A Masterclass is essentially a lesson in interpretation and polish from a great pianist. The student already has a mastery of the technical skills required to play the piano proficiently. He has the opportunity to be guided by a formidable pianist toward a finished and convincing performance of a work for piano.
For the listener, these classes offer insights into the thinking of the masters that leads to their interpretations, as well as a more profound understanding of the music itself. This can help explain why one loves a piece played a particular way, why one does not, and might even lead to a change of heart and a discovery of a new and wonderful interpretation to which the listener was previously not receptive.
We are fortunate that a number of the greatest pianists of the last century have preserved their classes on film. The links below will take you to some of these. Some of the classes provide very detailed instruction. Some less so, but are nonetheless wonderful windows into the minds of historically significant pianists of great artistic merit.
If you are not very familiar with a work that is the subject of a class, do take the time to listen to it a few times. You might be able to find it on this web site, and it will add to your enjoyment and appreciation. And I apologize to those of you who do not understand French, but I urge you to listen to the short exerpt from the class by Yves Nat, and above all those by Cyprien Katsaris in French, in any case. There is much to appreciate in their musical examples. If you do understand French, the Katsaris classes are phenomenal.
Click on the live links below to attend classes by these great pianists:
Emmanuel Ax Masterclass: Debussy "Pagodes"
Daniel Barenboim Masterclass : Beethoven Piano Sonatas
Jorge Bolet Masterclass
Alfred Cortot Masterclass
Vladimir Feltsman Masterclass
Richard Goode Masterclass
Stephen Hough Masterclass
Cyprien Katsaris Masterclass
Yves Nat Masterclass
Maria Joao Pires Masterclass
Artur Rubinstein Masterclass
András Schiff Masterclass
Alexander Toradze Masterclass
For those of you who enjoy murder mysteries, here is my first with a strong musical polemic as background
which is also available as an audiobook.
And this is the more recently published second mystery in the series:
Follow these links to our main subject categories