Passionate, irreverent and often opinionated discussions on all things piano related as well as interviews, news, tips and reviews.
Why I'm moving my students from ABRSM to Trinity- reviews of their new 2021 piano syllabuses
The Heart of the Piano Podcast is back with a review of the new piano syllabuses from ABRSM and Trinity, which take you from an Initial Grade to Grade 8. Listen to the podcast to discover some reasons why me and many other piano teachers are now defecting from ABRSM to Trinity!
Interview with Karl Lutchmayer- British-Indian Concert Pianist, Steinway Artist, Academic, and Rock Keyboardist!
An absorbing, enlightening and entertaining conversation with Karl Luthmayer- musical raconteur, international concert pianist, academic, rock star keyboardist and theremin player in a prog-rock band!
As well as chatting about Karl's career and piano playing, we discuss his fascinating research on facial expressiveness in piano performers, the history and aesthetics of piano concert arrangements, the explosion of interest in Western classical music in India, concert etiquette and reaching new audiences.
Narcissism- the Master Key to Understand How to Unlock Musicality and Performance?
An exciting and profound new episode that could transform the way you practice, learn and perform.
It's a long episode, but worth listening through to the end for important tips on deep musicality, easy (well... easier!) learning, and performing with less nerves.
Interview with Karen Bulmer of the Music, Mind, and Movement Podcast
I was so excited about interviewing Karen Bulmer that it only very recently occurred to me after recording the interview that Karen is not actually a pianist! But every musician will get so much from listening to this episode, and I think particularly us pianists who often have to juggle so many things happening at once in our music will really benefit from so much of the conversation between me and Karen.
Karen is an incredibly clear thinker and communicator, with thoughtful responses on some of my favourite topics such as skilful use of attention in practice and performance, narrow and wide focus, internal and external focus, perfectionism in classical music, meditation and music, beginner's mind, movement and music, and all that good stuff!
I very much recommend all musicians to check out the Music, Mind, and Movement Podcast that Karen runs- she's had some amazing guests and all the interviews are fantastic. In episode 9, Karen actually got a student to interview her, so you can hear a lot about her background and work there. Rather than repeat that format for this interview at Heart of the Piano, I thought it would be interesting to have more of a two-way conversation and go deeper into many of the topics dear to my heart that I've heard Karen's guests discuss on her podcast.
Interview with Adam Gatehouse, Artistic Director of the Leeds International Piano Competition
The Leeds International Piano Competition is one of the top 3 most important and prestigious piano competitions in the world, with previous finalists such as Murray Perahia, Mitsuko Uchida, András Schiff... and dozens more names that anybody familiar with classical pianists will recognise instantly as being in the top row of the best, most important, and most successful artists in the business.
The competition has always owed its strength and international presence to its founder Dame Fanny Waterman- after she recently stepped down from her role as Artistic Director, Adam Gatehouse and the pianist Paul Lewis took over the reigns as joint Artistic Directors (Paul Lewis has unfortunately since resigned from the post due to career commitments).
We already covered aspects of The Leeds (as the competition is more informally known) in episode 5 of the Heart of the Piano Podcast when I interviewed Benjamin Frith, who took part as a competitor in 2 separate years, and whose teacher is Dame Fanny Waterman. So it was a pleasure to be able to chat to Adam who very kindly gave us some of his time in the middle of the Leeds Piano Festival (a new annual offshoot of the competition!) which is currently running in Leeds (Yorkshire) and London.
Interview with Olga Georgievskaya, Russian Concert Pianist
Olga is not only a superb pianist- her CD shows off her deep soulful & expressive playing with a highly refined ear for counterpoint, layers and structure- but her concert transcription of the Vitali Chaconne for solo piano is an absolute masterpiece, and she has also done a PhD on polyphony in Rachmaninov... I absolutely had to interview her!
I'm afraid my enthusiasm for details about bells and the structure of the Rachmaninov 2nd Sonata made the beginning of this episode perhaps a little self indulgent! But from 8 minutes in, you can learn about how Rachmaninov was influenced by Russian folk music (and I guarantee this will be new information for you!), and we spend quite a while chatting about the importance of learning to really listen when developing as a pianist- particularly with counterpoint and polyphony.
Anybody who's serious about becoming a better pianist will pick up many important tips from the Russian School of Piano Playing which Olga explains passionately and clearly.
All audio clips are from Olga's CD 'Chaconnes & Songs'
Customer ReviewsSee All
Thanks for this podcast; although I’ve only heard a couple I’m looking forward to hearing the rest. Very interesting topics, useful advise and thought provoking conversations about the piano, music and performance.
I've just started using the 'deliberate practice' techniques described in here and they are definitely working! I do still have lots of questions though: I will try to get in touch to find out more. Thank you so much for the podcasts - they are really, really helping me.
This podcast is excellent. Bob and Andy are very enaging to listen to and they discuss their ideas/experiences in an accesible way. A must for pianists at any level, looking forward to more episodes!