Jon Lee


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Barber Piano Sonata in e minor, op. 26

Program notes

Except for possibly the Adagio for Strings, no other of Samuel Barber’s works has had as stunning an impact on the American musical world as his Piano Sonata. Commisioned in the autumn of 1947 by Irving Berlin and Richard Rodgers to honor the twenty-fifth anniversary of the League of Composers, the sonata took Barber two years to complete. Although the first movement was finished quickly in December 1947, progress was interrupted by both a schedule of performances of Barber’s other works and a lack of inspiration. Almost a year had passed before Barber completed the second movement.

Working Remote: Piano Rehearsal Rooms

Piano in a room

When I take longer trips I also look to see if the area has any places with practice rooms available for rent. As I discover more places I hope to keep this guide current. I’d also be interested in hearing about places you’re aware of, so comment below! (And smash that subscribe button, by signing up for my mailing list.)

Debussy Piano Trio in G major, L. 5

Program Notes

In 1872, at the age of ten, Debussy entered the Paris Conservatoire. There his piano teacher, Antoine Marmontel, noted his first prize in score-reading and recommended him to Nadejda von Meck, the famous patroness of Tchaikovsky, who was looking for a pianist to accompany her and her children on their travels.

Prokofiev Piano Sonata no. 7, op. 83

Prokofiev's family

Sergei Prokofiev (left) with his family, Sviatoslav, Oleg, and Lina in 1936

In the aftermath of Stalin’s Great Purge, Prokofiev began working on ten movements that eventually became a trilogy of piano works dubbed his War Sonatas.

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