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The Great Arthur Rubinstein Revisited

For decades people who were fortunate enough to see and hear esteemed pianist Artur Rubinstein (1887-1982) perform left concert halls spellbound. Biographer and music historian Sachs first heard Rubinstein play in 1959, but it was not until 1986 that he seriously considered writing a biography of Rubinstein. Read more >>

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Author Topic: Famous pianists with small hands?  (Read 8164 times)
brahmslover
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« on: December 01, 2009, 12:57:13 AM »

I have small hands myself (octave only) and am curious to know small-handed pianists who made it to the top. The only one I know is the late Alicia de Larrocha. Do you know any other famous pianist with known small hands?
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sheena
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« Reply #1 on: December 05, 2009, 02:08:07 PM »

From what I've heard, Josef Hoffman had very small hands and even had a specially manufactured piano with less wide keys.
I think Pletnev and Ashkenazy also have quite small hands.
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communist
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« Reply #2 on: December 05, 2009, 03:24:04 PM »

From what I've heard, Josef Hoffman had very small hands and even had a specially manufactured piano with less wide keys.
I think Pletnev and Ashkenazy also have quite small hands.

Ashkenazy does have small hands, I don't know about Pletnev.

Perahia also has pretty small hands.
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"The stock markets go up and down, Bach only goes up"

-Vladimir Feltsman


The New Concept: Scores for All Stages of Learning

On the recent Music Education Expo in London, Piano Street presented a new concept for sheet music publication. Depending on your own level of experience and where you are in the learning process of a particular piece, you may need fingering, pedal markings, practice and performance tips, or perhaps the right opposite - a clean Urtext score. Read more >>

minor9th
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« Reply #3 on: December 05, 2009, 04:40:59 PM »

Alicia de Larrocha.
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richard black
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« Reply #4 on: December 05, 2009, 10:49:33 PM »

Godowsky had small hands (for a man) and claimed it as a distinct advantage over having large ones - most people assume he meant in terms of agility.

I remember a story of Busoni, who could be (often was) tactless, meeting a promising young female pianist and exclaiming straight off something like, 'Oh dear, what small hands!'. Can anyone remember who that was?
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Instrumentalists are all wannabe singers. Discuss.
thalbergmad
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« Reply #5 on: December 06, 2009, 06:55:27 PM »



Not that i am famous, but i have got small hands. An uncomfortable 10th at best.

Perhaps my hands are better suited to dislocating peoples thumbs in arm wrestling competitions.

Thal
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Michael Britchfield
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gyzzzmo
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« Reply #6 on: December 07, 2009, 04:55:07 PM »



Not that i am famous, but i have got small hands. An uncomfortable 10th at best.

Perhaps my hands are better suited to dislocating peoples thumbs in arm wrestling competitions.

Thal

You dont really seem to have small hands, just a lack of stretch really. Many pianists who started early can get pinky-thumb almost in line.
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1+1=11


Jonathan Biss’ Full Beethoven Sonatas Experience

The American pianist Jonathan Biss is known to audiences throughout the world for his artistry, musical intelligence and deeply felt interpretations. He is a firm believer in the possibilities of technology and invites people to take part of his 32 Beethoven Sonatas course at Curtis Institute. Read more >>

thalbergmad
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« Reply #7 on: December 07, 2009, 05:58:47 PM »

Well, i started at 3 but did not find a good teacher until 37 Grin

I think I play Hanon Roll Eyes

Thal
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Michael Britchfield
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indianajo
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« Reply #8 on: December 17, 2009, 04:47:56 PM »

Well, watch super-stretching your thumb at age 37, you might find arthritis at 60 ends your playing enjoyment.  Odd pops I had in two knuckles at age 8 are requiring daily NASD pills now at 59.  I'm limited to C-E span like you, and I just cheat. Nobody is going to pay me to play classical anyway. I play "Pictures at an Exhibition" which requires octave and a fifth, and I enjoy it even wrong as I play it.  JS Bach Passacaglia & Fugue in C minor apparently requires octave and a fifth, but I am putting the offending notes on the other manual.  For a modern pianist that writes hard stuff without a huge stretch, listen to George Winston's "Winter' album. I transcribed his "Holly & Ivy" for fun, and it is the rhythm that is tricky, not the handspan. 
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birba
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« Reply #9 on: December 17, 2009, 06:01:27 PM »

All one needs is a comfortable octave.  The rest you can dance around. Not that a larger hand can definitely make things easier.  But I have seen five-foot koreans play Rachmaninov like nobody's business...
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catk
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« Reply #10 on: April 16, 2013, 06:44:52 PM »

I have small hands myself (octave only) and am curious to know small-handed pianists who made it to the top. The only one I know is the late Alicia de Larrocha. Do you know any other famous pianist with known small hands?

I have very small hands and I was wondering the same thing. I uncomfortably get an octave  Undecided
I am short so my hands are too.
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The New Concept: Scores for All Stages of Learning

On the recent Music Education Expo in London, Piano Street presented a new concept for sheet music publication. Depending on your own level of experience and where you are in the learning process of a particular piece, you may need fingering, pedal markings, practice and performance tips, or perhaps the right opposite - a clean Urtext score. Read more >>

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