Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Menahem Pressler: The Consummate Artist and Teacher

This afternoon was another reason I love my job.  Allan saw that Menahem Pressler was going to do a master class for Northwestern University students this week.  It was an opportunity to reconnect with someone he has respected for years and who was our guest artist back in 2001. He called and asked if he might be willing to coach two of our piano trios, and he graciously said "Yes!"  Mr. Pressler is Professor of Piano at Indiana University, and founding pianist in the Beaux Arts Trio.  This is the first chamber music ensemble I discovered on my journey of falling in love with classical music.  Before Allan started IU, I had discovered symphonies and solo bass repertoire (not too exciting, I'm sorry Allan and all you bassists out there!), but discovering chamber music and particularly the Beaux Arts Trio's recordings of the Mendelssohn piano trios, provided so much listening enjoyment.

This afternoon Mr. Pressler worked with Trio Bravo and Trio Fantastique, two of MYA's experienced piano trios.  The students quickly realized that this man knew their pieces. . . every note. . . every phrase. . . every nuance of the music.  And, he was quick to point out wrong notes!  It was just an unbelievable opportunity for the students to witness this amazing musician with a wealth of information.

Thank you, Mr. Pressler!
Trio Bravo:  Jorie Butler Geyer, violin; Hannah Kay, piano; James Stinehart, cello
Trio Fantastique:  Amy Pikler, violin; Frank Wu, piano; Emily Camras, cello

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