Alec Nevala-Lee

Thoughts on art, creativity, and the writing life.

Performing and informing

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Joanna MacGregor

Personally, I see no meaningful difference between performing and informing. When you study the historical models for pianists, you find they spent their lives informing—often about music that had just been written, often music of their own or in their own transcription—and that was how they defined themselves.

One of the things I discussed in my lecture, and it’s on the blackboard, is the extent to which Bach was keenly aware of what was going on around him, of contemporary styles other than his own. You see it time and again in the Goldberg, and I find most composers today share that curiosity. But not performers. Young pianists get trapped into thinking all the time about technique and leave themselves a depressingly narrow view of repertoire, with no concern for their wider role as musicians.

Joanna MacGregor

Written by nevalalee

March 23, 2014 at 9:00 am

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