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#2028931 - 02/07/13 06:53 PM The piano and homosexuality
GeorgeB Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/06/10
Posts: 635
(In before "why does this issue matter" or before it becomes really off topic)


Is it a coincidence some of the best pianists: from Richter, to (apparently?) Lang Lang, to Kissin, Bernstein, Liberace, Artur Pizarro etc.... Are all gay?

Do you think there is any correlation? Does it matter?

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#2028934 - 02/07/13 06:55 PM Re: The piano and homosexuality [Re: GeorgeB]
DameMyra Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/21/04
Posts: 1986
Loc: South Jersey
No.And,no.
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#2028936 - 02/07/13 07:00 PM Re: The piano and homosexuality [Re: DameMyra]
CleverName Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/02/11
Posts: 122
Lang Lang's gay? Kissin's gay? Richter's gay? Didn't know that about any of them.

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#2028938 - 02/07/13 07:00 PM Re: The piano and homosexuality [Re: GeorgeB]
Silverwood Pianos Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/10/08
Posts: 4232
Loc: Vancouver B. C. Canada
Originally Posted By: GeorgeB
(In before "why does this issue matter" or before it becomes really off topic)
Is it a coincidence some of the best pianists: from Richter, to (apparently?) Lang Lang, to Kissin, Bernstein, Liberace, Artur Pizarro etc.... Are all gay?
Do you think there is any correlation? Does it matter?


In a civilized society we do not distinguish nor do we discriminate based on religious beliefs, sexual orientation, skin colour ethnicity, age, or gender.

Here is the ruling from the wise men up in Albany appeals;

By judging a person not on their merits but by which group they belong to, this forms the basis for discrimination”
_________________________
Dan Silverwood
www.silverwoodpianos.com
http://silverwoodpianos.blogspot.com/
http://www.facebook.com/SilverwoodPianosDotCom
"If you think it's expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur."

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#2028942 - 02/07/13 07:05 PM Re: The piano and homosexuality [Re: GeorgeB]
GeorgeB Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/06/10
Posts: 635
And what's wrong with trying to find out more about if a certain trait is common amongst people who play the piano even if it is slightly taboo?

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#2028948 - 02/07/13 07:11 PM Re: The piano and homosexuality [Re: GeorgeB]
Kreisler Offline



Registered: 11/27/02
Posts: 13818
Loc: Iowa City, IA
No, I just think the the arts are a safer community for being public about it, and so homosexuals who end up in the arts are more likely to have that fact known about them, and homosexuals who have a choice of careers might choose the arts over professions with less understanding communities.
_________________________
"If we continually try to force a child to do what he is afraid to do, he will become more timid, and will use his brains and energy, not to explore the unknown, but to find ways to avoid the pressures we put on him." (John Holt)

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#2028949 - 02/07/13 07:14 PM Re: The piano and homosexuality [Re: GeorgeB]
Silverwood Pianos Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/10/08
Posts: 4232
Loc: Vancouver B. C. Canada


Maybe they are all left handed. Maybe they all dye their hair.

Maybe they all eat hamburgers. Maybe they all wear Gucci jewellery.

Why do you care?

Find something important to concern yourself with in life because this isn’t it.
_________________________
Dan Silverwood
www.silverwoodpianos.com
http://silverwoodpianos.blogspot.com/
http://www.facebook.com/SilverwoodPianosDotCom
"If you think it's expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur."

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#2028955 - 02/07/13 07:20 PM Re: The piano and homosexuality [Re: GeorgeB]
beet31425 Online   content
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/12/09
Posts: 3836
Loc: Bay Area, CA
I do think there is a legitimate question buried in here: is there a correlation between homosexuality and various forms of artistic sensibility, or is this just a media-induced perception? But I don't think it has anything to do with the piano per se, and this isn't a great topic for this forum.

(By the way, my understanding is that Richter's homosexuality is generally acknowledged, while Lang Lang and Kissin are idle speculation by the OP.)


-Jason
_________________________
Schubert Immersion: Bb Impromptu; C# minor and Ab Moments Musicaux; accompanying four songs (Suleika II, Rastlose Liebe, Du Liebst Mich Nicht, Im Fruhling); listening intensely to Die Schne Mllerin and Winterreise

Chopin: first Ballade; Mozart: D minor concerto;

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#2028957 - 02/07/13 07:22 PM Re: The piano and homosexuality [Re: GeorgeB]
Silverwood Pianos Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/10/08
Posts: 4232
Loc: Vancouver B. C. Canada

No the real question is this;

One more time. Why does it matter what they are or are not?
_________________________
Dan Silverwood
www.silverwoodpianos.com
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"If you think it's expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur."

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#2028958 - 02/07/13 07:23 PM Re: The piano and homosexuality [Re: GeorgeB]
FSO Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/03/12
Posts: 854
Loc: UK, Brighton
It's actually important to consider; we don't know what quite a lot of the brain does so...if we can draw correlations we can steadily build a more complete picture of what makes certain talents appear...um...it doesn't matter *socially*, but scientifically it would be remiss to ignore...no?
_________________________
Sometimes, we all just need to be shown a little kindness <3

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#2028961 - 02/07/13 07:26 PM Re: The piano and homosexuality [Re: GeorgeB]
JoelW Online   content
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/25/12
Posts: 4931
Loc: USA
LOL

No...

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#2028962 - 02/07/13 07:30 PM Re: The piano and homosexuality [Re: GeorgeB]
Silverwood Pianos Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/10/08
Posts: 4232
Loc: Vancouver B. C. Canada

Originally Posted By: FSO
we don't know what quite a lot of the brain does so...


Well I can tell you what a few of the brains around here are not doing at the moment; being used constructively.

These performers are what they are. Their motivations for being a certain way are none of our business.

You know most of life is just simply about understanding.
_________________________
Dan Silverwood
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"If you think it's expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur."

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#2028972 - 02/07/13 07:55 PM Re: The piano and homosexuality [Re: GeorgeB]
debrucey Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/18/06
Posts: 2606
Loc: Manchester, UK
"In a civilized society we do not distinguish nor do we discriminate based on religious beliefs, sexual orientation, skin colour ethnicity, age, or gender."

But we do. We shouldn't, but we do. And it's not noble to act as if it doesn't happen as if that were the same as being politically correct. It is still the case that there are very few internationally renowned concert pianists who are black, for example. Whilst no decent person would judge a concert pianist on such a thing, its still an interesting conversation to have about the various social reasons as to why that might be the case.

I can understand why straight people who are either trying too hard to be politically correct or find it an uncomfortable subject would argue that such a conversation about gay pianists is uninteresting and not worth having. I, however, do find it interesting, to think about the various reasons for why there might be a higher percentage than normal of pianists who are gay, if indeed this is the case at all. Being at music college, this does seem to be the case, although I think it is more the case with singers. In my year, 9 out of the 12 tenors are gay. The other years are similar, and friends of mine in other colleges in the country have said that the numbers are similar where they are as well.
Estimates for how much of the general population are gay in some degree vary from 2% to 10% depending on which study you consult. Clearly there is some kind of disparity here. Does nobody think it might be even slightly interesting to pontificate on why this might be?

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#2028977 - 02/07/13 08:06 PM Re: The piano and homosexuality [Re: GeorgeB]
Silverwood Pianos Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/10/08
Posts: 4232
Loc: Vancouver B. C. Canada

I have been in the music industry forty years. Lots of people in all walks of life are gay, lesbian, transgendered.

One experience at a particular college does not make a study sample worthy of consideration.

Would the thread be any better if we were discussing the disproportionate amount of Jewish people in finance?

How about all the black garbage collectors?

How about all of the left handed redheads of the world?

Do not let me prevent anyone from the joys of stereotyping. Carry on
_________________________
Dan Silverwood
www.silverwoodpianos.com
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"If you think it's expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur."

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#2028981 - 02/07/13 08:12 PM Re: The piano and homosexuality [Re: GeorgeB]
Michael_99 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/28/12
Posts: 935
Loc: Canada Alberta
Is it a coincidence some of the best pianists: from Richter, to (apparently?) Lang Lang, to Kissin, Bernstein, Liberace, Artur Pizarro etc.... Are all gay?

Well, some of the best pianist are straight and some of the best pianists are gay so that is normal.

You don't have to be gay or straight to play the piano.

To be able to play the piano you have to sit on a piano bench for 20 years practicing the piano.

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#2028982 - 02/07/13 08:14 PM Re: The piano and homosexuality [Re: GeorgeB]
debrucey Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/18/06
Posts: 2606
Loc: Manchester, UK
"Lots of people in all walks of life are gay, lesbian, transgendered."

Don't patronise me. You can't talk about inadequate study samples on one hand and on the other hand dismiss the difference between 5% and 75% as being one and the same under the generic label of 'lots of people'. You also confused 'one experience at one college' with 'many experiences at many colleges', possibly because it was relayed to you by a single person, but never mind.

If, to use one of your examples, say 75% of redheaded people were left handed, this WOULD be an extremely interesting thing, as it would suggest some kind of biological correlation, and merely acknowledging this fact is not to suggest that anyone should be judged in any way based on it. More to the point, if redheaded people being lefthanded was an already existing stereotype in peoples minds, this would make it doubly interesting. This has got nothing to do with stereotypING. This is to do with talking ABOUT stereotypes. How they arise, and whether or not there is any truth in them. This is not the same as being taken in by them.


Edited by debrucey (02/07/13 08:18 PM)

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#2028985 - 02/07/13 08:19 PM Re: The piano and homosexuality [Re: GeorgeB]
Michael_99 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/28/12
Posts: 935
Loc: Canada Alberta
Well, what is complex, is that in some cultures it is a no no for guys to make dresses or sew or being a mechanic is no no for women so culturally fewer people based on gender maybe less inclinied to try different things based on their cultural background.

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#2028990 - 02/07/13 08:27 PM Re: The piano and homosexuality [Re: Silverwood Pianos]
pianoloverus Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 19642
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: Silverwood Pianos

I have been in the music industry forty years. Lots of people in all walks of life are gay, lesbian, transgendered.

One experience at a particular college does not make a study sample worthy of consideration.

Would the thread be any better if we were discussing the disproportionate amount of Jewish people in finance?

How about all the black garbage collectors?

How about all of the left handed redheads of the world?

Do not let me prevent anyone from the joys of stereotyping. Carry on
But it's not stereotyping. "Stereotyping" usually has some negative connotation but that's not apparent in this thread.

For example, an incredibly high percentage of the great pianists were Jewish but few of the great composers were Jewish. Those are interesting facts I think. It raises questions about why one field and not the other?


Edited by pianoloverus (02/07/13 08:43 PM)

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#2028999 - 02/07/13 08:51 PM Re: The piano and homosexuality [Re: pianoloverus]
Keith D Kerman Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/12/03
Posts: 3347
Loc: Gaithersburg, MD (Washington D...
Anyone who does not have children has lots more time to practice. Straight, Gay, whatever. Less children = more practice = play piano better.
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keith@pianocraft.net 888-840-5460

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#2029000 - 02/07/13 08:56 PM Re: The piano and homosexuality [Re: debrucey]
ando Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/23/10
Posts: 3701
Loc: Melbourne, Australia
Originally Posted By: debrucey
Does nobody think it might be even slightly interesting to pontificate on why this might be?


I don't think we necessarily want to "pontificate" on such a matter! Ponder, sure.

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#2029003 - 02/07/13 09:12 PM Re: The piano and homosexuality [Re: ando]
debrucey Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/18/06
Posts: 2606
Loc: Manchester, UK
Originally Posted By: ando
Originally Posted By: debrucey
Does nobody think it might be even slightly interesting to pontificate on why this might be?


I don't think we necessarily want to "pontificate" on such a matter! Ponder, sure.


LMAO! Whoops :P. In my defence, it's 2am here lol

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#2029006 - 02/07/13 09:20 PM Re: The piano and homosexuality [Re: debrucey]
malkin Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/18/09
Posts: 2751
Loc: *sigh* Salt Lake City
Originally Posted By: debrucey
Originally Posted By: ando
Originally Posted By: debrucey
Does nobody think it might be even slightly interesting to pontificate on why this might be?


I don't think we necessarily want to "pontificate" on such a matter! Ponder, sure.


LMAO! Whoops :P. In my defence, it's 2am here lol


Someone might at any moment show up and "talk in a dogmatic and pompous manner" on the subject.
_________________________
A good student is one who makes the teacher feel like a good teacher.

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#2029007 - 02/07/13 09:22 PM Re: The piano and homosexuality [Re: ando]
argerichfan Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/15/06
Posts: 8934
Loc: Pacific Northwest, US.
Originally Posted By: ando
Originally Posted By: debrucey
Does nobody think it might be even slightly interesting to pontificate on why this might be?


I don't think we necessarily want to "pontificate" on such a matter! Ponder, sure.

I did think 'pontificate' an interesting choice of word. Yet I certainly 'ponder' why it seems so many organists are gay. I went to school with a bunch of them, and I have known -and know of- several very high profile organists in the UK.

In the US it seems even more prevalent, not mentioning some of the more obvious examples which come to mind. (Some years ago I used to post on an organ forum -primarily US-based- and that was quite interesting.)
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#2029012 - 02/07/13 09:38 PM Re: The piano and homosexuality [Re: GeorgeB]
Vasilievich Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/04/10
Posts: 90
Originally Posted By: GeorgeB


Do you think there is any correlation? Does it matter?


Many, many famous musicians and artists in general have had unusual sexual lives—gay, straight, asexual, bisexual or beastial. Whether or not there is an actual correlation is another question, but I think there are probably just as many people that would fall into those labels in any field. We just know more about the people in fields like art, music and acting because more people become famous in these professions, as opposed to a homosexual piano tuner. Does it matter? No, but it is invariably a part of who they are and thus probably indirectly influences the practice of their art in some way.

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#2029014 - 02/07/13 09:41 PM Re: The piano and homosexuality [Re: GeorgeB]
CraigG Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/23/09
Posts: 162
Loc: Canada
Here are a few basic scientific tenets to consider when discussing a topic such as this:

1. Correlation does not imply causation. Sure, more artistic people may be homosexual (or maybe not, I don't know), but that does not imply that being homosexual causes artistic tendencies and it does not imply that an artistic talent may lead to homosexuality. More often than not there is a third, unseen variable which is influencing both observed traits.

2. Valid statements cannot be made based on personal observations (known as the Availability Heuristic). Just because one thinks of something or notices something does not imply any level of significance.

3. The plural of anecdote is not evidence. To say "my friends all agree" or "other people see this as well" are not valid arguments.

Personally, I think Kreisler's statement is likely very true. However, without any form of statistical survey or empirical data to compare against the general population, nobody can say for sure whether the incidence of homosexuality is in fact higher in the arts.
_________________________
Ignorance is not a point of view.

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#2029025 - 02/07/13 09:56 PM Re: The piano and homosexuality [Re: Keith D Kerman]
Michael_99 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/28/12
Posts: 935
Loc: Canada Alberta
I love the post. I know 5 gay men who all have pianos and none of them play. They are out everynight socializing way too busy to sit on a piano bench to practice or play. Again, it is commitment - not kids or a wife!

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#2029029 - 02/07/13 10:14 PM Re: The piano and homosexuality [Re: Silverwood Pianos]
carey Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/13/05
Posts: 6469
Loc: Phoenix, Arizona
Originally Posted By: Silverwood Pianos

These performers are what they are. Their motivations for being a certain way are none of our business.


Their "motivations" for being gay? Seriously ????

But I agree - it is none of our business.
_________________________
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#2029034 - 02/07/13 10:39 PM Re: The piano and homosexuality [Re: GeorgeB]
FSO Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/03/12
Posts: 854
Loc: UK, Brighton
"It is none of our business" ... *cough* then what is? I must admit, I find it very strange how strong the anti-discrimination impulse is within the current climate, if you will. I mean, um, discrimination isn't a bad thing; it's our way of determining one from another. I mean, people may consider it none of their business as to the sexuality of another, but will *discriminate* against paedophiles; not allowing them to work in schools for instance. But that just makes sense, the masses cry...so why not disclose sexuality, gender, race et al.? If your friend was the only black person in the room and you were trying to direct another to engage them in conversation, why not say "oh, go talk to Peter over there, the black chap" rather than "oh, go talk to Peter over there, the one stood not quite North facing"? Discrimination makes sense; it is, I believe, the fear and inability of the public to accept discrimination that allows unduly *negative* discrimination to continue. Oh, um...it's also quite amusing to me how it's considered acceptable to be discriminatory so long as you are "one of them"...I appreciate that people are just trying to be fair to all, but discrimination isn't the enemy. I mean...explain how someone paralysed from the waist below can't run without being discriminatory towards the notion that there exist disabled people and I'll grant you my salutations. Treating people *equally* doesn't mean treating them the *same* and it seems folly to me that our terms of address shouldn't follow the same approach. Sorry, um, I don't mean to antagonise anyone but...if we live in fear of discrimination or discriminating...well, fear leads to anger, anger leads to hate... laugh
Xxx
Edit: Thank you, Carey, for swooping in on the "motivations" point before I did; I'm glad someone else picked up on that laugh


Edited by FSO (02/07/13 10:41 PM)
Edit Reason: Edit stated
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#2029045 - 02/07/13 10:55 PM Re: The piano and homosexuality [Re: GeorgeB]
Plowboy Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/26/08
Posts: 2398
Loc: SoCal
"There are only three kinds of pianists: Jewish pianists, homosexual pianists, and bad pianists."
-- Horowitz
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#2029052 - 02/07/13 11:08 PM Re: The piano and homosexuality [Re: GeorgeB]
Horowitzian Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/18/08
Posts: 8453
I fall into the latter category. laugh


If I recall correctly, there is some debate as to what Volodya actually meant when he said that.
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