Jeffrey Swann: Pearly Sounds from the Ivories

Concert violinist Rolf Schulte describes pianist, Jeffrey Swann, as a polymath, speaker of several languages, and a magnificent musician. Mr. Swann has won several prestigious piano competitions – including the Queen Elizabeth Piano Competition in Brussels as a young man and then the Ciani Competition in Italy and a prize at the Chopin Competition in Warsaw. The last few years he has run a music festival and teaches at a conservatory in Italy. 

Early in his career Mr Swann was also a composer and studied with Darius Milhaud. He has lectured on Wagner at the Bayreuth Festival. Presently, he teaches at NYU Steinhardt School of Music.

 A recording with Rolf Schulte and Jeffrey Swann performing Igor Stravinsky’s violin music recorded for the radio in Cologne, West Germany in 1979 is coming out any day now. 

After the recording I asked Jeffrey about his thoughts on the future of classic concerts post-COVID19, Here is his response:

It is truly hard to predict how the Covid interruption will effect concert life. Classical music was already in great difficulties even before, actually for at least 30 or 40 years, it has been in a state of declining and older audience bases. So the effect may be positive in that t will bring about radical change from the top. Or it might simply kill the business for good. I refuse to believe that, since I believe in our musical heritage and its value and validity. But the entire model needs to change--but not simply by means of catchy clichés like "diversity".

NOTES BY Alan Winson

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