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Speaking of Pianists » Blog Archive » Piano Frenzy

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    Piano Frenzy

    The Philadelphia Inquirer ran a story recently about the resurgence of classical music study in China. According to the piece, “Chinese parents urge their children to excel at instrumental music with the same ferocity that American parents (urge) theirs to perform well in soccer or Little League.” An estimated 40 million children in China take piano lessons, and piano sales there - the strongest in the world - amount to 200,000 a year.

    “We call it ‘piano fever,’ ” said Liang Maochun, a professor of musicology at Beijing’s Central Conservatory of Music. Students who graduate from high school with a “special ability” such as playing classical music have an edge when applying to college.

    Piano study seems to offer students of all ages many advantages, a fact recognized and studied by an increasing number of scientists and educators.

    Portland is about to experience its own “piano frenzy” in a few weeks. The Portland International Piano Festival brings some of the world’s finest artists to our community from July 12th through July 20th. The five recitals presented during the event feature music from Machaut (died 1377) through Kurtag (born 1926). The Festival, celebrating its 10th anniversary in July, has its home in the beautiful World Forestry Center near the Oregon Zoo and the Children’s Museum.

    Watch this space beginning next week for previews of the Festival.

    For complete details visit http://portlandpiano.org/festival/2008/artists.html

    Strangest piano headline of the week – from Rome:

    “Italian MPs play politics like a piano”

    Several members of the Italian Parliament have been caught on camera voting not only using their own voting console but also any voting console nearby that is free. The nimble action resembles playing the piano, hence the name.

    “It’s a real disgrace that has to stop,” said Gianfranco Fini, the speaker of the lower house. “These pianists are casting a shadow over all of our work,” he added.

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