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.