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Piano Animals at Webshop Donemus

From now on my Piano Animals for four and six hands can be ordered at Donemus:

Piano Animals Four Hands to be ordered at Donemus
Piano Animals Six Hands to be ordered at Donemus

As it has been written in the preface:
The purpose of this book is to compose pieces for four hands piano that are not very difficult to play. The pieces have a very logical structure that is easy to memorise, although they seem te be more complicated.
These pieces can be played by beginners after two or three years of piano lessons, as long as they have some sense of rhythm. They are intended for everyone with a playful spirit, independent of age. They might also be interesting for more advanced students because of the challenge to play exactly together.
It could help to listen to audio examples. You can hear them via the link below:

The picture below is from Pinterest, if anyone disagrees because of Copyright I will remove it.

Schermafbeelding 2018-03-30 om 16.28.53

Piano Trio Day for Early Learners in London

On October 21 a Piano Trio Day for Early Learners will be organized by the British Piano Trio Society. I feel very honoured to have been invited as one of two speakers at this Chamber Music Festival for early learners. Some of the piano trios from the books ‘Piano Trios for Young Players’ will be performed:
Book 1 and 2 Young Players (audio)
Book 3 Young Players (audio)

If you scroll down, you can find a summary of the Piano Trio Day in October 21, 2018 at Watford (near London).

Link to Piano Trio Society

A trio of young players

A trio of young players

Page 1

Page 1

Page 2

Page 2

Summary written by Christine Talbot-Cooper

Reactie op ‘Twelve’ voor altviool

Dit vind ik toch zo’n fijn bericht! Inmiddels ligt het manuscript bij Donemus om gepubliceerd te worden.

“Hallo Heleen- a student of mine just played your piece- Andante voor Altviool- at a house concert for’Dag in De Branding’ in Den Haag- he sent me this message:
‘twelve/andante was a hit at the concert yesterday! You should encourage the composer to publish it – public really enjoyed it!
I think he is right!!”

Asdis Valdimarsdottir

Twelve MP3 gedeelte (hele stuk ± 7 minuten. Live opname gespeeld door Asdis Valdimarsdottir.)

Gedeelte 'Twelve' voor altviool

Gedeelte ‘Twelve’ voor altviool

Interview ‘Intermezzo’ about composing

Questions from ‘Intermezzo’ about composing:
1. What and where do/did you study? When did you graduate?
I studied classical piano at the Hilversums Conservatorium with Frans van Dalen and Fania Chapiro. I graduated in 1989. I started to compose after my study. It started writing pieces for piano students, because sometimes I couldn’t find suitable pieces for beginners and intermediate level. Gradually I started to write larger works. I learned to compose by studying and playing works of great composers. In the beginning I wrote in a more Romantic style. The very first piece I wrote in a more atonal style was selected to be performed in Paradiso at Gaudeamus Muziekweek in 2006. I decided to study composition after I won the first prize at Calefax Composers Contest in 2009. I studied a few years with composer Jeff Hamburg.
2. A composition of yours has been recently published by EMA , could you tell us something about this piece? For example: Why did you write this piece? What is it about? What instrument(s) did you write for and why?
Two compositions of mine have been published by EMA: Etude Furioso and Waves.
Etude Furioso I wrote because a piano collegue of mine, Janece Milos, was gathering etudes for her advanced students. Then Daan from EMA asked composers to write etudes to be gathered in a book. I decided to contribute with this etude. Maybe I will write more etudes in future. I wrote Waves because there are few passionate pieces for three pianists at one piano. I love to write pieces for students that sound much more complicated than they really are. Of course the rhythms of Waves are not easy, but it can be memorized quite well.
Waves was written with a nod to composer Simenon ten Holt, whose famous “Canto Ostinato” has mesmerized many musicians and listeners. Waves is much easier and shorter than the wonderful piece by Ten Holt, bit it poses its own rhythmical challenges.
3. Are there works by other composers that seriously impressed you or influenced your work? Composing is like (a spiritual path in) life: you are always looking further.. just repeating yourself is no real development. When I started to compose, I was influenced by the classical composers like Bach and Mozart. Later I tried to write in a more Romantic style, like Liszt and Chopin. Then I started to research atonal music. Right now I am most influenced by all kinds of world music: Syrian, Spanish, African (Zulu). In 2013 I won the first prize in a Spanish competition (Hispa Song) with a composition based on an old Spanish strophic text about a bull fighter who is killed by the bull. Perhaps there is also a little Albeniz and Granados in my work.
4. When did you start composing? Do you remember what you wrote back then?
I seriously started composing with a Prelude and a Fugue, a little bit in the style of Bach. I just wanted to “proof” that I understood the rules of composition. Like Mondriaan started to paint real trees, before he continued making cubes. ;-) After that I wrote a Piano Trio in classical style (“Tango Trio” also this trio is already influenced by world music: Argentinian Tango). It was even published by Broekmans & van Poppel and I was very proud of that. My first published work! :-)
But when I go back further: as a child, about 8 years old, I was already correcting scores of “other” ;-) composers.. it alway stroke me when I read and played something that didn’t match with my ears.. I started correcting the scores on “wrong” notes with a pencil. So the character of the composer was already there! I only didn’t know that I could also write my own music. This idea popped up later.
5. Is there anything else you’d like to share in Intermezzo?
For me composing is like meditation: when I compose, I forget everything around me: I am in flow. For me it is one of the greatest things to do. I feel very grateful having the chance of doing this.

You can hear my compositions at:
When you click: ‘composities’ or ‘composities voor iedereen vanaf 5 jaar’ of ‘piano trios’ you can hear my pieces, also the pieces I mentioned above.

Intermezzo is a publication of Edition MatchingArts.

Bernard Duerksen

On the 10th of July I spoke about the masterclass of Bernard Duerksen. Bernard began playing the piano by ear at 5. His early training included studies with Hilda Reimer, followed by instruction from pianists Peter Katin, Jane Coop, Robin Wood, John-Paul Bracey, and composers Peter-Paul Koprowski and Gerhard Wuensch. He has been actively teaching and adjudicating for 31 years. His students are frequent prize winners in festivals.

I try to to highlight some expressions or things he said during the masterclass:

- Bernard compared the beginning of ‘Ecossaise’ from Hummel as if someone throws a stone into the water: big splash. This is a very vivid picture!
- You choose for your fingers, don’t let your fingers choose for you!
- A second time something must always sound different
- Two or more notes in a row don’t have the same loudness: knock it off!
- A musician must look ahead while you are here! Like a pilot in an aeroplane. A performer has to be ahead.
- Play slow, think fast.. look where you are going!
- Edison didn’t invent the lightbulb at once.. it took him some time. You don’t have to do everything perfect at once, either.. as long as you are doing your best.
- Minuet: don’t dance in boots but in slippers. If you do to much rubato in a Minuet, the dancers will fire you!
- Practise that everything is alright before you start. No rush.
- Soft tone is less and slower movement, loud tone is bigger and faster movement of your fingers
- Overdo: if you want your right hand to sound loud, play it two times louder than necessary..
- Dynamics: don’t only think dynamics, but DO them
- Wild Rider/Schumann: rider has to been thrown from the horse. Roller coster. Don’t be polite!
- Little Waltz/Gurlitt: solo instrument with orchestra
- Practise your skills

Bernard Duerksen

Bernard Duerksen