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Music Appreciation: Romantic Piano Music: John Dawson

"The 19th Century saw an explosion in the popularity of the piano, its music and in the people who played it – the names Chopin, Schumann, Mendelssohn, Liszt, and Brahms represent just the tip of an iceberg that persisted well into the twentieth century. The great pianists of the nineteenth Century were in many cases, also the great composers, and defined the public’s idea of the virtuoso artist: a notion that has persisted just about to the present day. From the time of the imaginary Misses Bennet, the piano itself was central to amateur and professional musical life throughout the Romantic era and is only now being supplanted by alternatives. What made it so captivating and dominant? This course will try to explain by looking at the career, music and times of the great piano virtuosi of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries."

Tutor: John Dawson

"John Dawson has been a senior lecturer at Middlesex University; worked extensively in the professional theatre, playing for master classes and rehearsals for artistes such as Sir Anthony Dowell, and directed musical theatre from Mediaeval Mystery Plays in Canterbury Cathedral to pantomime at Buxton Opera House. He wrote the incidental music for Bedford Theatre Company's A Midsummer Night's Dream and Macbeth. One of his three published stage works, The Inside Story, has received performances in Europe, New Zealand and the USA. "