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#1353226 - 01/19/10 08:03 AM Re: Is it possible to become a virtuoso...? [Re: BorisGodounov]
landorrano Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/26/06
Posts: 2572
Loc: France
Salut, Boris, et bienvenu!

And by the way, happily Keyboardklutz is there to say that he's a nice guy, nobody else will!

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#1353230 - 01/19/10 08:08 AM Re: Is it possible to become a virtuoso...? [Re: jazzwee]
TimR Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/17/04
Posts: 3635
Loc: Virginia, USA
Originally Posted By: jazzwee

It seems like everyone always misses why the OP in this case (and in practically all cases) ask the question. Once again here it is clear that the OP's primary goal is to be a Dentist -- not making a living as a Concert pianist.

Good insight.

I do think there are limitations to how far a late starter/hobbyist can progress.

But I also think those limits are far past the goals of the OP or of most hobbyists.

I do have a suspicion though. It's not related to the age, it's about the self-identification as a pianist and the committment. I'm not sure that those who want to play only for their own enjoyment, and never for performance or employment purposes, ever reach high levels of skill. I don't have any evidence of this, it's just a feeling. Maybe there's an analogy to sports - do those of us who play tennis for fun ever develop anywhere near the skills of those who compete on the tennis team?
gotta go practice

#1353232 - 01/19/10 08:21 AM Re: Is it possible to become a virtuoso...? [Re: keyboardklutz]
BorisGodounov Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 01/14/10
Posts: 6
Loc: France
Hi landorrano and Keyboardklutz, thank you.

The "nice" was implied, of course.
By "any" I mean "nearly any", as there will always be too complicated - sophisticated ? bits of music - few violonists, for example, can play the Paganini's 24 Caprices - I heard flaws in many a recording of this hardest opus, definitely not composed for anyone not virtuoso ;-)

Edited by BorisGodounov (01/19/10 08:25 AM)

#1353259 - 01/19/10 09:04 AM Re: Is it possible to become a virtuoso...? [Re: landorrano]
keyboardklutz Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/21/07
Posts: 10856
Loc: London, UK (though if it's Aug...
Originally Posted By: landorrano
And by the way, happily Keyboardklutz is there to say that he's a nice guy, nobody else will!
You'd be surprised.
snobbyish, yet maybe helpful.

#1353484 - 01/19/10 02:56 PM Re: Is it possible to become a virtuoso...? [Re: keyboardklutz]
Tim Stinnett Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/02/09
Posts: 48
Loc: United States
"Virtuoso" is a very subjective term. If the question is asking, can some who begins late acquire the abilities of Mark Hamelin, or Horowitz... pick your master. I think the answer is clearly no. These people have a gift that others lack. If you don't begin developing this gift as a child, forget it. It is not possible to become an unforgetable master of the keyboard.

On the other hand, those who start late can become wonderful advanced pianists. It is a matter of a very good teacher, a realistic commitment of considerable amounts of time, and persistence. This person will find great satisfaction in the journey and playing piano. I believe most people can exceed their own expectations and need to think bigger and dream and hope; this inspires work. But this commitment must be tempered with wisdom. The goal is not to become something one can never become, but to develop one's abilities and musicianship as much as possible.

#1353494 - 01/19/10 03:16 PM Re: Is it possible to become a virtuoso...? [Re: Tim Stinnett]
keystring Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 13134
Loc: Canada
The goal is not to become something one can never become, but to develop one's abilities and musicianship as much as possible .

I bet that this is exactly what the "virtuosos" did. There is no question of "becoming" anything.

#1353525 - 01/19/10 04:27 PM Re: Is it possible to become a virtuoso...? [Re: keyboardklutz]
D4v3 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/07/09
Posts: 503
Loc: Fort Worth, Texas
Originally Posted By: keyboardklutz
We've had that question before and the answer is no. No concert pianists started from scratch from say the age of 16.

I dont know if I agree 100% with things stated as absolutes. Anything is possible, they said nobody could defeat the best trained army in the world (Britan), least of all a small group of farmers, and yet here I live in this place called America.

I would say again, anything is possible, but the next question that must be asked is: "Is it very probable?".

That answer is a function of: practice time available, focus, DESIRE/Resillience, natural talent/ability to pick things up quickly, marketability and the quality of your instrument.

Available Practice Time: Some one who has a family is less likely to achieve their goals as quickly as someone who tons of free time on their hands. How much time is needed? That depends on your natural talent and focus.

Focus: I would bet that I can achieve more in a single year of focused study than years of mindless studying.

Resillience: Theres an old saying "As a man thinketh, so is he." If you have an almost obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) with music then it doesnt matter what people say, your going to do it.

Natural Talent: Mozart had a huge amount of natural talent and picked up his skill very quickly. I believe genius will shine through no matter what age you start. Einstein couldn't read until he was 6; they closed the patent office in the 1800s because "everything that could be invented was already invented".

Marketability:Im sure there are many adults who didnt start as children who are virtuoso pianists the problem at that point as others have stated is competition or as I would say marketability. I was watching the 9th van cliburn competition the other day and for the life of me I could not tell the difference between last few pianists, it was as though they played identically. But they all couldnt win. I personally believe that the pianists who have a very unique and different story to tell from their identically talented peers are the ones who go on to become famous because they are the most memorable.

I hope this helps. I started late 15, and I plan to become a concert level pianist virtuoso. I just dont care if I'm as famous as horowitz or if I go on tours, although it would be nice.
Currently learning composition:

Some of my compositions

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