Destined to be a Concert Pianist in NY

Do you believe in fate? Sometimes there seem to be forces at work in our lives, forces that have us on a particular track, which seems inescapable. Katya Grineva’s life is full of meant-to-be scenarios. We discussed growing up in Russia, her miraculous attendance of Horowitz’s Return-to-Moscow concert, her studies with Pavel Messner, her ability to overcome out-of-tune pianos, and how the music unfolds during her performances. She has performed more times than any other solo female pianist in the history of Carnegie Hall, and now, during Covid, she continues to play amazingly intimate concerts on Zoom. For show notes and hashtags, please visit: www.pianowhisperer.org.

Show Notes

Biographical info, performance videos and press

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:
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