The Honors Recital was held on November 27, 2011. This event featured the awards ceremony and all prize winners (and me!) performed to a very appreciative audience.
I was most impressed by the thorough preparation of the students – pretty much no grinding to a halt or memory lapses, good sounds being produced most of the time and, in my classes, a steady beat being maintained. I talked to the students about technical matters that would make the pieces feel better to play and that would make audiences feel more “drawn in”. Things like avoiding harsh sounds, playing with only finger weight when required, using arm weight to create orchestra-like effects - these and many other matters proved to be immediately helpful to the performers and immediately discernible sound-wise to the listeners. Here I am working with one of the young students:
I was also pleased to spend time with students who wanted to explore improvisation – in particular Marcus Daniel from Bangelore and Ron Cha from Assam. Here they are:
I also gave private lessons to 2 budding composers. Noshir Engineer from Bombay had written a fascinating programmatic piece called Encounter and Indusekhar Menon had penned a lovely romantic ballad called Guiding Light. For the latter piece, I improvised an altered version for him which he was able to take away on videotape.
My workshops were Unlocking Popular Styles and Getting Vertical - for both of these, I had lots of participation from the audience and it seemed to entertain and inform in equal measure.
I hope to get back to India to do some Christopher Norton Piano Festivals. It was a great week, impeccably organized. And the food was fantastic!
Here are some links for press coverage of the event: