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Sydney Menees

Brian Lewis Master Class

October 22, 2005 at 4:10 AM

My master class with Brian Lewis was tonight. Before I tell you about that, I'll give you some history about him: He went to Juilliard and took from Dorothy DeLay, he has played in Carnagie Hall, and recorded several CDs - his most recent with the London Symphony.

I had to play right after a 7-year-old prodigy, but other than that, I think things went pretty well. I started out my piece (Mozart's Concerto No. 5 in A major, Allegro aperto) with the piano a little bit tense. As the piece progressed, I became more and more relaxed. I played the cadenza pretty well, hitting all the runs, and ended the piece nicely.

Brian's first comment to me was a compliment on my concentration. That was pretty nice to hear because I can never concentrate when practicing (it's like I have ADD or something), but come performance, I do what I need to. Then we started to work on the Adagio before the Allegro which is the hardest part of the piece when you are attempting to interpret it. He told me to think of a word to describe this section and, without telling anyone what the word was, play it like that. I chose 'calm' and played it as such. Then he told me a word to add with the word I was using and play it like that. The word he told me was 'big.' I could really hear the difference in my sound while playing it, which was an amazing result from just thinking of a word. Then we worked on vibrato of my fourth finger and more interpretations of the Adagio. Brian also told me that he agreed with my interpretations of the rest of the piece, which, of course, was very encouraging.

Master class participants:

From Carley Anderson
Posted on October 22, 2005 at 11:53 AM
Yay! I was rooting for you, girl! I knew you could do it. It's so awesome, all the neat experiences you get. Bravo!
From Sydney Menees
Posted on October 22, 2005 at 2:02 PM
Thanks : )
From Pieter Viljoen
Posted on October 23, 2005 at 12:01 AM
Bryan's an excellent teacher, congrats on the master class.
From Bram Heemskerk
Posted on October 23, 2005 at 10:17 PM
Your teacher gives the same (violin)hug as Joshua Bell did with a hand over your arm.
From Atticus Mulkey
Posted on December 1, 2005 at 8:51 PM
Hey, did you go to the Ottawa institute?
From Sydney Menees
Posted on December 30, 2005 at 3:05 AM
Yes, I went to Sound Encounters. I was an "Artisan" with you in Practice Structures. I remember you : ) Especially yelling with Mrs. Meints "ATTICUS!" She loved your name, hehe.

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