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Ron Jeremy, a not terribly tiny pianist and a harmonica man

If you heard about the 7" record released for Record Store Day, "Understanding and Appreciating Classical Music with Ron Jeremy," you know Ron Jeremy plays piano with some level of proficiency and flair, and you could probably guess that he throws some crass humor into his act (yes, that's his favorite classical music/pianist joke, he drops it a lot). Ron f*cknig Jeremy also blows the harmonica (NSFW words and vaguely unsafe images), and shares his love of Christian worship music with a fairly rough rendition of Amazing Grace on the harmonica. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Sep 3, 2014 - 17 comments

Valentina Lisitsa: the Bieber of Classical music goes minimal

Valentina Lisitsa is a classical pianist who credits her current fame to YouTube, where she has uploaded more than 200 videos of her performances. Were it not for the popularity of these videos (Beethoven "Moonlight" Sonata op 27 # 2 Mov 3 - 7 million views; Beethoven "Für Elise" - 4 million; Liszt "La Campanella" - 3 million), she would be, in her own words, "totally dead" in "the age of child prodigies". Her newest work is not a thousand notes a minute as featured in some of her popular videos, but more minimal, as heard in "The Heart Asks Pleasure First," the first track from her album (Soundcloud snippet preview of all tracks) of music by minimalist composer Michael Nyman. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on May 8, 2014 - 12 comments

Trying to understand Glenn Gould

Of the many available documentaries about the pianist Glenn Gould, "Genius within - The inner life of Glenn Gould" is one of the more thoughtful ones. [more inside]
posted by Namlit on Aug 3, 2013 - 16 comments

The pianist Van Cliburn has died

Van Cliburn, the internationally celebrated classical pianist whose triumph at a 1958 Moscow competition helped thaw the Cold War and launched a spectacular career. has passed away in Texas today at age 78.
posted by Seekerofsplendor on Feb 27, 2013 - 41 comments

The Pianist

Yuja Wang (official site / wikipedia) is a 24-year old, Chinese virtuoso classical pianist who became an overnight sensation in 2007 when she filled in after piano legend Martha Argerich, cancelled a performance with the Boston symphony. Since then, Ms. Wang has become a superstar in her own right, hailed by critics for her precise, passionate performances and lightning-fast technique. But after a recent appearance on-stage in a short red dress and high heels led to a critic's complaint about her outfit, others are now weighing in on whether it is appropriate for a female classical musician to wear revealing clothing. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Aug 15, 2011 - 104 comments

Music is god

Dancing under the gallows (SYLT) A trailer for an upcoming documentary traces the life of concert pianist Alice Herz-Sommer, the worlds oldest Holocaust survivor.
posted by the noob on Nov 5, 2010 - 7 comments

a towering, glittering icon from an era now past mumbles a barely heard farewell as he slips out the back door...

Perhaps it's best my grandmother didn't live to see this day: the Liberace Museum, located in the besequined showman's old stomping grounds of Las Vegas, is closing, and that would have saddened her. Maybe it's time for all of us to brush up on our early Liberace history. And let's hear the sparkling man, resplendent in gold, take Mack the Knife through some changes. Farewell, Liberace.
posted by flapjax at midnite on Sep 18, 2010 - 66 comments

Mitsuko Uchida

Three-time Gramophone Award winner, Dame of the Empire, and, by consensus, the world's greatest living performer of Mozart's keyboard works, Mitsuko Uchida also gives great piano face. [more inside]
posted by Joe Beese on Jan 16, 2010 - 13 comments

Leo Ornstein: The Sonata on the Edge and the Chaos Beyond.

Leo Ornstein is generally considered to have been one of the greatest pianists of the early twentieth century. His performances of works by avant-garde composers and his own innovative and even shocking pieces made him a cause célèbre on both sides of the Atlantic. By the mid-1920s, he had walked away from his fame and soon disappeared from popular memory. And although he passed away in 2002, the internet still remembers him and his amazing legacy of work. At this website dedicated to the artist and his work, you can read all about him as well as listen to many of his scores and MP3s-on-demand. There's also readable sheet music here at the International Music Score Library Project . And there's a register of archived documents spanning Leo's career over at Yale University's website. [more inside]
posted by Effigy2000 on Sep 3, 2008 - 7 comments

A New Mozart?

5 Year Old Adopted South Korean Blind Piano Prodigy Yoo Ye-eun can play songs after hearing them once. Watch her perform with Britain's Got Talent's Connie Talbot in a South Korean TV show called "Star King".
posted by MythMaker on Jul 13, 2008 - 29 comments

On Victor Borge

A world-class comedian, Victor Borge could please a crowd with his Phonetic Punctuation or Inflationary Language bits. But he was also a brilliant pianist, as showcased when he improvised an impressive encore to a piece he had only heard and never played before, much to his apparent delight. Still better was when he'd merge the two passions, like in Page-Turner or The Minute Waltz. He entertained for more than 75 years, performing up to 60 shows even at 90 years old. He died peacefully in 2000, just two days after performing a concert in Denmark, on the blue here, before dots were all the rage. [more inside]
posted by disillusioned on Feb 18, 2008 - 29 comments

Renato Carosone, pride of Napoli.

This is just too charming and endearingly goofy to miss: Renato Carosone's Tu Vuo' Fa' L'Americano (You're Acting All American). See also: O Sarracino, Torero and Maruzella.
posted by flapjax at midnite on Dec 5, 2007 - 18 comments

I wish my brother George was here.

In 1956, Time Magazine wrote, "He is the summit of sex—the pinnacle of Masculine, Feminine and Neuter. Everything that He, She or It can ever want." (Wait. Seriously???) Behold the evolution of The Liberace Show: from dapper virtuoso to sequined, wacky showman. [more inside]
posted by miss lynnster on Oct 30, 2007 - 25 comments

I NEEDED THE MONEY!

We've previously agreed that Dr. Nina Simone created some amazing music. As a person, she was openly angry and, yes, a smidgen nuts. Big surprise... she was also not the easiest interview. (Big understatement.)
posted by miss lynnster on Jul 30, 2007 - 50 comments

Louis Gottschalk

Louis Moreau Gottschalk - an unjustly forgotten American composer of classical music
posted by Gyan on Sep 9, 2006 - 13 comments

Groovin' on Mount Everest

Matt Savage is a promising young jazz pianist whose trio recently performed at the Blue Note in New York City. He's also autistic. He's also 12.

(Challenges of raising an autistic child previously discussed here.)
posted by emelenjr on Nov 21, 2003 - 16 comments

Pianist Looks for Justice After Losing Finger

Pianist Looks for Justice After Losing Finger I'm sure there is a Cable TV movie in this somewhere. Expect dodgy accents and Prague passing itself off as Russia as usual. And Brian Dennehy as the head of customs.
posted by feelinglistless on Feb 22, 2003 - 6 comments

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