M
O
R
E
 
I
N
F
O
R
M
A
T
I
O
N
“Kraus played with radiant vitality…First Class!”
May 28th, 2014 by Andrew Kraus

HenseltAndKrausCroppedFinalPictured here with the commemorative statue of composer, Adolph von Henselt in von Henselt’s home town of Schwabach, Germany,  Andrew Kraus presented a recital, Henselt in Context, on April 23, 2014, in the “Stadt Kasten”*** in Feuchtwangen, Germany. Kraus was a featured soloist in the 27th Annual International Feuchtwanger Piano Festival.  The program featured 17 pieces pairing works by Adolph von Henselt with those by better known composers including Schubert, Schumann, Chopin, and Liszt.

The concert was well received by the general public as well as by the local critic.  In an email,one concert goer wrote, “… at your concert, my heart was happy…”.

Henselt in Context – Des Abends from Andrew Kraus on Vimeo.
This is the opening pair of pieces from the  ”Henselt in Context” concert.

Here follows a translation of a review by Elke Walter in the Frankische Landeszeitung, Nr. 95, 25 published in Ansbach, Bavaria on April 25, 2014.

“Recalling a Piano Virtuoso: At the Feuchtwangen Piano Festival Andrew Kraus devotes himself to Adolph von Henselt”

FEUCHTWANGEN – During his lifetime he was called the “German Chopin” – Robert Schumann even named him “God at the Piano” – the German composer, music instructor, and piano virtuoso – Adolph von Henselt. Unfortunately, he has fallen into oblivion. The American pianist, Andrew Kraus, commemorated this virtuoso musician’s 200th birthday as part of the 27th Feuchtwangen Piano Festival.

Henselt, born in Schwabach in 1814, was considered one of the most famous pianists of his time. Until his death in 1889, he was for many decades the imperial court pianist of the Empress, inspector of musical studies in St. Petersburg, and co-founder of the Russian piano school.

Kraus designed the evening after an interesting scheme: a work from Henselt countered with a thematically appropriate composition of a contemporary colleague. In the beginning, he chose Henselt’s “Wiegenlied, op.45.” Kraus set the lullaby in conjunction with Robert Schumann’s (1810-1856) fantasy piece, “Des Abends op.12,1.” Beautiful sounding melodic arches between dream and fantasy awaken passion. With great sensibility and enormous ease, the American maneuvered through Henselt’s works: “Repos d’Amour,” “Poeme d’Amour,” and the “Toccatina, op.25” – impressively interpreted. Perfectly complementary compositions from Franz Liszt (1811-1886) and Frederic Chopin (1810-1849) fit superbly with the pieces. Only in comparison did the great virtuosity of each individual show: emotionally dramatic, rapturously fluid, or blazingly fast. Kraus proved to be like a sensitive “piano whisperer” and nimbly acrobatic with his fingers at the keyboard which lent soul to the sound of the pieces. Gently dreaming or passionately moved, full of compositional refinement… musical impressions of gondolas and the “Ave Maria” by Henselt and Liszt were equally played out with the same radiant vitality. The “Morceau de Salon, op.14,” an adaptation by Liszt’s instructor, the Viennese Carl Czerny (1791-1857), set an invigorating closing chord.

With his highly sensitive interpretive art, Kraus succeeded in presenting a touching tribute to the Schwabacher piano virtuoso, Adolph von Henselt – and simultaneously piano music of the romantic. First Class.

Here is a link to the original review.

Here is a link to the program.

Now accepting bookings for 2014-2015 season.
“Henselt in Context” is offered as a stand alone recital or, in conjunction with a half-day master class in academic settings.
Inquiries:  please use the contact form here.

***The “Stadt Kasten” is a half timbered structure located in the main church square of the City of Feuchtwangen. It was originally built in 1565 as a barn. Today, the building is used for concerts, plays and other cultural events year round

 

 

 

Accolades: “Bravo Shouted the Audience…”
Sep 3rd, 2012 by Andrew Kraus

From a review in the Diepholzer Kreisblatt on August 12, 2012 of a recital featuring eleven pianists, participants in Peter Feuchtwanger’s nineteenth international master class at the Musik Akademie Duemmersee in Huede, Germany, some nice words about my playing…

“Bravo Shouted the Audience”

“Andrew Kraus of [sic] Rock Will [Rockville] had the longest journey, [and this was his] second time taking lessons from [Peter] Feuchtwanger. With four short pieces: one by American [pianist and composer] David Saperton whose last pupil he was himself, [Cygnes Noir, by] the Frenchman with Hungarian roots Isidore Philipp, [and] the two Russians Eduard Schütt and Sergei Mikhailovich Lyapunov, Kraus delighted the audience with his virtuoso interpretation in Lemförde and inspired them to ‘bravo’ and ‘encore’…”

“Bravo Shouted the Audience”
Sep 3rd, 2012 by Andrew Kraus

The Riterssaal, Lemforde, Germany

From a review in the Diepholzer Kreisblatt on August 12, 2012 of a recital featuring eleven pianists, participants in Peter Feuchtwanger’s nineteenth international master class at the Musik Akademie Dummersee in Huede, Germany, some nice words about my playing…

Bravo Shouted the Audience

“Andrew Kraus of [sic] Rock Will [Rockville] had the longest journey, [and this was his] second time taking lessons from [Peter] Feuchtwanger. With four short pieces: one by American [pianist and composer] David Saperton whose last pupil he was himself, [Cygnes Noir, by] the Frenchman with Hungarian roots Isidore Philipp, [and] the two Russians Eduard Schütt and Sergei Mikhailovich Lyapunov, Kraus delighted the audience with his virtuoso interpretation in Lemförde and inspired them to ‘bravo’ and ‘encore’…”

Peter Feuchtwanger’s Nineteenth
Master Class in Huede am DummerSee

Peter Feuchtwanger and Andrew Kraus

As mentioned in the Diepholzer Kreisblatt article, this was, indeed, the second time I was able to work with Peter Feuchtwanger in his Huede am Dummersee Master Class (his 19th there!), and as the first, it was an extraordinary experience.

 

 

Largely self taught, a genius and prodigy, Feuchtwanger’s abilities go beyond those required to play the piano in an extraordinary way himself. He also has the gift of being able to help other pianists reach their full potential, technically and artistically.

It is important to note that Peter Feuchtwanger has worked his magic not just on lesser known pianists but, also, on many better known ones.   Of those famous pianists willing to make their work with him known, two provided letters which are shown on his website. Here is a link to one by Martha Argerich, and another by Shura Cherkassky.

Peter Feuchtwanger is to be commended for the “atmosphere” in his workshops. In my experience, it is one in which mutual respect and collegiality are fostered. In a business which can be so very competitive, it was a pleasure, all too rare, to be in a situation with a group of fine pianists who spent a week nurturing and encouraging each other instead of tearing each other down.

Finally, a topic about which I will write more in the future, there was a period every day, after lunch, devoted to working Peter Feuchtwanger’s ““Pianoexercises for curing playing-related disorders in pianists as well as for learning a functionally natural behaviour in piano playing”. Currently these are only available as a book in German with a DVD in English and can be obtained from one of Peter Feucthwanger’s senior students: Stefan Blido.

Stefan Blido Coaching Yudi Zhang

Peter Feuchtwanger Demonstrates at the Piano

Achim Clemens, Peter Feuchtwanger, Andrea Pera and Deniz Turkmen

From left to right:  Work on the exercises with 1)Stefan Blido coaching Yudi Zhang,  2) Peter Feuchtwanger Coaching Deniz Turkmen with Achim Clemens looking on, 3) Peter Feuchtwanger.

I plan to blog more about the exercises in future postings. For now, suffice to say that working on them in the context of coaching with Peter Feuchtwanger was extraordinarily beneficial to me as a pianist.  I am able to play with more freedom and ease than ever previously.

Finally – a bit of an advertisement for myself as teacher and coach.  Having worked with the exercises for the past four years, and returning to work to refine what I’d previously learned with Peter Feuchtwanger, I feel comfortable offering them in the context of my own teaching.  If you are an adult pianist, from intermediate to advanced level, or the parent of a student, please feel free to use the contact form here with any inquiries.  I would welcome the opportunity to share what I have learned.

 

 

Accolades: Mark Lowenstein in the Greenbelt Patch
Jun 10th, 2012 by Andrew Kraus

‎”Whether playing blues, German lieder, …harpsichord, or Gilbert and Sullivan, Maestro Kraus was a complete master”…

–Mark Lowenstein, Greenbelt Patch.

Generations United Concert
May 16th, 2012 by Andrew Kraus

With Darelynn Fung in Hindemith's Sonata for Bassoon © Eric Zhang 2012

On Mothers Day Sunday, May 13, 2012, I collaborated with seven singers, a bassoonist, two flutists and a horn player, in a themed concert called Generations United at Mishkan Torah Congregation in Greenbelt, MD. As Mark Lowenstein wrote in the, Greenbelt Patch on June 9, 2012, “Whether playing blues, German lieder, …harpsichord, or Gilbert and Sullivan, Maestro Kraus was a complete master”….

Quoting from the program notes, “[In this concert] We celebrate generational change and continuity at Mishkan Torah by presenting a … spectrum of younger and veteran artists…What more auspicious day than Mothers Day could we pick for such an occasion”?

More on this event including photos can be found here in Greenbelt 2012, “A photo blog about Greenbelt, Maryland in its 75th anniversary year”.

Note: the sound samples in the blog posting were made using the on camera microphone used to make the excellent photographs and should be considered to be “low-fidelity”. Stay tuned for links to the official recordings of the concert using broadcast quality equipment which will be of much higher (sound) quality.

House Concert – Gaithersburg, MD – June 4, 2011
Jun 9th, 2011 by Andrew Kraus

Photo, Susan Baker (C) 201106


Ash Lawn Opera Outreach Introduces over 900 Charlottesville Area Students to the Joys of Opera
Apr 21st, 2011 by Andrew Kraus

Accolades: Michelle Krisel
Apr 20th, 2011 by Andrew Kraus


“Andrew was an incredibly supportive and versatile pianist in Ash Lawn Opera’s Education and Outreach performances in 2011. He supported soprano and Teaching Artist, Mary Gresock, in 14 performances for over 900 children in Albemarle County and graciously played in any key that Mary or the children needed. It’s rare to find such a collaborative and enthusiastic pianist!”

Michelle Krisel, General Director, Ash Lawn Opera Festival

»  Substance: WordPress   »  Style: Ahren Ahimsa & Kellert Design Studios
© Copyright 2009, Andrew Kraus. »  Terms of Use   »  Privacy Policy  »  Page generated in 0.299 seconds.