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#2026847 - 02/04/13 11:40 AM A transgender Concert Pianist
Serge Marinkovic Offline
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Registered: 07/11/09
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Loc: United States
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#2026853 - 02/04/13 11:47 AM Re: A transgender Concert Pianist [Re: Serge Marinkovic]
Thrill Science Offline
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Registered: 09/04/11
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Loc: California
Yamaha publishes several Disklavier titles of hers, including "Sara Buechner plays Rhapsody in Blue."
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#2026876 - 02/04/13 12:20 PM Re: A transgender Concert Pianist [Re: Serge Marinkovic]
Nikolas Offline
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Registered: 11/26/07
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Loc: Europe
A great read! smile Thanks for bring it to my (our) attention...
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#2026941 - 02/04/13 02:10 PM Re: A transgender Concert Pianist [Re: Serge Marinkovic]
debrucey Offline
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Registered: 01/18/06
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Loc: Manchester, UK
Great article. Thanks

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#2026942 - 02/04/13 02:10 PM Re: A transgender Concert Pianist [Re: Serge Marinkovic]
pianoloverus Online   content
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I heard her play in NYC around 15 years ago. She played two concerti(Bach d minor and ?)with the Jupiter Symphony in the church near Lincoln Center where that orchestra used to have a regular concert series. The concert was excellent.

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#2026974 - 02/04/13 03:17 PM Re: A transgender Concert Pianist [Re: Serge Marinkovic]
BruceD Online   content
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While the transgender question may be an interesting social phenomenon, does it have - and should it have - any bearing on the quality and judgment of the performance?

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#2026981 - 02/04/13 03:39 PM Re: A transgender Concert Pianist [Re: Serge Marinkovic]
Serge Marinkovic Offline
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No, but it is an interesting perspective to start and reinvigorate a concert career.
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#2026991 - 02/04/13 04:03 PM Re: A transgender Concert Pianist [Re: BruceD]
debrucey Offline
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Registered: 01/18/06
Posts: 2600
Loc: Manchester, UK
Originally Posted By: BruceD
While the transgender question may be an interesting social phenomenon, does it have - and should it have - any bearing on the quality and judgment of the performance?

Regards,


No of course it shouldn't, that's the point.

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#2026999 - 02/04/13 04:12 PM Re: A transgender Concert Pianist [Re: BruceD]
Mark_C Offline
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Registered: 11/11/09
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Loc: New York
Originally Posted By: BruceD
While the transgender question may be an interesting social phenomenon, does it have - and should it have - any bearing on the quality and judgment of the performance?

The best answer is probably just no, but I wonder from sort of a reverse view: How her performing in earlier years might have been adversely affected by the ongoing personal conflict.

I wasn't aware of this until just now, when I noticed the article in the Times. But I had read a lot about 'David' in Joseph Horowitz's book "The Ivory Trade," about the Cliburn competitions. David was in that competition a couple of times, and while I don't remember details, he was regarded as a possible winner, especially when he returned for his second try, but had a very disappointing result, not even making it past the 1st round. Of course this doesn't necessarily mean anything, but this was one of the outcomes that seemed to jump out from the book -- it's the only such thing from the entire book that stuck in my mind in such a way -- and I find it natural to at least wonder. I'll find it interesting to go back and re-read about it.

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#2027907 - 02/06/13 06:36 AM Re: A transgender Concert Pianist [Re: BruceD]
wr Offline
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Registered: 11/23/07
Posts: 7767
Originally Posted By: BruceD
While the transgender question may be an interesting social phenomenon, does it have - and should it have - any bearing on the quality and judgment of the performance?



Ideally, no. But the only times you can be sure that judgment of a performance is 100% unbiased by knowledge of the gender if the performer is when the listener doesn't know the identity or gender of the performer at all. Which doesn't happen very often.

It is interesting that Buechner seems to assume that the only reason she doesn't have a bigger career going in the US is because of the gender change. I think that's an oversimplification of cause and effect. The careers of many top-notch musicians in the US never quite take off in the way you would think they should, without gender changes being involved. The gender change can't be ignored as a factor, but I think it's also a mistake to see it as the only factor.

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#2027916 - 02/06/13 07:07 AM Re: A transgender Concert Pianist [Re: Serge Marinkovic]
sinophilia Offline

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Interesting story. I must admit I'm not sure yet what to think of the transgender issue - my simplistic view is, since nowadays a man can live like a woman and a woman can live like a man in most parts of the world, and most people are free to express their feminine and masculine parts as they like, why go so far as to have surgery to adhere to a stereotypic image of male and female? I'm a woman but nobody ever objected to me doing "boy" things or even having girlfriends and now a wife. But what do I know? I've been lucky. We all picture ourselves in some way and struggle to make that image come true one way or the other. I guess Ms. Buechner saw herself as a fine lady with a string of pearls, and here she is.
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#2028284 - 02/06/13 06:24 PM Re: A transgender Concert Pianist [Re: sinophilia]
asthecrowflies Offline
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Registered: 03/11/12
Posts: 122
Loc: London, Cambridge, San Francis...
Originally Posted By: sinophilia
Interesting story. I must admit I'm not sure yet what to think of the transgender issue - my simplistic view is, since nowadays a man can live like a woman and a woman can live like a man in most parts of the world, and most people are free to express their feminine and masculine parts as they like, why go so far as to have surgery to adhere to a stereotypic image of male and female? I'm a woman but nobody ever objected to me doing "boy" things or even having girlfriends and now a wife. But what do I know? I've been lucky. We all picture ourselves in some way and struggle to make that image come true one way or the other. I guess Ms. Buechner saw herself as a fine lady with a string of pearls, and here she is.


I think you misunderstand what it means to be transgender, and it's a common misconception. It has nothing to do with "boy" things or what your sexual preference is. Like many trans-identified people, Ms Buchner was and has always been attracted to women, even when she was a man. Trans people typically identify with the opposite gender even before the age at which it becomes a self-determined cognitive function, i.e. young trans- boys may know they are anatomically male, yet enter women's restrooms because they self-identify as little girls, without yet understanding that their anatomical equipment actually makes them boys. I don't think Ms Buechner saw herself as a fine lady with a string of pearls, just as a regular person who is now thrilled and relieved that she doesn't wake up every morning in the wrong body.
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#2028407 - 02/06/13 10:11 PM Re: A transgender Concert Pianist [Re: Serge Marinkovic]
Fugue14 Offline
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Registered: 06/13/09
Posts: 200
Wow...I was just listening to Buechner's recording of the Bach-Busoni Goldberg Variations the other day...had no idea he had gone through this. I knew someone who went through it...it's not for the faint of heart and require incredible commitment.

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#2028415 - 02/06/13 10:20 PM Re: A transgender Concert Pianist [Re: Fugue14]
Mark_C Offline
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Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 19648
Loc: New York
Originally Posted By: Fugue14
....the Bach-Busoni Goldberg Variations....

Yukki pooh! grin

Nothing about Buechner, only about the piece.
I don't know it, and I think I'm glad. ha

I've played Bach-Busoni and I like Bach-Busoni (provided of course that I'm permitted to thin it out a bit) grin but I can't think of a piece that I'd less rather have a Busoni version of than the Goldberg Variations.

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#2028430 - 02/06/13 11:17 PM Re: A transgender Concert Pianist [Re: Serge Marinkovic]
Michael_99 Offline
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Registered: 07/28/12
Posts: 935
Loc: Canada Alberta
The career of anyone is based on their ability, of course, and their presentation. Each person is unique for better or for worse.

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#2028680 - 02/07/13 11:12 AM Re: A transgender Concert Pianist [Re: Serge Marinkovic]
Monica K. Offline

Platinum Supporter until Dec 31 2012


Registered: 08/10/05
Posts: 17746
Loc: Lexington, Kentucky
Interesting article. I have to say that Ms. Buechner was quick to blame every obstacle in her life on discrimination, and I'm not convinced that's the case. For example, I suspect that her being turned down on the co-op sale had nothing at all to do with her being transgender and everything to do with her being a concert pianist, and the long hours of often tedious (scales, etc.) piano playing that it would involve.
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#2028697 - 02/07/13 11:42 AM Re: A transgender Concert Pianist [Re: Serge Marinkovic]
Dave Horne Offline
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Registered: 07/07/04
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Loc: Vught, The Netherlands
At the very least, being able to play mixed doubles with yourself would set Buechner apart from just about all other tennis playing concert pianists.
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#2028707 - 02/07/13 11:51 AM Re: A transgender Concert Pianist [Re: Monica K.]
Mark_C Offline
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Registered: 11/11/09
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Loc: New York
Originally Posted By: Monica K.
....I suspect that her being turned down on the co-op sale had nothing at all to do with her being transgender and everything to do with her being a concert pianist, and the long hours of often tedious (scales, etc.) piano playing that it would involve.

Yes.
I lived in a coop where a very well-known pianist was turned down because some neighbors were worried about the "noise" -- and in that case it was odd because the apartment was extremely and meticulously soundproofed by the current owners.

BTW, I did look back into the book I mentioned in which 'David' figured prominently. It was very interesting to view it in retrospect. And for what it's worth she had some history of putting blame where it probably didn't belong, like blaming the breakup of his marriage somewhat on the Cliburn competition. I don't particularly blame her for maybe seeing blame differently than how it is, because for sure there must be a lot of things on which she has been mistreated and screwed, especially just on the basic struggle that she was born with, but yes, those things shouldn't necessarily be taken at face value.

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#2028852 - 02/07/13 04:28 PM Re: A transgender Concert Pianist [Re: Serge Marinkovic]
FSO Offline
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Registered: 04/03/12
Posts: 853
Loc: UK, Brighton
I don't feel it's altogether wrong of her to blame anything on transgenderism; she has good reason to be vehemently and vindictively accusative of the hand she was dealt...um...it doesn't mean she's correct, but I can understand how spite might cloud her judgement and...as such, who can really blame her?
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#2028880 - 02/07/13 05:13 PM Re: A transgender Concert Pianist [Re: Serge Marinkovic]
Ralph Offline
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Registered: 12/09/01
Posts: 1298
Loc: Delaware (slower/lower)
Man........I'm confused enough as it is.
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#2028882 - 02/07/13 05:17 PM Re: A transgender Concert Pianist [Re: Serge Marinkovic]
JoelW Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/25/12
Posts: 4762
Loc: USA
Why is this a thread? It's just a transgender who happens to be a pianist.

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#2028913 - 02/07/13 06:11 PM Re: A transgender Concert Pianist [Re: Serge Marinkovic]
jdhampton924 Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/13/08
Posts: 1009
Loc: Evansville, Indiana
The only thing I thought was interesting was that she wrote the article herself.

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#2028974 - 02/07/13 07:59 PM Re: A transgender Concert Pianist [Re: JoelW]
debrucey Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/18/06
Posts: 2600
Loc: Manchester, UK
Originally Posted By: JoelW
Why is this a thread? It's just a transgender who happens to be a pianist.


You would possibly be justified in asking 'why is this a thread' if transgendered people were treated no differently in modern society to anybody else. The world would be a much better place if everybody had the same reaction as you to this article. But the fact is that in most countries, transgendered people are still attacked in the streets, insulted in the media and treated with suspicion even by otherwise very liberally minded people. So to me, the fact that a transgendered concert pianist has been taken to heart by her audiences and is enjoying some success is a generally very conservative industry is an uplifting sign.


Edited by debrucey (02/07/13 08:09 PM)

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#2029041 - 02/07/13 10:50 PM Re: A transgender Concert Pianist [Re: Serge Marinkovic]
FSO Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/03/12
Posts: 853
Loc: UK, Brighton
You're right Joel. Thank you. You're also right Debrucey, ta; it is my experience that transgendered (well, openly so, obviously) persons are by far and large the most misunderstood and loathed sector of society. Schizophrenics are misunderstood (it's not a *bleepy bleep bleep* dissociative identity disorder), but not as despised...
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#2029085 - 02/08/13 12:36 AM Re: A transgender Concert Pianist [Re: Mark_C]
Fugue14 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/13/09
Posts: 200
Originally Posted By: Mark_C
Originally Posted By: Fugue14
....the Bach-Busoni Goldberg Variations....

Yukki pooh! grin

Nothing about Buechner, only about the piece.
I don't know it, and I think I'm glad. ha

I've played Bach-Busoni and I like Bach-Busoni (provided of course that I'm permitted to thin it out a bit) grin but I can't think of a piece that I'd less rather have a Busoni version of than the Goldberg Variations.


It's not as monstrously inflated as you might think! However, he did drop some variations, redistribute passages to avoid the nasty hand-crossings, grouped them into sets of variations (forms an arch ala Bach's Chaconne), and made a few other changes. It's clearly not for purists, and while I prefer the original, it's interesting to listen to occasionally, and Buechner certainly plays it well.

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#2029089 - 02/08/13 12:53 AM Re: A transgender Concert Pianist [Re: Fugue14]
Mark_C Offline
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Registered: 11/11/09
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Loc: New York
Originally Posted By: Fugue14
....he did drop some variations



Quote:
....redistribute passages to avoid the nasty hand-crossings



Quote:
....grouped them into sets of variations (forms an arch ala Bach's Chaconne)

Let us group them or not how we see fit, thank you. grin

Quote:
....and made a few other changes.



Quote:
It's clearly not for purists....

I suppose not. ha

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#2029122 - 02/08/13 03:04 AM Re: A transgender Concert Pianist [Re: asthecrowflies]
sinophilia Offline

Gold Supporter until Sept. 05 2014


Registered: 06/26/12
Posts: 944
Loc: Italy
Originally Posted By: asthecrowflies

I think you misunderstand what it means to be transgender, and it's a common misconception...


Thank you, I will have to read more about it. It's still hard for me to understand how one can "feel" so clearly that they are male or female, and what it really means to be a man or a woman in one's mind. I suppose it just never mattered much to me.
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#2030888 - 02/11/13 01:12 AM Re: A transgender Concert Pianist [Re: Serge Marinkovic]
Bobpickle Offline

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Registered: 05/24/12
Posts: 1383
Loc: Cameron Park, California
I wasn't aware of her background, though it's interesting to read about. I'll continue to admire her playing and pedagogical work the same way, regardless.

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