Models and Inspiration

JS Bach statue in Leipzig

eethoven as a young man just arrived in Vienna

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:

JS Bach and Igor Stravinsky: Both composers embraced many of the styles of their times and enhanced and excelled in them. Incredible bodies of work.

Bach’s Art of Fugue excerpt with Glenn Gould

Stravinsky’s “Dumbarton Oaks Concerto” with Stravinsky conducting

Beethoven: Able to exist in widely divergent emotional and psychological spaces within the same work–often within the same 60 seconds! And he had a wonderful sense of historical vision and of the role that music can play in social commentary and aspiring to be greater than we are.

Beethoven Symphony 7 mvt 3 with Bernstein conducting!

Chick Corea and Alberto Ginastera: Remaining true to their cultural roots, but redefining their respective art forms and existing as musical citizens of the world.

Chick Corea and Gary Burton I love these Tiny Desk concerts from NPR!

Ginastera Piano Concerto #1 mvt 4 with the amazing Joao Carlos Martins

Who are your models and sources of inspiration and, more importantly, why?


Stravinsky in Paris

Chick Corea

Ginastera in the 1960’s

Rick Ferguson