The idea of creating an event where composers would perform their own music came to me while having conversation with my friend Melanie Spanswick and before too long, I was already discussing it with the composer whose music I publish. Heather Hammond – ‘Ballads Without Words‘, Melanie Spanswick – ‘Snapchats‘ piano duets and ‘Digressions’ modern pieces for piano, Paul Birchall ‘Daily Expressions’ vol 1 and vol 2, and Marcel Zidani – ‘Butterflies‘ Romantic Étude have gracefully accepted my invitation and the date was set. All who took part in the event are very grateful to the staff at Steinway Hall London for including our event in their calendar and providing a superb Steinway grand piano worth nearly 100K for the recital!
Right from the moment I published my first book, I knew that in order for the new music to have a chance, it needs to be played as often as possible. Over the years, I have organised many exciting events where young students performed my pieces in lessons and exams, in concerts and festivals, for charity and even live on the BBC Radio.
I was most delighted to welcome those who attend recitals at Steinway Hall regularly and young students from the Encore Music School, London accompanied by their Head Teacher Liz Giannopoulos, who is also Director of the Battersea Piano Festival in London. Liz commented:
“The children have all chosen a new tune to learn and we even got a shot of all of them playing beautiful grand pianos – unprompted practice!”
I was great to see Terry Luddington, CEO of the British & International Festival Federation, Lyn Luddington and Gwen Radcliffe and Dian Awdry of Oundle Music & Drama Festival among the guests. Elena Cobb Star Prize classes are now included in nine festivals in the UK. If you reading this and would like to find out more, please go to this page.
As I publish piano sheet music for the educational market, it was particularly nice to include two very talented guest performers in the programme. Aidan Nagpaul (5yo) played beautifully ‘I Ate All the Choc’late‘ from ‘Higgledy Piggledy Jazz‘ (late beginner to intermediate level) and even included an improvised section. Aidan is taught by Teuta Koco. Alanna Crouch (8yo) gave a stunning performance of my ‘Arabia Étude-Tableaux‘, an advanced level composition in Romantic style. Alanna is taught by Tom Donald of London Mayfair School of Piano.
Heather Hammond has written a brand new piano duet ‘The Wheels Of Time‘ just in time for this event and it was premiered by The Darina Piano Duo – Alla Levit and Antonina Koleva Lax. The duet is a dynamic concert repertoire piece which would suit students at intermediate level.
I want to say a huge thank you to everybody who came to the event, who performed and to those who continue supporting me by buying the books I publish!
I am delighted to announce a forthcoming Piano Recital at Steinway Hall London on November 24th, Tuesday at 6.30. Five very talented contemporary composers Melanie Spanswick, Marcel Zidani, Elena Cobb, Heather Hammond and Paul Birchall will be performing a selection of piano pieces from their recently published books in one hour event followed by a drinks reception.
To reserve your free place and request a complimentary book signed by the composer, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Free piano workshop at Yamaha Music Store in London will take place on the September 10th, Thursday. It will start at 11am and will finish at 13pm. Following the amazing success of our first in series free workshops last June, Melanie Spanswick and I could not wait to make an announcement about this second date! For full details for the free workshop at the Yamaha Music Store please check out the poster.
Also, please take a note for another event in your calendar. I will be proudly presenting a unique recital with works of living composers whose books I publish. Melanie Spanswick, Heather Hammond, Paul Birchall and Marcel Zidani will be performing and introducing their music to the audience at the prestigious Steinway Hall in London on November 24th. As Gail Fischler is in the US, I will be stepping in for her!
Back to the September event at the Yamaha Music Store!
For the first time I will be giving a full introduction to my piano method book for the beginners ‘My Piano Trip To London. The book is a very exciting new method based on the original tunes which will lead beginners of any age to creative piano playing in general and improvisation as a whole. My objective is to re-invent a linear progression to the beginners methods without being dull and give fresh alternatives without being overly method-driven.
I love this review from Amazon which perfectly depicts what I am working on to achieve.
“One of the most striking and unusual features of the book is its unwillingness to be pigeon-holed as yet another children’s method. Billed as “utterly amazing piano adventures for complete beginners”, the book certainly provides all the material that a creative teacher would need in order to be used as a complete beginner method.”
Melanie Spanswick will continue her presentation with her advice about teaching those pesky scales and arpeggios. She invites teachers to take part and participate in the workshop as she believes that it would be the best way to try out her advice.
Scales and arpeggios frequently cause grief, both for the students practising them and for the teachers who feel obliged to teach them too! This workshop will provide tips, and food for thought about the many ways to work at scales; hopefully improving fingering, rhythm, and coordination, all done in conjunction with learning and digesting key signatures and note patterns.
The presentation will commence with a brief ‘scale’ background, why they are necessary (and are not just pesky exercises learnt for exams), and how to incorporate them into daily practice sessions. It will then focus on tips with demonstrations at the piano, with ideas and strategies to allow more flexibility and technical freedom in scale playing and will finish with audience participation, with a few willing audience members trying out some of the suggestions discussed in the presentation.