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Piano Concerti

Purpose of the Course

The purpose of this piano concerto coaching course is to provide students with an exciting and engaging musical experience through the exploration of the concerto repertoire. The concerto, with its unique combination of solo performance and orchestral accompaniment, offers a rich and dynamic range of human emotions and relationships. This course will challenge students to push their technical and musical abilities to their limits, as they delve into the diverse and vast piano concerto repertoire spanning various style periods. Through regular and consistent practice, students will work towards achieving technical and musical maturity, with a focus on individual growth and development. This course is designed for piano students seeking to expand their technical and musical abilities and to experience the thrill of performing in a concerto setting.

Required Materials

In this course, students will be required to study and perform Beethoven's Piano Concerto no. 4 in G Major, op. 58, Chopin's Piano Concerto no. 2 in F Minor, op. 21, Grieg's Piano Concerto in A Minor, op. 16 and Mozart's Concerto for Piano no. 21 in C Major, K. 467. These works represent some of the greatest contributions to the piano concerto genre, and will provide students with a diverse range of technical, musical, and stylistic challenges.

Daily practice is a necessary component of studio lessons and students are expected to come to each lesson prepared, having practiced the assigned literature, and sight-reading exercises. Additionally, students will be expected to focus on warm-up techniques and develop their technical, musical, and stylistic interpretation skills, which will enable them to be independent learners and perform music at a high level of musicality and artistry.

It is recommended that students practice at least two hours per day, including weekends, in order to make steady progress towards their goals. Each student is encouraged to work at their own pace, but should expect to be challenged and pushed to achieve their full potential.

Program Learning Outcome

• An understanding of the dramatic and conflict-prone nature of concerto performance and the interpersonal dynamics that can arise among musicians.
• Exposure to a diverse range of concerto repertoire from different style periods, allowing students to gain a superior knowledge of historical, theoretical, performance practice and pedagogical issues pertaining to the repertoire.
• Demonstrated technical and musical maturity through the performance of challenging concerto repertoire.
• Development of a consistent and focused practice routine, which will enable students to learn music independently.
• An ability to approach concerto repertoire with a deeper understanding of the aspirations of the individual and the challenges of making music in a collaborative setting.

Throughout the course, students will gain insight into the behind-the-scenes dynamics of concerto performance, including the potential for interpersonal conflict and the role of the soloist in a collaborative setting. Dr. Chen will also provide a behind-the-scenes glimpse at several incidents that illustrate the fragile egos and turf wars that seem to be an inevitable part of the business of making great music. But despite these challenges, the concerto remains a thrilling and genuinely theatric construct, representing the aspirations of the individual as they venture forth and make their way in a challenging environment.
Shostakovich Piano Concerto No. 1
18th Variation from Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini by Sergei Rachmaninoff
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Dr. Archie Chen is a Sony Classical Recording Artist
Archie Chen records for Sony Classical
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