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The University of Southampton
International Summer School

Pianoforte: Centre Stage

The pianoforte, ever since coming into existence around 300 years ago, has been regarded the most practiced instrument above all others.

Pianoforte: Centre Stage
Pianoforte: Centre Stage

Throughout its history, this instrument has bequeathed a legacy of pianists, including J.S. Bach, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Frederic Chopin, Franz Liszt, Claude Debussy, Oscar Peterson… and continues to bring fame to current day pop artists including Lady Gaga and Sir Elton John. What is so magical about this instrument that captivates its executants and audiences to marvel at its possibilities?
This course will trace the genealogy of the pianoforte, from Cristofori’s 1709 fortepiano to modern day Casio keyboards. In this expedition, we will reflect on piano-related compositions of selected luminaries appropriate to each snapshots in time. You will gain an understanding of how the piano has changed over time, and how this influenced the way music (on the piano) has changed.

The academic organising this topic is Professor David Owen Norris, Head of Classical Performance and Professor of Music. Find out more about the PGR tutor, Joyce Tang, on our Meet your PGR Tutor page.


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