The Tradition of the Schubertiade

Music is such a profound means of building community and social connections. The blossoming of the salon in 19th Century Europe is a great example of creating social circles in support of art in general and various composers and musicians in particular. Art, poetry and music lovers would host social gatherings in their home “salons” and invite a large mix of arts supporters

Read More
Rick Fergusonschubertiade
Undeniable Spirit

Inspirational note: My teacher, Abbey Simon, is now 96. In 2015, he and his wife were struck by a car and Mr Simon suffered a broken wrist and two broken fingers in his right hand. In his mid-nineties, Mr Simon re-taught himself how to play. When asked why, he simply replied "It's who I am. I wouldn't know what to do with myself otherwise." Stunning.

Read More
Rick Ferguson
Models and Inspiration

Both as pianist and composer, I have rather wide-ranging tastes in music. However, I invariably find myself returning time and again to a handful of composers who have always served as both models and inspiration for me. I think of them in different categories, as each composer represents various aspects of my own music making and thinking about music:

Read More
Rick Ferguson
Dystopian Magic

Upon completion of my Concerto Grosso on Dystopian Themes, I’m aware as never before of the magic that can accompany the marriage of music and story. The excitement generated by the students of Chute Middle School, Evanston, Illinois, around this project is palpable. The student-written dystopian short story

Read More
Rick Ferguson
The Dystopian Landscape

As a continuation of my years-long commitment to bringing innovative (and did I mention fun?) collaborative multi-disciplinary projects to our local District 65 elementary and middle schools, Evanston/Skokie, Illinois, I’ve created a concept that’s really floating my composition-oriented boat this academic year.

Read More
Rick Ferguson
The End of Time

I believe that we each have a musical soundtrack that accompanies us throughout our lives–highlighting particular events, relationships, passions and projects. My personal soundtrack has paralleled my own growth and life changes. Many pieces and songs come and go–including those that I’ve studied, performed and written.

Read More
Rick Ferguson
The Myth of the Eternal Child

As I prepare for an upcoming lecture-recital presentation on the very young Mozart, specifically how his formative musical experiences happened to a great extent during the three-plus years of travel that his family undertook between 1763-1765 through much of Europe

Read More
Rick Ferguson
We Go to Art

We humans go to art. In tragedy, in celebration, in joy and in sorrow we seek solace and inspiration in art–in all of its forms. Art binds us together, mirrors our experiences, magnifies them. Art provides an indispensable lens through which we view and express our place in the world.

Read More
Rick Ferguson
Mentors

As I prepare to enter into my 30th(!) year of teaching, I’ve been reflecting on those artists who have touched me, mentored me and taught me–those who have gone before me and have inspired me to walk my own artistic path. There have been four teachers, in particular, who have shaped my music making

Read More
Rick Ferguson
Why Beethoven?

Transcendence.  I’ve known a few special people in my life who have overcome seemingly insurmountable obstacles of one sort or another–and have come out the other end wiser and, more often than not, with more compassion toward others. I’m currently smack dab in the middle of an ongoing project…

Read More
Rick Ferguson