singing from the piano

a symposium examining how pianists interpret text at the piano in song performance


The 5th Annual meeting of the SongArt Performance Research Group
Sunday, 8 JUNE 2014, 10.30am-6pm

Song performance is chamber music – music in which singer and pianist work together as equal partners to interpret, realize, and communicate a unique instance of a song’s musical and literary text. Despite the closeness of this collaborative relationship, however, little is known about the role pianists play in song performance, in particular, in their realization of text at the keyboard.

How do pianists interpret text at the piano? What do they do, and how do they do it technically and creatively in rehearsal and performance? How might pianist’s interpretations of text agree or disagree with those of their singer, and how would an audience know? How do composers write for the piano as part of their interpretation of song texts?

Join us for this study day exploring the unique role pianists play in shaping the presentation of text in song performance.

All Welcome!

Admission is free (please bring your lunch or purchase nearby). Refreshments provided.

singing from the piano

10.30Registration and Coffee
10.45Session 1: 'Singing the piano, playing the voice'. Composer Professor Paul Barker (Royal Central School of Speech & Drama) and singer Sarah Leonard discuss performing Paul Barker’s song cycle, Some Dirty Tricks
11.45Session 2: 'Truth till it hurts: embodying the real song'. Professor Amanda Glauert, singer Cerys Jones and pianist Imma Setiadi (Royal College of Music) discuss their work on Wolf’s Italian Songs.
12.45Lunch: purchase your lunch at the Albert Hall or bring a picnic to take to the park.
2.00Session 3: ‘The Pianist as Director.’ Pianist Andrew Matthews-Owen discusses his recent recordings of Jonathan Dove and Charlotte Bray songs, with singer Carris Jones.
3.00Session 4: ‘The pianist in rehearsal: performing text from the keyboard.’ Pianist Libby Burgess and singer Carris Jones workshop the rehearsal process from the pianist's perspective.
4.15Workshop session: Singer Cerys Jones and pianist/composer Tim Watts workshop Tim Watt's new song cycle, An Equal Mistress.
5.00Round table discussion. Respondent: Dr Kathryn Whitney (Institute of Musical Research)