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#400194 - 11/11/07 08:45 PM Successful pianists who were late starters
soupinmyhair Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/16/06
Posts: 100
Anyone know any stories of pianists who began piano late (late teens or early adulthood) but managed to attain successful careers? I didn't start training classically until I was 17 a couple years ago and am looking for some inspiring stories to keep my hopes up =]

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#400195 - 11/11/07 08:58 PM Re: Successful pianists who were late starters
ctnski Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/01/06
Posts: 272
Loc: Jacksonville, FL
I think Paderewski started late, and his teacher (sorry, I'm not going to mangle the spelling here) told him so, but he was determined and practiced his heart out. Hope I got that straight.

Craig
_________________________
NY Steinway A 2005; Roland FP-7F/ FP-4

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#400196 - 11/11/07 09:09 PM Re: Successful pianists who were late starters
TheMadMan86 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/22/05
Posts: 341
Loc: Evansville, Indiana
 Quote:
Originally posted by soupinmyhair:
Anyone know any stories of pianists who began piano late (late teens or early adulthood) but managed to attain successful careers? I didn't start training classically until I was 17 a couple years ago and am looking for some inspiring stories to keep my hopes up =] [/b]
Do not give up. Don't let your age be a fact for you. I started playing the piano when I was 8, but I never practiced seriously until I was 17. Before that I only played about 10-15 minutes a day.

Best advice. Do not feel disheartened when you see someone younger play something better then you. You will play there to with hard work.

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#400197 - 11/11/07 09:21 PM Re: Successful pianists who were late starters
Jeff135 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/09/05
Posts: 912
Loc: Oregon
It doesn't matter if they played better younger. Eventually, if you practice hard, it will even out.

Kissin has an amazing technique and is a great pianist overall, and he was playing professionally at the age of 12 and was a recording artist throughout his teen years.

Stephen Hough wasn't nearly as prodigious but his technique and ability is incredible to convey emotion is incredible.

While Kissin was likely the better pianist at the age of 12, today both are considered 2 of the top in the world. Some believe Kissin is better and some believe Hough is better, but Kissin being a professional recording artist as a young teen has nothing to do with this.
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#400198 - 11/11/07 11:20 PM Re: Successful pianists who were late starters
soupinmyhair Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/16/06
Posts: 100
 Quote:
Originally posted by TheMadMan86:
 Quote:
Originally posted by soupinmyhair:
Anyone know any stories of pianists who began piano late (late teens or early adulthood) but managed to attain successful careers? I didn't start training classically until I was 17 a couple years ago and am looking for some inspiring stories to keep my hopes up =] [/b]
Do not give up. Don't let your age be a fact for you. I started playing the piano when I was 8, but I never practiced seriously until I was 17. Before that I only played about 10-15 minutes a day.

Best advice. Do not feel disheartened when you see someone younger play something better then you. You will play there to with hard work. [/b]
I feel that I have a similar story. I started playing piano when I was 6, but I did not have anyone train me seriously in classical repertoire until the beginning of my senior year of high school. Now I'm an undergraduate piano major working hard to improve.

Do you mind my asking what you are doing with piano today and how you've overcome the age factor?

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#400199 - 11/11/07 11:50 PM Re: Successful pianists who were late starters
blackstar Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/26/07
Posts: 20
Loc: OH
the great jazz pianist (and superb classical piano aficionado and practitioner) and member of The Bad Plus, ethan iverson, started pretty late by his own admission. he's someone worthy of deepst respect, and i love every chance i get to hear him play.

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#400200 - 11/12/07 12:04 AM Re: Successful pianists who were late starters
argerichfan Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/15/06
Posts: 8860
Loc: Pacific Northwest, US.
Sviatoslav Richter is usually considered an outstanding late starter. He reportedly gave a recital at 19, but didn't pursue formal studies until several years later.

Also there's the case of Harold Bauer who started as a violinist, but didn't formerly switch to piano until around 20. According to Harold Schonberg, "nobody seems to know" who Bauer ever studied with.

At least we know with Richter.
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Jason

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#400201 - 11/12/07 12:20 AM Re: Successful pianists who were late starters
pianojerome Offline
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/01/05
Posts: 9868
 Quote:
Originally posted by argerichfan:
Sviatoslav Richter is usually considered an outstanding late starter. He reportedly gave a recital at 19, but didn't pursue formal studies until several years later.

...

At least we know with Richter. [/b]
But Richter spent his entire teenage years accompanying an opera company. He attributed a lot of his sight-reading ability to that job, which he acquired as an early teen. He played piano as a child, even though he didn't have formal lessons.

And then, of course, what did he play at the recital at age 19? A Chopin Ballade. Some etudes. A real beginner simply doesn't perform those!

He was not a late starter. Those who played when they were younger, but only got serious much later -- they're not late starters. They still started young, seriously or not.

A late starter is, quite logically, someone who started late -- who did not play the piano *at all* as a child.
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#400202 - 11/12/07 12:33 AM Re: Successful pianists who were late starters
argerichfan Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/15/06
Posts: 8860
Loc: Pacific Northwest, US.
 Quote:
Originally posted by pianojerome:
And then, of course, what did he play at the recital at age 19? A Chopin Ballade. Some etudes. A real beginner simply doesn't perform those!
Yes, Sam, I know that. I thought the title of the thread was "Successful pianists who were late starters"

The planet has never lacked early talents without formal teaching, but Richter was really one in a million, and that was my point.
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Jason

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#400203 - 11/12/07 12:39 AM Re: Successful pianists who were late starters
Kreisler Offline



Registered: 11/27/02
Posts: 13780
Loc: Iowa City, IA
Richter is an odd case. He wasn't a late starter. He started formal lessons late, but had played a great deal before then. His father was a pianist, so the "informal" lessons likely began at a very early age, and music was definitely in the air.
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#400204 - 11/12/07 12:47 AM Re: Successful pianists who were late starters
argerichfan Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/15/06
Posts: 8860
Loc: Pacific Northwest, US.
 Quote:
Originally posted by Kreisler:
Richter is an odd case. He wasn't a late starter. He started formal lessons late, but had played a great deal before then. His father was a pianist, so the "informal" lessons likely began at a very early age, and music was definitely in the air.
The ingredients were certainly there, but that was no guarantee that Richter would become one of the greatest pianists the world has known.

Yes, Richter was an "odd case."
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Jason

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#400205 - 11/12/07 12:50 AM Re: Successful pianists who were late starters
computerpro3 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/12/04
Posts: 367
Loc: Connecticut/Cincinnati
Well I played for one or two years at suzuki lessons when I was 6-8. But I never got beyond a bach minuet, never practiced or anything. couldn't read music. Quite to focus on baseball.

Started two years ago seriously when I was 16 and now I'm at the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music for piano performance. Sure, I'm not even close to the best here, but I'm far from the worst!

Don't listen to the crap other people tell you. I had numerous people tell me that it simply wasn't possible, that I wasn't cut out for it. For some amusing reading read the lengthy posts in this thread by a certain user: http://www.pianoworld.com/ubb/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgi?/topic/2/10111/2.html

You can imagine how damn good it felt when I not only got in everywhere I auditioned but was offered full tuition at one place.

If everybody believes that only special people can succeed and therefore don't try, how will the world discover those special people?

Edit: If you go for it though be prepared to work twice as hard as everyone else. I just completeded a 10pm to 6am practice session on Monday night. There's no point in doing this and merely wanting to be average, so you better be prepared to pour your entire being into it. If you have the talent, it's simply a matter of deciding to succeed, and then doing everything you can to set yourself up for success. It's a vocation, and it's a hell of a lot of work. But it's so worth it.

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#400206 - 11/12/07 12:52 AM Re: Successful pianists who were late starters
pianojerome Offline
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/01/05
Posts: 9868
 Quote:
The ingredients were certainly there, but that was no guarantee that Richter would become one of the greatest pianists the world has known.
Indeed, and that's true for pianists who played as children and also for pianists who did not play as children. There's never a guarantee.

I wonder how his career might have been different, though, or how much differently he would have played, had he had formal lessons through all of those childhood years of informal playing.
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#400207 - 11/12/07 12:59 AM Re: Successful pianists who were late starters
argerichfan Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/15/06
Posts: 8860
Loc: Pacific Northwest, US.
 Quote:
Originally posted by pianojerome:
I wonder how his career might have been different, though, or how much differently he would have played, had he had formal lessons through all of those childhood years of informal playing.
That is something to ponder as I get ready for work.

It could have gone either way, really. After all, Chopin almost studied with Kalkbrenner...

Oh yikes, let's not go there.
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Jason

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#400208 - 11/12/07 02:16 AM Re: Successful pianists who were late starters
jazzyprof Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/30/04
Posts: 2622
Loc: Ann Arbor, MI
 Quote:
Originally posted by soupinmyhair:
Anyone know any stories of pianists who began piano late (late teens or early adulthood) but managed to attain successful careers? [/b]
Red Garland, the fleet-fingered pianist behind Miles Davis and John Coltrane, only took up the piano at age 18 when he was in the army.
Red Garland
_________________________
"Playing the piano is my greatest joy...period."......JP

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#400209 - 11/12/07 03:08 AM Re: Successful pianists who were late starters
keyboardklutz Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/21/07
Posts: 10856
Loc: London, UK (though if it's Aug...
I'll regurgitate my Rubinstein quote (I'll keep a copy so I can just paste it next time - it answers the question):

In the 70's I saw Rubinstein and Glenn Gould on, I think, the Dick Cavett Show (did anyone else see it, or am I the remaining depository for this knowledge?). The conversation got round to being in one's 90's and how long it took to become a concert pianist and what talent was involved. Rubinstein said about 10 years would do it and you didn't need a lot of talent. He said he could take ANY 80 year old off the street and turn them into a concert pianist in 10 years. But as I said in previous thread on this topic - the problem is, where are you going to find your Rubinstein?

The bottom line is (and some teachers won't like this) if you want to be a concert pianist and work hard with your teacher for 10 years you can't fail. If you DO fail, you must have drawn the short straw teacher wise (sadly, too often the case).

They then discussed drinking before a performance and agreed even one glass of wine the day before would be detrimental.

I would love to get a transcript of that show - any ideas?
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#400210 - 11/12/07 04:24 AM Re: Successful pianists who were late starters
TheMadMan86 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/22/05
Posts: 341
Loc: Evansville, Indiana
 Quote:
Originally posted by soupinmyhair:
 Quote:
Originally posted by TheMadMan86:
 Quote:
Originally posted by soupinmyhair:
Anyone know any stories of pianists who began piano late (late teens or early adulthood) but managed to attain successful careers? I didn't start training classically until I was 17 a couple years ago and am looking for some inspiring stories to keep my hopes up =] [/b]
Do not give up. Don't let your age be a fact for you. I started playing the piano when I was 8, but I never practiced seriously until I was 17. Before that I only played about 10-15 minutes a day.

Best advice. Do not feel disheartened when you see someone younger play something better then you. You will play there to with hard work. [/b]
I feel that I have a similar story. I started playing piano when I was 6, but I did not have anyone train me seriously in classical repertoire until the beginning of my senior year of high school. Now I'm an undergraduate piano major working hard to improve.

Do you mind my asking what you are doing with piano today and how you've overcome the age factor? [/b]
Right now I am also an undergrad piano major. And I plan to go as far as I can with it. My big problem is my technique is not as good as it could be. Then again, since I never really worked on anything like that till later.

What I do is I take it all one day at a time. I do not let my age or when I got started bother me. I mean I was accepted to the school so I cannot be to horrible right? Just do not let anything discourage you. Your obviously good enough to get into the school. Which school are you an undergrad at. Concentrate on your own studies. Because there are going to be tons of people who can "play" better in some way shape or form. Just because they have been playing seriously longer. Do not be afraid to take risks. I am constantly working on czerny etudes and other exercises to help me there. Of course scales. And I am always working on extra pieces when possible. It probably is going to be tougher on you then other students, but that is fine. It is still doable. Sometimes I just have to be stubburn and plow my way through. But the point I am really trying to make is I just do not give up and still have high goals.

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#400211 - 11/12/07 05:48 AM Re: Successful pianists who were late starters
Varcon Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/15/04
Posts: 1931
Loc: Mount Vernon, Georgia 30445
Harold Bauer studied with Paderewski after deciding to become a pianist--or so I've read. I didn't start until I was 13 but caught up quickly in technical sense but couldn't sight-read very well. Had one teacher (Univ. of Miami) tell me that since I had started so late I would never play concerts. He said I should have started by 6 to be a pianist.

Hm . . .and later?

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#400212 - 11/12/07 06:32 AM Re: Successful pianists who were late starters
cruiser Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/19/07
Posts: 1171
Loc: Cornwall, England
 Quote:
Originally posted by keyboardklutz:
Rubinstein said about 10 years would do it and you didn't need a lot of talent. He said he could take ANY 80 year old off the street and turn them into a concert pianist in 10 years. [/b]
Realistic or not, this is one of the most encouraging quotes I've read in these forums!

But, as keyboardklutz said, where do you find your Rubinstein

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#400213 - 11/12/07 06:56 AM Re: Successful pianists who were late starters
keyboardklutz Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/21/07
Posts: 10856
Loc: London, UK (though if it's Aug...
Do you know, originally from Wales, according to Steve Jones your closest relatives are the Basque people, Lap-landers and American Indians! Good innit.

I'm glad to encourage. I'm just waiting for the first poster to say '..Well, I disagree...' It's RUBINSTEIN TALKING, FOR CHRIST SAKE!. Just thought I'd get in first. I believe the Americans call it a 'pre-emptive strike'.
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#400214 - 11/12/07 08:19 AM Re: Successful pianists who were late starters
Bassio Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/24/03
Posts: 2480
Loc: Alexandria, Egypt
 Quote:
Originally posted by argerichfan:
 Quote:
Originally posted by pianojerome:
I wonder how his career might have been different, though, or how much differently he would have played, had he had formal lessons through all of those childhood years of informal playing.
That is something to ponder as I get ready for work.

[/b]
True

As someone with informal training (very informal \:D ) .. I would assume that these years certainly affected his performance style and interpretations.

In informal training, the pianist is less bound to teachers and the standard approaches and "rules". Maybe this is why we have Richter's unique interpretations today.

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#400215 - 11/12/07 09:10 AM Re: Successful pianists who were late starters
Phlebas Offline


Registered: 01/02/03
Posts: 4654
Loc: New York City
 Quote:
Originally posted by ctnski:
I think Paderewski started late, and his teacher (sorry, I'm not going to mangle the spelling here) told him so, but he was determined and practiced his heart out. Hope I got that straight.

Craig [/b]
Paderewski did not start late. He studied privately as a child until he enrolled in the Warsaw Conservatory at the age of 12.

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#400216 - 11/12/07 09:59 AM Re: Successful pianists who were late starters
stavroski Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/27/07
Posts: 36
Loc: Liverpool, UK
Well, I have just started back at piano lessons...... I'm 29, have been playing since I was 8 but never learned to read music properly until recently. So in that case, I will definitely be touring Europe and beyond when I'm 40........

I agree that you should take each day at a time, I used to get discouraged when I coudn't play really difficult pieces that kids half my age would be able to breeze through. Regardless of where you are at you should make little 'milestones' to measure yourself by, to keep your interest and to ensure you don't get discouraged.
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#400217 - 11/12/07 10:04 AM Re: Successful pianists who were late starters
keyboardklutz Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/21/07
Posts: 10856
Loc: London, UK (though if it's Aug...
 Quote:
Originally posted by Phlebas:
 Quote:
Originally posted by ctnski:
I think Paderewski started late, and his teacher (sorry, I'm not going to mangle the spelling here) told him so, but he was determined and practiced his heart out. Hope I got that straight.

Craig [/b]
Paderewski did not start late. He studied privately as a child until he enrolled in the Warsaw Conservatory at the age of 12. [/b]
The confusion is because he started with Liechetizky in his 20's. Liechetizky said he was too old and would never make the grade. He was already a well known composer.
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snobbyish, yet maybe helpful.
http://keyboardclass.blogspot.com/


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#400218 - 11/12/07 10:24 AM Re: Successful pianists who were late starters
argerichfan Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/15/06
Posts: 8860
Loc: Pacific Northwest, US.
 Quote:
Originally posted by Varcon:
Harold Bauer studied with Paderewski after deciding to become a pianist--or so I've read.
Bauer played for Paderewski, but I don't think he formally studied with him.
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#400219 - 11/12/07 10:26 AM Re: Successful pianists who were late starters
keyboardklutz Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/21/07
Posts: 10856
Loc: London, UK (though if it's Aug...
I think your right there. Bauer was, no doubt, a superb violinist. He would have had a virtuoso's ear.
_________________________
snobbyish, yet maybe helpful.
http://keyboardclass.blogspot.com/


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#400220 - 11/12/07 01:04 PM Re: Successful pianists who were late starters
schmickus Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/06/05
Posts: 85
Loc: Bonn, Germany
Volodos started playing the pianos at age 15. His parents being professional singers poor Arcadij was expected to become a baritone or a conductor. He recieved formal vocal lessons but finally dropped singing to take up the piano.
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As a student I used to broker pianos

Mason&Hamlin AA, 1908
Blüthner 190, 6ft3, 1903
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#400221 - 11/12/07 01:42 PM Re: Successful pianists who were late starters
Antonius Hamus Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/24/05
Posts: 2230
Volodos seems to have started the piano at 8, even though not "seriously":

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arcadi_Volodos

Still, a bit different than starting at 15.

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#400222 - 11/12/07 01:53 PM Re: Successful pianists who were late starters
Reaper978 Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/08/05
Posts: 1326
Being a successful performer requires great genius and great luck.

If you are not a lucky genius, there simply is not room for you as a successful performer. As much as I hate saying that, I fear it is the truth. There simply isn't a big enough audience.

However, that does not mean you should stop practicing. You have an opportunity to make something beautiful. Everyone who doesn't care is just too ignorant and short-sighted to garner the benefits of listening to great music produced by a truly passionate individual.

-Colin

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#400223 - 11/12/07 01:53 PM Re: Successful pianists who were late starters
TheMadMan86 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/22/05
Posts: 341
Loc: Evansville, Indiana
So what are we considering studying seriously?

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#400224 - 11/12/07 02:00 PM Re: Successful pianists who were late starters
Reaper978 Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/08/05
Posts: 1326
I'd like to study composition.

Because of my clinical depression which resists treatment, I fear I will not be able to make it through college with any degree, let alone something as demanding as music. I also suffer from wrist pain.

I suppose you can tout "others have it worse" and "happiness is a choice" all you want, but that doesn't correct the chemical problems in my brain.

I'd like to have private lessons with a composer. Grading and academia is, for the most part, obsolete and standardized hodgepodge from the 20th century.

-Colin

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#400225 - 11/12/07 03:20 PM Re: Successful pianists who were late starters
schmickus Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/06/05
Posts: 85
Loc: Bonn, Germany
Antonius,

you are right. But Volodos never practised until he decided to become a pianist at age 15.

I had ONE golf lesson in my life, 5 years ago, and never played again. Am I today a golf player with 5 years of experience? ;\)
_________________________
physicist, hobby pianist, lyrical tenor.
As a student I used to broker pianos

Mason&Hamlin AA, 1908
Blüthner 190, 6ft3, 1903
J.L. Duysen 195, 6ft6, 1897, (under construction)

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#400226 - 11/12/07 03:27 PM Re: Successful pianists who were late starters
Varcon Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/15/04
Posts: 1931
Loc: Mount Vernon, Georgia 30445
According to an article in an Etude Magazine in 1923 Bauer studied a year with Paderewski. "In 1892, however, he went to Paris and studied the piano under Paderewski for a year, . . . ." This is from a short biographical entry in Wikipedia.

http://encyclopedia2.thefreedictionary.com/Bauer%2c+Harold

http://www.factmonster.com/ce6/people/A0806512.html

He, Bauer, was one of my teacher's teacher, along with Olga Samaroff and Percy Grainger.

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#400227 - 11/12/07 03:40 PM Re: Successful pianists who were late starters
keyboardklutz Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/21/07
Posts: 10856
Loc: London, UK (though if it's Aug...
Bauer played orchestral reductions for Paderewski. Here are his own words:
 Quote:
I learned a great deal by being in the presence of this great master; when he had finished this rehearsing with me it was my custom to ask for his help in dealing with certain problems of the piano which I naturally looked upon as a secondary instrument.
from Gerig
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#400228 - 11/12/07 04:37 PM Re: Successful pianists who were late starters
Antonius Hamus Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/24/05
Posts: 2230
 Quote:
Originally posted by schmickus:
Antonius,

you are right. But Volodos never practised until he decided to become a pianist at age 15.

I had ONE golf lesson in my life, 5 years ago, and never played again. Am I today a golf player with 5 years of experience? ;\) [/b]
No you're not. Here's a problem of equal difficulty for you to solve:

I only reported what I found in Wikipedia, and the article didn't say anything about how much Volodos had played or practiced before the age of 15, only that "he had played the piano from the age of eight". The question is, did I say Volodos never practiced until age 15 or that he had only one lesson until age 15?

By the way, could you reveal your source regarding your statement about Volodos never practicing until 15? Or perhaps you could let us know how good Volodos was at age 15? Information such as, which pieces he was able to play decently at that age, would be considered sufficient (when coupled with appropriate sources). We wouldn't have to go into the difference between 'playing' and 'practicing', as Wikipedia's "he had played the piano from the age of eight", seems to imply that, whether or not Volodos had practiced during those years, he sure had played the piano during those years (8-15).

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#400229 - 11/12/07 04:47 PM Re: Successful pianists who were late starters
Antonius Hamus Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/24/05
Posts: 2230
 Quote:
Originally posted by TheMadMan86:
So what are we considering studying seriously? [/b]
'Seriously' seems like an euphemism for 'formally'. It would of course be better to use the latter to avoid misunderstandings and general vagueness. But guess which the marketing people prefer? People like rags-to-riches stories, in all their variations.

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#400230 - 11/12/07 05:17 PM Re: Successful pianists who were late starters
schmickus Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/06/05
Posts: 85
Loc: Bonn, Germany
Antonius,

here we go:

At age 16, Volodos studied Rach 3. Source: Piano News, Interview, 2/2007

And:
Arcadi Volodos Interview

with Süddeutsche Zeitung -- March 20, 1998, excerpt:
"Süddeutsche Zeitung: Most pianists have been on the stage for 10 years. Why was it not until you were 16 that you first started to play the piano seriously if you wanted to become a professional pianist?

Arcadi Volodos: I never did want to become a professional pianist. I never even thought about becoming a musician. Of course I tried to take after my parents who are both singers, and concentrated therefore on singing. I also had a serious go at conducting, until my teacher suggested that I have another try at the piano.

SZ: Can technique still be learnt at the age of 16, or is it inherited?

Volodos: It is not too late at 16. In the end it depends on how you deal with the music. I have never practised scales and I always got bad marks for technique. ..."
Full text to be found at

http://www.sonyclassical.com/news/volodos_int.htm

In fact in St. Petersburg Volodos attended a school that focused on choir music. Of course every child would receive formal training in music as a whole.
_________________________
physicist, hobby pianist, lyrical tenor.
As a student I used to broker pianos

Mason&Hamlin AA, 1908
Blüthner 190, 6ft3, 1903
J.L. Duysen 195, 6ft6, 1897, (under construction)

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#400231 - 11/12/07 05:34 PM Re: Successful pianists who were late starters
Antonius Hamus Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/24/05
Posts: 2230
"For centuries we have not seen such virtuoso playing by any piano wizards."

The good people at Sony Classical sure know how to hype... A really nice source you got there, Mick. But it still only says Volodos didn't start seriously until 15, when he decided to "give another (serious) try" (the piano instead of conducting, this time). So that's when he started to work his butt off to increase his playing technique, with a teacher I suppose, becoming a formal student of the piano. So he started "seriously", as the ad--ah, I mean interview, said. It didn't say Volodos never practiced before 15. It conveniently didn't say much anything about anything much.

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#400232 - 11/12/07 05:45 PM Re: Successful pianists who were late starters
Theowne Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/06
Posts: 1099
Loc: Toronto, Canada
Yeah, it's all a conspiracy, guys. What's so hard to understand?
_________________________
http://www.youtube.com/user/Theowne- Piano Videos (Ravel, Debussy, etc) & Original Compositions
音楽は楽しいですね。。。

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#400233 - 11/12/07 06:20 PM Re: Successful pianists who were late starters
Antonius Hamus Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/24/05
Posts: 2230
I just realized there are more than one person here who has trouble understanding what he reads, so here is some further clarification:

 Quote:
Originally posted by schmickus:
Antonius,

here we go:

At age 16, Volodos studied Rach 3. Source: Piano News, Interview, 2/2007[/b]
At age 16, Rach 3. OK. And that also was more or less when he started "seriously" (a fact given below). Sounds like he was pretty good already when he "started seriously", even assuming some months' variance between starting to study seriously and starting to study Rach 3.

 Quote:
Originally posted by schmickus:
And:
Arcadi Volodos Interview

with Süddeutsche Zeitung -- March 20, 1998, excerpt:
"Süddeutsche Zeitung: Most pianists have been on the stage for 10 years. Why was it not until you were 16 that you first started to play the piano seriously if you wanted to become a professional pianist?

Arcadi Volodos: I never did want to become a professional pianist. I never even thought about becoming a musician. Of course I tried to take after my parents who are both singers, and concentrated therefore on singing. I also had a serious go at conducting, until my teacher suggested that I have another try at the piano.[/b]
OK. He started "seriously" at 16, because his teacher suggested that Volodos give a serious try at the piano. Volodos says "another try", because the conducting was the first (serious) try. If you want to argue that he actually meant "another try at the piano", please explain the lack of referent. Even assuming that "another try at the piano" was what he tried so vaguely to express, the statement would tell little about how much he had played the piano before the age of 16.

 Quote:
Originally posted by schmickus:
SZ: Can technique still be learnt at the age of 16, or is it inherited?

Volodos: It is not too late at 16. In the end it depends on how you deal with the music. I have never practised scales and I always got bad marks for technique. ..."[/b]
OK. The penultimate step with your reading guide takes place in the darkness of the forest, use a hooded cloak and don't get hurt: "Can technique still be learned? Yes, yes it can." Question and answer, neither of which suggests that there is no technical foundation to start with.

 Quote:
Originally posted by schmickus:
In fact in St. Petersburg Volodos attended a school that focused on choir music. Of course every child would receive formal training in music as a whole. [/b]
OK. So Volodos, in your argument, was formally trained in the art of piano, since he was formally trained in the art of music in general? Logic, I'm afraid, doesn't work like that, as the famous apple said when it tried to fall towards the sky. Or are you just saying you didn't notice we were talking about the formal or serious study of piano, not just formal study of music in general?

To conclude, you have failed miserably to provide me with what I asked for. You don't want to try again? That's a shame...

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#400234 - 11/12/07 06:31 PM Re: Successful pianists who were late starters
Theowne Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/06
Posts: 1099
Loc: Toronto, Canada
Not so much "difficulty reading", I didn't actually read the thread, I just couldn't resist the urge to to see another emotional and insult-filled post from you as I knew would appear based on the predictable pattern.

Which is of course a dispruption, so I apologize to the moderators, it won't happen again.

Though I didn't know people could get so defensive about describing the life of some pianist they don't know personally.

I wonder though, taking into account all the empty condescension in your posts, why do you even bother arguing with people if you consider them to be less than you? Why not just disregard their opinions as inconsequential, as I do to yours?
_________________________
http://www.youtube.com/user/Theowne- Piano Videos (Ravel, Debussy, etc) & Original Compositions
音楽は楽しいですね。。。

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#400235 - 11/12/07 06:34 PM Re: Successful pianists who were late starters
Antonius Hamus Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/24/05
Posts: 2230
I seem to attract frustrated teenagers...

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#400236 - 11/12/07 06:41 PM Re: Successful pianists who were late starters
Theowne Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/06
Posts: 1099
Loc: Toronto, Canada
 Quote:
I seem to attract frustrated teenagers[/b]...
Really, my age? Come now, surely you have something more substantial to pick at? (Your name-calling of course, reminds us that maturity and age do not always go hand in hand). \:\)

What's next, my hair color? Nationality?
_________________________
http://www.youtube.com/user/Theowne- Piano Videos (Ravel, Debussy, etc) & Original Compositions
音楽は楽しいですね。。。

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#400237 - 11/12/07 06:44 PM Re: Successful pianists who were late starters
Antonius Hamus Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/24/05
Posts: 2230
Oh, it's just that you're not the first one "Theowne". I have some more substantial things to say about you, but I'm not going to insult you publicly any more than I already have. If you ever come to Finland, let me know.

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#400238 - 11/12/07 06:49 PM Re: Successful pianists who were late starters
Theowne Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/06
Posts: 1099
Loc: Toronto, Canada
No, feel free to say anything you want, I could use the amusement. Or write me an message (I suppose now that the "teenager" card has been played, you'll need to find some other childish insult), I would love to hear all of these things you have learned about how insufficient I am through my internet messages. Just get out of the delusion that everyone considers your grand superiority to not be completely inconsequential, however comforting the idea may be. If I do come to Finland, I'd rather not waste precious limited time out of my life on trivial things. Perhaps that idea is something you should think about, and it may lead to some new ideas on who is mature and who isn't. I realize you are too proud to admit in this thread but I know you will reflect on this idea elsewhere. (PS It's probably better that I not respond again so feel free to have the last response. English is my second language, perhaps you can resort to making fun of that next )
_________________________
http://www.youtube.com/user/Theowne- Piano Videos (Ravel, Debussy, etc) & Original Compositions
音楽は楽しいですね。。。

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#400239 - 11/13/07 12:47 AM Re: Successful pianists who were late starters
keyboardklutz Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/21/07
Posts: 10856
Loc: London, UK (though if it's Aug...
boys, boys! Jeez!
_________________________
snobbyish, yet maybe helpful.
http://keyboardclass.blogspot.com/


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#400240 - 11/13/07 12:57 AM Re: Successful pianists who were late starters
Antonius Hamus Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/24/05
Posts: 2230
The moderators are sleeping. Let's re-paint the walls and break the windows! (as long as we can)

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#400241 - 11/13/07 01:04 AM Re: Successful pianists who were late starters
pianojerome Offline
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/01/05
Posts: 9868


Yes, and Antonius, we better start soon. Late starters are never successful, you know. ;\)

_________________________
Sam

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#400242 - 11/13/07 01:18 AM Re: Successful pianists who were late starters
Antonius Hamus Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/24/05
Posts: 2230
LOL

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#400243 - 11/13/07 10:10 AM Re: Successful pianists who were late starters
schmickus Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/06/05
Posts: 85
Loc: Bonn, Germany
Antonius,

don't become childish:

quote:
Originally posted by schmickus:
"In fact in St. Petersburg Volodos attended a school that focused on choir music. Of course every child would receive formal training in music as a whole."
Originally posted by Antonius Hamus:
"OK. So Volodos, in your argument, was formally trained in the art of piano, since he was formally trained in the art of music in general? Logic, I'm afraid, doesn't work like that, as the famous apple said when it tried to fall towards the sky. Or are you just saying you didn't notice we were talking about the formal or serious study of piano, not just formal study of music in general?

To conclude, you have failed miserably to provide me with what I asked for. You don't want to try again? That's a shame..."

Wrong conclusion, antonius. Please re-read both our postings. Find your flaw in logic. And practise the art of "How to behave like an adult".

Best, schmickus
_________________________
physicist, hobby pianist, lyrical tenor.
As a student I used to broker pianos

Mason&Hamlin AA, 1908
Blüthner 190, 6ft3, 1903
J.L. Duysen 195, 6ft6, 1897, (under construction)

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