Kenneth Slowak taught a master class at the Levine School of Music on 22 May 2001. A master class, for those who haven't witnessed one, is a chance for music students to perform a piece and get immediate feedback from an expert. Sometimes the criticism is scathing, a flamethrower blast crafted to show who's the master and who isn't. In the best of cases, however, a master class is a high-bandwidth learning opportunity for the performers and for everyone who has a chance to listen in. Slowak's was such a class --- gentle, fun-filled, productive, and inspirational. Among his remarks:

Near the end of his final commentary, on a Beethoven trio for violin, cello, and piano, Kenneth Slowak told a story about how Beethoven and a rival used to meet for competitive improvisational duels. At one such encounter, Ludwig took his opponent's cello music, ostentatiously turned it upside down, and proceeded on the spot to build a brilliant piece from it. "That's the kind of humor, wit --- almost vulgarity --- that you need to put into this piece!" Slowak suggested.

And that was how he taught the class ... with humor and wit, that is. Masterfully.

Monday, June 04, 2001 at 05:47:37 (EDT) = 2001-06-04

TopicArt - TopicPersonalHistory - TopicProfiles

(correlates: ParkwayDelay, GoForBaroque, PianoRecital, ...)