Dr. N.A.N.'s Blog

News, views, and how the world skews from San Antonio, Texas

Archive for Beethoven

My First Competition

pc2.jpegWhen I was 14, my piano teacher encouraged me to enter a local piano competition. First Prize was a performance with the community orchestra. None of us (family members included) thought I had a snowball-in-San-Antonio’s chance of winning, given that the age limit for the competition was 25 – and I was all of 15. So, given the college-age competitors, I decided to work up the first movement of Beethoven’s Second Piano Concerto. By the time the day of the competition rolled around, I was nervous…but determined to play well regardless.

After my performance, I went outside with a friend to blow off steam while the jury made their deliberations. We got caught up in looking at storefront decorations (remember those?) so we lost track of time. Next thing I know, my father is walking briskly in my direction. I steeled myself to get chastized for for disappearing! But all he said was “Contestant #3 won.”

I thought for a second, “Ummmm, wait a minute, I’m Contestant #3!”

The rest, as they say, is history…

My First Taste of Beethoven

beethoven.gifThe first time that music had a physical effect on me was when my father took me to an orchestra concert at Jones Hall in Houston, TX. I was in fourth grade. I don’t remember the piece being played but I suspect it must have been Beethoven, because his music continues to move me to this day.

I think I was just sitting there, sort of listening and looking around. I got caught up in a tune and it must have taken a strange turn like a deceptive cadence or moved to a flat-sixth or maybe it was just one of Beethoven’s 3-hour long codas. Not sure. However, I do remember hanging on the suspension and being so satisfied when it finally resolved. Whoa. To this day, certain harmonic progressions have this effect on me. It can be any composer but it happens more often in the music of Beethoven. A mere coincidence? No. I consider Beethoven to be my musical God. So, there you have it. Thoughts?