Saturday, October 19, 2013

Adam Gyorgy's Piano Masterclass at Steinway Gallery

Hungarian pianist Adam Gyorgy is a young virtuoso at only 31 but that hasn't stopped him from teaching students whenever his touring schedule allows. Budding local pianist Wang Congyu credits him as an important mentor. I got to spend a nice Saturday morning observing him mentor three young pianists at the Steinway Gallery at Palais Renaissance.

With Steinway Gallery's General Manager Celine Goh
This session is organised by Steinway Gallery in conjunction with Adam's own concert at the Esplanade Concert Hall this coming Tuesday and opening of registrations for the Steinway Youth Piano Competition 2014. While the hall is filled with kids, I don't see any piano majors from any of our music schools, who might have benefitted more from his advice.

In between guiding our three young pianists on the notes of their pieces, Adam shared with us his experience participating in competitions as well as advice to these budding competitors, such as the time when he participated in the San Remo competition, where he played the Liszt's Rigoletto Paraphrase. He asked his then girlfriend to get a copy of the Italian words from the library, wherein he attempted to memorise them as a singer would, so that his musical expression carries the right characteristics. 'Flex your ab muscles when playing melodies', he advises his young charges.

Of his own competition experience, Adam shared that upon his graduation from university, he just so happened to have in his repertoire the standard pieces of every competition he came across, and so he joined every one of them. From there the prizes kept coming: first, second and special prizes. So he never felt pressured to perform a certain way. "Less is more" is his advice for stressed -out students who are eager to prove themselves, 'play more naturally, not too fast, too harsh or too soft. Play more elegantly, more delicately".

He emphasises the importance of engaging in the music, with your hands, body and even with your face. Most importantly, he advices the young pianists to use the competition as an opportunity to push and improve yourself, but don't be too disappointed if you don't win.  Even after experiencing disappointments and enjoyed tremendous success, "piano playing for me simply means to play piano. It is a game, so please have fun playing it."

After hearing all the advice he has given out, it makes me look forward to seeing him in action this coming Tuesday! Curious? Get your tickets at!

Adam Gyorgy and I, BFFs 4eva!

1 comment:

  1. "While the hall is filled with kids, I don't see any piano majors from any of our music schools, who might have benefitted more from his advice." -

    That's because people can only be fooled once. Conducting a masterclass on how to "train" for a competition to young kids when one cannot even claim to have participated in enough (and none of the major ones at that) and without gaining much success in them, is irresponsible.


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