Tel Aviv Mann Auditorium. I played Beethoven’s ‘Triple Concerto’; Guy Braunstein was the violinist and Itamar Golan was the pianist. Mehta was very complimentary and his backstage manner had a calming effect on me.... he was so sensitive to the soloist. He gave the right support without imposing his tempo. His musical ideas were clear, and I felt I could communicate what I wanted with ease.”
Segev continues to perform with many distinguished artists, but she regards being a co-founding member of the “Amerigo Trio” as one of the greatest commitments of her career.
It was at Bowdoin/Maine, where violinist and concertmaster of the New York Philharmonic, Glenn Dicterow, heard Segev perform for the first time. As a result, Dicterow and his wife, as well as viola player, Karen Dreyfus, and Segev herself realized that playing chamber music together could add a wonderful dimension to everybody’s life. In 2007, the group decided that what the Maine Sunday Telegram had called an “extraordinary interchange of musical thought” needed to be formalized. This led to the official founding of the trio in the summer of 2009. Since then, Amerigo has performed at some of the most prestigious concert series in the United States, including Lorin Maazel's Castleton Festival in Virginia, in the summer of 2010. Maazel, the former music director of the New York Philharmonic, had inaugurated the Castleton Festival on his Virginia estate the previous year. “Living at the house of Maestro Maazel for a week, who is enigmatic and very knowledgeable – he also speaks seven languages - was a charming experience”, says Segev. “I taught some students of the orchestra and we (the Amerigo trio) performed, of course.”

Amerigo Trio
The trio just completed its debut recording of serenades by Beethoven and Dohnanyi, to be released in 2011 under the Navona Records label. The ambition of the trio, named after the Italian explorer Amerigo Vespucci, is to explore the riches of the string trio repertoire, both old and new. Strad Magazine praised Amerigo’s style, purpose and captivating energy.

Photographer Chris Lee is responsible for the trio’s photographs; the ones capturing Segev with her cello are taken by her cousin, photographer Ephrat Zalishnick. Looking at these images, one sees a multi-faceted woman, confidently slipping from her role as mother and homemaker into the role of performer.

The trio’s website: http://www.amerigotrio.com/
Inbal Segev’s website: http://www.inbalsegev.com/
Rich Text
Article first published as Inbal Segev - A Love Story with the Cello on Blogcritics.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Book Review Beyond Talent: Creating a Successful Career in Music by Angela Myles Beeching


My job is to help musicians turn dreams into action plans that lead to success”, says veteran music career counselor and educator, Angela Myles Beeching, herself a classically trained cellist. The second edition of her successful career manual, Beyond Talent, published by Oxford Press in November 2010, offers comprehensive updates on developments in the music industry, particularly as they relate to the much expanded role of the Internet.

Beeching also provides inspiring examples of innovative musicians who successfully managed to create new communication channels by exploiting market niches for presenting their art. These include novel combinations of classical with non-classical genres, and genre-blending collaborative works, many of them happening at non-traditional venues. Beeching’s examples prove that producing a concert, advertising it, and releasing one’s very own album are all within the artist’s reach, even in economically challenging times.

She stresses that a successful career is always based on a person’s initiative; it does not happen randomly and without goal-oriented effort. Artistic talent may provide a starting point, but it is the power of strategic planning that crafts a fulfilling life in music.

In short: Beeching empowers her readers to take the “magic wand” into their own hands.

According to her approach, “… it takes the courage to dream, the power to plan, and the will to get things done.”

Add to that an honest assessment of a person’s distinctiveness, strengths and weaknesses, and Beeching takes things a step further by offering tools to quantify and relate these personal assets and liabilities to the realities of the music market.
To help with the often unnecessarily terrifying task of having to “pitch” creative ideas and present them in entrepreneurial terms, she provides concise instructions and ‘handholding’ examples.

No doubt, Beeching’s long career as Director of Career Services at the New England Conservatory has provided her with unique insight into the realities of artists’ working lives. She, herself, is ready to move on: “While at NEC, I got a lot done, with great students and colleagues, and now I am enthusiastic about
exploring new opportunities”, she explains.


“For example, this year I've been a visiting consultant at Indiana University, focusing on a new initiative called Project Jumpstart, launched this past fall. It is fascinating work: I travel to Bloomington for eight weeklong "residencies," and in between work via Skype and email with a student team. The innovative piece of this project is that it's student-driven: the students are at the center of choosing workshop topics, speakers, moderating panels, and surveying the community.”

Describing her new projects further, she continues: “I see a key aspect of my role at IU as facilitating the development of student leaders. I've been meeting with both faculty members and students to learn what's most wanted and needed in terms of career development and entrepreneurship. We're looking to partner with the IU Johnson Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation and help students tap the wealth of learning opportunities cross-campus. In a large school with terrific opportunities for university-wide collaborations, the goal is to build a new model for career preparation, tailored to the specific needs of students at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music.”

And that’s not all: “Other projects include the Young Performers Career Advancement program, which I facilitate from January 7 to January 11 at the Arts Presenters Conference [in New York City], and at Chamber Music America I'm doing advising appointments and a workshop session on project management.”
Beeching is a co-founder of NETMCDO, The Network of Music Career Development Officers, and presents lectures and workshops at conferences for art administrators, music educators and performers.

On January 11, 2011, at 5PM, the Julliard Bookstore will host a one night event with Beeching, featuring a discussion and workshop based on her book, Beyond Talent: Creating a Successful Career in Music.

For more information on Project Jumpstart, go to http://www.music.indiana.edu/departments/offices/project-jumpstart/index.shtm



This article was first published by Ilona Oltuski at: http://blogcritics.org/books/article/book-reviewinterview-beyond-talent-creating-a/

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Pianist Spencer Myer deserves your applause




This is the translation of a German article of mine, originally published by Naxos, Germany. Even though the concert description relates to a dated event, I thought the article about pianist Spencer Myer, deserves an English audience.
Inbetween the article of 2009 and today, Spencer Myer was actively performing.Following a summer that included a return to the Bard Music Festival and debuts at the Colorado Music Festival and the Gina Bachauer International Piano Festival, Spencer Myer’s upcoming season is highlighted by performances with the Cleveland and Louisiana Philharmonic orchestras and the Baton Rouge, Glacier (MT), Richmond (IN) and San Juan symphony orchestras, as well as solo and collaborative recitals throughout the United States.
.... and here the article about his 2009 performance at New York's Merkin Hall:
The young pianist Spencer Myer has not gained world fame yet, but he definitely belongs to the select group of his generation, who is on its way to do so.
Astral, an organization founded in Philadelphia in order to support young musicians, featured his concert at Merkin Concert Hall in New York’s Upper Westside on Oct. 21. He confidently played a program that impressed by its unpretentious perfection.
When using the term ‘balance’ one would run the risk of being misunderstood. When used here ‘balance’ is not understood as a friendly way to describe boredom, but on the contrary – as an ideal quality.
Everything has to be seen in relation to each other when playing a piano: for example, what is loud and what is soft. Only the relatively slower pace of the whole piece determines the pace of a piano run. What matters is the relative progression within single nuances; it is only through these that the perfect sound is being produced. Technically perfect control of these nuances is the prerequisite for differentiated musical expressiveness.
But when does the musician’s temperament takes over the composers basic message, and, in spite of all complicated technical control challenges, to what degree is the musician able to concentrate solely on the music rather than on his efforts? Shouldn’t a musical performance keep certain effortlessness and inspire the audience? These are only a few of many possible questions and contradictions that Spencer Myer solved in his concert in an extremely harmonious way.
The program itself offered an eclectic selection of different styles and thus not only provided for diversity, but it also proved that Spencer Myers has the mastery of the most varied characteristics of individual musical styles.
For example, in Georg Friedrich Handel’s Suite No.2 in F-mayor (HWV 427), Myer expressed very effectively the constant interplay between the leading melody and the harmonious substance to give a full theatrical expression.
Leos Janacek’s 1905 sonata 1.X, a rather difficult work, was a further program highlight presented by him with haunting presence.
For me the absolute highlight of the concert was Myer’s interpretation of four Schubert – Imprompti (Op.90). So far Eva Maria Pires’ rendition of the work has been the yardstick for me. Now I have to give Myers version equal status. Masterfully calculated in keeping steady the tempi and wonderfully differentiated in term of the tonal palette he wholeheartedly gave justice to these melodic gems.
His stylistic adaptability is also showcased in his very different treatment of former Jazz rhythms - just as in Aaron Copland’s piano variations. El amor y la muerte (love and death) and Los requiebros (flattery), both from the Goyescas-cycle gave Spencer Myer enough opportunity to have free reign to his charm. Still the intimate and somewhat ‘wicked’ dance rhythms never lost their character.
An enthusiastic audience and standing ovations for Myer who thanked them by playing two encores: One piece, that is a must on any of his concerts – Debussy’s Possoin d’Or – and, as a very special treat, Gershwin’s’ Embraceable You, arranged by Earl Wilde, concluded the evening in the almost completely sold out venue.
Even before this wonderful evening I already had the opportunity to engage in a person-to-person conversation. In regards to his somewhat disappointing Van Cliburn ranking - still one of the most important international competitions - he had to say the following:
“Fortunately, I have closed this chapter of my life; nevertheless I would say, these competitions have given me performance and networking opportunities. Very often people approached me: ‘I like your way of playing, please give me your business card.’ Then in 2004 I won the UNISA Competition in South Africa, resulting in seven performances with orchestra and many long-time relationships. In 2010 further performances in South Africa are planned.“
I am very interested in how artists get into their art.
Are you waking up one day knowing that you have a vocation to become a pianist? Are you growing into this role or are overeager parents or a teacher pushing you into this career that you like and are able to pursue quite successfully, but that was never meant to support a livelihood?
In that regard each artist has his very own story to tell.
Myer remembers: “As a six year old I was standing in line with my mother in order to get into the baseball team. Suddenly I realized that I actually rather play the piano and broke the news to my mother. Fortunately, she was understanding and I was allowed to take piano lessons.“
And he continued: “I wouldn’t call myself a child prodigy. I had the talent and love for piano playing, but I also had a very balanced childhood in a good social setting.“
This might well explain Myers balanced attitude to the multiple challenges he faces continuously as a concert pianist: “you shouldn’t take things too seriously. You prepare as well as you can, also in order to evolve, and this is where you give your best. When you take disappointments too seriously, they can almost kill you.
Since 2003 Myers is in good hands. Like Simone Dinnerstein he became a member of Astral that presented his solo performance and orchestra – debut in Philadelphia in the same year.
For every prospective pianist it is quite crucial who could be the most suitable teachers. Of course, that is always a subjective decision and pragmatic considerations always play a major role here. Like many of his contemporaries Spencer Myer had a number of teachers whose methodologies varied quite substantially: sometimes starting with the fingers, sometimes with the arm in relaxed position - approaches of the respective teacher were very different depending on the specific school of thought and tradition which, of course, might easily lead to confusion.
Among Myer’s teachers were highly respected, partially quite well-known figures that enjoyed the reputation of great masters and were able to offer many wonderful insights. For example, there was Joseph Schwarz, associated by tradition to the legendary Rosina Lhevienne, or Peter Takacs, student of Leon Fleischer – both actively performing artists whose influence was certainly very inspiring.
While in college Myer noticed some discomfort while playing the piano and this discomfort was reflected in muscle tensions especially the muscles below the elbow. Myer heard then for the first time about the Taubman-technique from piano students of the Oberlin-Professor Robert Shannon, a technique that featured a video analysis of physical movements that are natural when playing the piano. The revolutionary concept already had its initial success. In her Brooklyn studio Dorothy Taubman succeeded in releasing Robert Shannon from pain while he was playing the piano – a cure that encouraged Shannon to further disseminate Taubman’s teachings.
After having been accepted at New York’s Julliard School Master program Myer finally met Julian Martin who became the most important and most decisive influence in his career. It was Martin, a student of Fleischer, who gave him an idea about an inspirational path to connect the analytical and technical thinking and musical structure.
In 2003 Myer participated - with the International Contemporary Ensemble - as a pianist in the recording of the premiere of Huang Ruo’s Chamber Concerto-cycle. His first own CD was recently released by Harmonia Mundi USA.
For Allan Kozinn of the New York Times, this concert was number 2 of the top 10 moments in classical music in 2003.
The generous support of his education by the American Pianist Association in 2006 was yet another milestone in Myer’s life.
In the meanwhile Spencer Myer completed his PhD; although he still sees himself primarily as an active performing artist, he nevertheless believes that this - by no means - has to rule out an academic career. In the forthcoming year he will fill in for his former teacher Peter Takacs at Oberlin College for the duration of one year.
His well-balanced personality is not only reflected in his piano playing, but permeates his whole attitude towards life: “I love my work and I feel good as a musician. My friends are mainly musicians and the shared lifestyle is something that connects. I hope to play many concerts with orchestras and to increase the number of my regular performances. But I also like to be flexible and love change. Myer says quite humbly: “I don’t feel like a loser if I don’t perform with the New York Philharmonic every year.”
It is my very belief that that exactly might soon become reality. Spencer Myer definitely deserves your applause.