The Listening Room

Sir Andras Schiff is among the most talented second generation pianists of the 20th century & one of the greatest interpreters of Bach’s music.  I appreciate him more as time goes on. I still remember him as a young man though. He plays Bach and I think, “Yes. I understand.”  This year he will be performing the complete Book 2 at the Proms.


One of the greatest musical influences in my life was Ivan Moravec.   I remember searching through the record section at the New Westminster library for help understanding Smetana when I discovered him.  Arguably the best interpreter of Debussy and Chopin yet rarely heard in North America.  A true Czech treasure.

Mark Westcott – Ravel Piano Concerto at the Sydney Opera House, 1983 – Louis Fremeaux Conductor.  Such a fearless performer!

Rudolph Serkin and the New York Philharmonic conclude Beethoven’s Emperor Concerto with Zubin Mehta conducting

The Old-Time Piano Contest held each Memorial Day weekend at the Hotel Pere Marquette in Peoria, IL.
2010 – Adam Swanson plays Tiger Rag by Jelly Roll Morton.  Although fresh out of High School, Adam placed #1 in the Regular Division Championship for the 3rd year in a row. Luckily for the other contestants, he will no longer be eligible to compete.

Liberace performing The Bumble Boogie, otherwise known as The Flight of The Bumblebees taken from his classic hit television series of the 50’s.  Love the wink!!

A Night in Casablanca (1946) Harpo Marx was in his late 50’s but his body could still readily perform physical feats that might challenge a man half his age.  Here the self-taught Harpo is transported into a space reserved exclusively for prodigies. Take a look at his face. He looks like he’s listening to the music of the spheres.


excerpts from the 1983 Grammy award show opening featuring Count Basie, Little Richard, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Ray Charles.  This performance was also meant to include Elton John and Billy Joel but they were feuding and sat it out in the audience……


John Ogdon:  The pianist as composer.  As a pianist, he was a colossal talent – He won first prize at the London Liszt Competition in 1961 and consolidated his growing international reputation by winning another first prize at the International Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow in 1962, jointly with Vladimir Ashkenazy.