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Piano Lessons with Claudio Arrau provides an insider's view of the art of piano performance as exemplified by one of the great artists of the twentieth century. Chilean pianist Claudio Arrau devoted his life to the piano and its music. As a child prodigy, he gained national recognition from government officials in Chile, including President Pedro Montt, who funded Arrau's education in Germany. Arrau studied in Berlin with Martin Krause, a pupil of Franz Liszt, and later immigrated to New York City where he taught and mentored a sizeable group of pupils while at the same time managing an international performing career. Arrau's profound musical insight and unique style of teaching inspired his pupils and motivated them to teach his principles to the next generation of students.
This in-depth study of Arrau's principles and philosophy of technique and performance draws on information from published interviews with Arrau, from numerous interviews with Arrau's pupils, and from the author's experience in studying piano with two of them. Transcripts of actual lessons given by Arrau and preserved on tape present in his own words a detailed account of his technical and interpretive ideas about five major works of the piano repertory. References to over one hundred examples from Arrau's filmed recordings enable readers to observe the elements of Arrau's famed technique in action.
Victoria von Arx is a currently a member of the music faculty at the University at Albany and an active performer of piano and chamber music. She has written articles appearing in the Journal of the Society for American Music, the International Dictionary of Black Composers, and the RiD'im Newsletter.
"The impact of the teaching of Claudio Arrau (1903-1991), one of the most admired pianists of the twentieth century, is documented in this monograph." --The Beethoven Journal
"This engaging book is of indispensable importance to students and professionals. It clarifies the development of the physical approach to the keyboard and the musical demands imposed by the evolution of the instrument. Using countless valuable references and details never before seen in one publication, Victoria von Arx documents Claudio Arrau's teachings and his use of the body in a natural way without ever losing musical depth." Maestro Germán Diez
"In this well-researched and important book, Victoria von Arx illustrates the teaching legacy of Claudio Arrau, capturing the great inspiration as well as the precise technical instruction communicated by this giant of the piano." Ena Bronstein Barton, Westminster College of the Arts, Rider University
"...[A] much-deserved, revealing tribute." --Internationa Piano