The Well-Tempered Ear

It’s time to start practicing for UW amateur Chopin concert in March | October 23, 2009

By Jacob Stockinger

Attention, amateur pianists, piano teachers and piano students of all ages!

It’s time to start practicing that favorite piece you play — or want to play — by Chopin: mazurka or waltz, etude or prelude, nocturne or impromptu.

And almost anyone who has studied the piano has studied and learned a piece by Chopin, the “Poet of the Piano” who lived from 1810 to 1849.


As part of the University of Wisconsin School of Music‘s celebration of the 200th birthday of Chopin next March 12-13, plans are to include an amateur “concert” where community members and students can perform a short Chopin work.

Here’s the word from Paola Savvidou, a UW piano graduate student and the head of Piano Partners, a support group to raise money for piano scholarships and to advertise upcoming piano events.

“We are planning on hosting an event next semester where we will invite amateur pianists from the Madison area to perform short Chopin works,” Savvidou emails The Ear. “This will go together with a presentation from us on Chopin’s Mazurkas and the Mazurka extravaganza (all the mazurkas played by UW students, graduate and undergraduate) concert in March.

“I will keep you posted on more details about the event as we get closer to it.

“It will be a great opportunity for us to connect with the community in that way and have the opportunity to celebrate Chopin’s legacy together.”

The Ear hopes to participate. Right now I’m looking at a couple of waltzes and several mazurkas and two nocturnes. Not sure which one is best to play and perform since I’d rather not duplicate pieces or compete with others. But Chopin’s body of work is so rich, it shouldn’t be a problem.

In related news, The Ear’s post of Aug. 24 said UW virtuoso Christopher Taylor would perform an all-Chopin concert on March 12. Updated information says Taylor will perform Chopin’s Sonata in B Minor and maybe some other works, but he will also play works by other composers. (Maybe Schumann since 2010 is also the 290th anniversary of Schumann’s birth?)

Will you perform Chopin?

Which piece?

Will you attend?

What do you think of the idea?

The Ear wants to hear.

Posted in Classical music

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