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The Life of a Concert Pianist

If you get to know anyone well enough, you’ll discover a rich life story you couldn’t have imagined. But, the life of a concert pianist usually involves some unique twists and turns: crazy performance situations, international travel, life-changing mentors and personal relationships with pianos! In this episode, talented concert pianist, Shuann Chai, candidly shares her story of becoming who she is, the ups and downs of being a performer, her new recording “Kuhl, nicht Lau,” and her relationship with Mike, an 1820 Rosenberger piano. For show notes and hashtags, please visit: www.pianowhisperer.org.

Show Notes

Biographical info and performance videos

Featured Recording, Kuhl, nicht Lau

Her Story: Conductor Lina Gonzalez-Granados

As Oscar Wilde famously said, “Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.” Talented, dynamic and award-winning conductor, Lina Gonzalez-Granados, has made her mark in the music world by doing just that. Her resume is impressive, for sure, but her understanding of life and how to walk your own path in a competitive world is inspiring. Our conversation spanned everything from growing up during the Colombian Armed Conflict to becoming one of the leading proponents of Latin American composers to founding her own chamber orchestra, Unitas Ensemble.

Show notes:

Lina’s website

Unitas Ensemble website

Conductors’ Collective website

Featured album, Estaciones

PBS interview

Opera Wire interview

Seattle Times feature

Latino 30 Under 30 video feature

Hart Institute for Women Conductors interview

502 Sessions TV performance of Unitas Ensemble

A Conversation with Kays

Film composer and director, Kays Al-Atrakchi, shared his story about growing up in the world’s most captivating city (Florence), relocating to the home of Disney (Orlando), playing in a high school rock band with Rob Thomas (Matchbox Twenty), studying film scoring at Berklee College of Music, and working for some of the biggest names in the entertainment industry. His clients include Warner Bros., Universal, Sony Pictures, Lions Gate, ABC, NBC, Disney Channel, SyFy, Lifetime, MTV, Showtime, Discovery Channel and many more.

#pianowhispererpodcast #podcast #piano #film #filmmusic #filmscore #berkleecollegeofmusic #musicbykays #moviesbykays #kaysfilmmaker #resonaterecordings #atlantissanya

Show notes:
www.musicbykays.com
www.moviesbykays.com
https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0015685/ (list of works)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2r8ORaUXOps&feature=youtu.be (Grand opening of Atlantis-Sanya)
https://www.listennotes.com/podcasts/the-derek-diamond/from-composing-to-filmmaking-YVyIn5NOe8T/ (podcast with Derek Diamond)

The PianoGuy Behind the Scenes

Craig Knudsen could have lived his life in the spotlight, but instead, he found himself quietly impacting the lives of millions from behind the scenes. From his technology creations with Yamaha to his work with YouTube sensations, ThePianoGuys, he is inspiring countless music-makers of all ages and genres.

Show notes:

ThePianoGuys Avatar Music Video (“Behind The Scenes”): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7x0cn9VoR-Q
ThePianoGuys “Technology Guy” video: https://www.yourcentralvalley.com/central-valley-today/the-piano-guys-technology-guy/
Kookie Karaoke info: https://hub.yamaha.com/kooky-karaoke/
Follow the Lights info (video): https://www.namm.org/library/oral-history/craig-knudsen
Smart Pianist App info: https://hub.yamaha.com/keyboard-tips-learn-to-play-your-favorite-songs/

Mac Potts is Putting it All Out There

Since before the age of two, Mac Potts has been tickling the ivories. Born totally-blind with perfect pitch and prodigious talent, Mac’s passion to play for the enjoyment of his listeners has captivated his fans. On this podcast he talks about leaning to play in the early days, his personal moments with Harry Connick Jr., Marcia Ball and Dr. John, and his conversations with Lionel Richie during his American Idol experience. He also shared how he captured the sound of an entire band on his recording, “Three,” without anything but a piano, bench and hardwood floor! He got personal, too. Beyond all this, he has gained more than 20 million views on Cut videos like, “Blind People Tell Us Which Questions Annoy Them the Most.”

Show notes:

The song played during the podcast is “Thinking Out Loud” by Ed Sheeran, performed by Mac.

3PlayMedia interview with Mac (Great interview!): https://www.3playmedia.com/resources/faces-behind-screen/mac-potts/

Article about Mac’s American Idol experience: https://www.columbian.com/news/2019/mar/26/vancouvers-mac-potts-done-on-american-idol-still-beloved-by-fans/

Article about Mac’s time in New Orleans and Irene’s Cuisine: https://www.bizneworleans.com/blind-luck-turns-potts-into-irenes-jazz-fest-piano-man/

Cut Media video (Blind People Tell Us Which Questions Annoy Us the Most): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_oVR8NcKJ0Y

Cut Media video (Kids Describe Colors to a Blind Person): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MK94B9VcDyU

Mac’s website: https://macpotts.com/

Mac’s YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCDvfoKhdQIusUXJuuHF-rbQ

Mac’s Instagram page: https://www.instagram.com/macpottsmusic/

Mac’s Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/macpottsmusic/

Mac’s piano tuning website: http://www.blackandwhitepianotuning.com/

Mac’s album “Three” is available everywhere—Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon, etc

Get Ready to Explore Music with Lisa Bergman

If you love music, working in the music business can be a dream. But, you’ve got to love it. And, success can be elusive, even if you do love it. So, how do we get there? Is it just luck? Do we need to be über-talented? Talent helps, but being people-savvy is key. Award-winning classical radio host, creator of the Explore Music program on KING-FM and concert pianist, Lisa Bergman, shares her story. This episode is a must for aspiring professional musicians!

Quick editorial note: We had a few minor audio issues! At 4:29, the phrase spoken was “in-house accompanist.”

Show notes:
Lisa’s book recommendation: https://books.google.com/books/about/Career_Opportunities_in_the_Music_Indust.html?id=dJOg4ddhJXMC
Lisa’s debut painting: https://twitter.com/LisaKINGFM/status/1015297301638610944/photo/1
Bios: https://www.king.org/show/lisa-bergman/18169358/
https://icicle.org/cpt-artistic/lisa-bergman
http://www.piatigorskyfoundation.org/artist/bergman
Seattle Times article: https://www.seattletimes.com/entertainment/pianists-andrs-schiff-lisa-bergman-and-more/
Puget Sound Business Journal: https://www.bizjournals.com/seattle/potmsearch/detail/submission/1548761/Lisa_Bergman
U of W: https://music.washington.edu/events/2015-11-14/beethoven-back-back-pre-concert-lecture-lisa-bergman
Gracie Award mention: https://www.westsideseattle.com/ballard-news-tribune/2013/03/04/ballardite-lisa-bergman-wins-award-radio-work

Michael Kaeshammer’s Journey: Germany, Canada, New Orleans, China and Deep Inside

This is a great story about doing what you love and finding purpose. A great pianist, producer and writer, BC-based Michael Kaeshammer has always been awarded for his immense talent, but his meaning in life took him by surprise in New Orleans when he simply was asked during a gig, ” Why are you here?” That question changed everything.

A quick editorial note: during the show it was said that Michael relocated from Canada to BC. Obviously, that was misspoken. He relocated from Germany to BC, Canada.

Show notes:
http://www.kaeshammer.com/discography/
http://www.kaeshammer.com/biography
https://greatdarkwonder.com/something-new-interview-with-michael-kaeshammer
http://player.listenlive.co/34671/en/artist/ae_cbc0bd51-912d-4739-929b-9b7fb6695d18/biography
https://www.theglobeandmail.com/arts/music/michael-kaeshammer-i-started-living-my-life-from-a-different-angle/article4264564
https://www.fyimusicnews.ca/articles/2017/02/13/conversation-michael-kaeshammer
https://www.timescolonist.com/entertainment/michael-kaeshammer-gives-sidney-its-own-concert-special-1.23921718
http://www.almarecords.com/artists/michael-kaeshammer
https://www.tengrandsseattle.com/artists/soloists/michael-kaeshammer

Passion, Music, Vienna, and the Piano that Embodies it All

There is no city in the world defined by music like Vienna. The landscape of composers and pianists who lived there is endless: Mozart, Beethoven, Liszt, Brahms, Schubert, Mahler, to name just a few. No piano on Earth embodies the “City of Music” more than Bösendorfer. Today the tradition thrives, as innovation beautifully enhances this great instrument. Sabine Grubmüller, Managing Director of Bösendorfer, generously took time to talk about all-things-Bösendorfer: the history, the artists, the innovation, the factory, the vision. Sabine, with the help of a tremendously talented and passionate Bösendorfer team, is taking this legendary company into the future.

Show notes:
https://www.boesendorfer.com/en/about
https://www.boesendorfer.com/en/about/history-1
http://mmrmagazine.com/issue/upfront-q-a/a-perfect-fit-sabine-grubmueller-of-boesendorfer/
https://www.namm.org/library/oral-history/sabine-grubm%C3%BCller

Using Music to explore science

This is your mind and body. This is music. This is your mind and body on music. Dr. Richard Karpen is an artist first, but his insatiable desire to explore how the mind and body express themselves “on music” is resulting in trailblazing research, which could have a lasting impact on composition, performance and even wellness. Though this was the thrust of our conversation, we discussed a wide range of things relating to composition, performance and the importance of music study.