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Keith Jarrett, one of the greatest musicians and profilistic pianists of our time, has recently announced that he will no longer be able to hold up his career as a performer. Now 75, he suffered a pair of draining strokes two years ago that left his left side paralyzed and resulting in an unability to play the piano. The recently released "Budapest Concert" - a return to his grandparents' native country Hungary - is likely one of Jarrett's final recorded public solo piano recitals. Read more >>

Topic: whats the cut off age to become a concert pianist?  (Read 4947 times)

Offline Davek

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i had planned to go to college and get my masters in piano performance and then start a career, but is that possible i would be about 24,25. or do i need to have a debut at age 17,18. i'm 15 right now so i have some time but i am confused, whether i should rush and prepare for a debut in 3 years or whether take my time and wait until after college.


David King :)

Offline R.Q.

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Re: whats the cut off age to become a concert pian
Reply #1 on: July 30, 2003, 11:00:51 PM
Unless you are a child prodigy don't plan to start a career in music before college. I would advise trying to get a good college like Juilliard or Eastmann, since this will help you wonderfully when you do go for the stage. I'm not advising you don't play in public or anything: go to competitions, give concerts, impress people, but definately don't go for a career yet!

Young Virtuoso
~R. Q.

Offline Davek

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Re: whats the cut off age to become a concert pian
Reply #2 on: July 31, 2003, 03:17:22 AM
thanks that helped a lot, what about the curtis institute of music? thats a good school too right? :)

Offline R.Q.

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Re: whats the cut off age to become a concert pian
Reply #3 on: July 31, 2003, 03:33:52 AM
Yes, That's a good school. I was just listing the others as good examples.

Good Luck

8) Young virtuoso  8)
~R. Q.

Offline e60m5

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Re: whats the cut off age to become a concert pian
Reply #4 on: August 04, 2003, 05:56:43 AM

Curtis is a great school.

However -

It is next to impossible to get into. They only accepted two students this year - Kit Armstrong, who you may have heard of, and Lukas Vondracek, who is 16 years old but already touring with Ashkenazy.

Good luck trying to get into Curtis... ; )

Offline eddie92099

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Re: whats the cut off age to become a concert pian
Reply #5 on: August 04, 2003, 05:34:35 PM
Vondracek has done a few concerts here in London - I have heard mixed opinions however,
Ed

Offline dinosaurtales

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Re: whats the cut off age to become a concert pian
Reply #6 on: August 06, 2003, 08:57:47 AM
My piano teacher has gone through this wonderful *process* herself, then with several students as she taught them later in life.  According to her, most of the competitions have age cutoffs, around 30 or so,  so your idea is great, but don't dawdle!
So much music, so little time........

Offline Hmoll

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Re: whats the cut off age to become a concert pian
Reply #7 on: August 06, 2003, 07:37:49 PM
Good news and bad news,

The good news is, if you want a career in music that involves playing and teaching piano, that is certainly possible with very hard work, some luck, a lot of flexibility, and not very high expectations for income. I am a firm believer that most people who are willing to work hard, have talent, and possess a professional attitude can find their musical niche in life, and make a living at it.  Why do I believe it? Because I have seen it a happen a lot.


The bad news is, if your goal is to become a concert pianist, the odds weigh heavily in the favor of you setting yourself up for  disapointment.  The reality is that piano is a very competetive instrument because the world is flooded with piano players.

Someone made the absurd comment that you should go to Juliard or Eastman, as if all you have to do is sign up. The fact is those schools are extremely difficult to get into, and most of the kids who are lucky enough to get accepted have started very young, have huge repertoires, almost no technical problems, and are practically ready to go on tour. Once they get through the program at those schools there is no guarantee that they will become concert pianists, or win competitions - which, sadly, is one of the only ways for young players to get concert engagements these days.

If you are interested in a career in music, think very carefully about what your expectations are in life, how much you love music, what types of work in music you would be willing to do outside of playing concerts (accompanying, private teaching, etc.), and whether you are dedicated to maintain a lifestyle of hard work and little income for the long haul.
If you decide that this is what you want, you should think about what schools you want to apply to. Sure, audition at one or two big names - Juliard, Eastman, NEC - don't waste your time even trying at Curtis, unless the world is beating a path to your door.  There are a lot of very good schools that do not have big names. You should look at them, pick a few, and audition there too.
I'm not sure where you are located, but if you are close to a school that interests you, try to make a contact with one or two teachers there on the piano faculty. That is a great way to get your foor in the door.
"I am sitting in the smallest room of my house. I have your review before me. In a moment it will be behind me!" -- Max Reger

Offline pianobaron88

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Re: whats the cut off age to become a concert pian
Reply #8 on: August 10, 2003, 05:44:45 AM
Note on Juilliard:  Only 10 piano students are taken each year out of the approximately 1100 that apply to both the undergraduate and graduate programs.  For quality control, only 7 piano students were taken last year.
"I have nothing to declare but my own genius."
-Sir Oscar Wilde

Offline la_carrenio2003

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Re: whats the cut off age to become a concert pian
Reply #9 on: August 10, 2003, 07:53:47 AM
Don't kill me here, I'll just quote Busoni: he used to say that who will be a concert pianist has to play a good version of Liszt's Sonata in b minor not later that in the age of 17.
"Soli Deo Gloria".
     J.S. Bach

Offline eddie92099

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Re: whats the cut off age to become a concert pian
Reply #10 on: August 10, 2003, 08:27:59 AM
But look at the time he was writing that - shall we transfer that two a good version of Boulez's second?
Ed

Offline la_carrenio2003

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Re: whats the cut off age to become a concert pian
Reply #11 on: August 10, 2003, 08:38:15 AM
I declare myself as an absolute ignorant of Boulez's music. So,enlight me:what music are you talking about? And,why is it as the 20th century equivalent of the Liszt's b minor sonata? Don't you think that, for us, 20th century people, the most difficult thing to play is still the 19th century repertoire?
"Soli Deo Gloria".
     J.S. Bach

Offline eddie92099

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Re: whats the cut off age to become a concert pian
Reply #12 on: August 10, 2003, 08:46:03 AM
My point was that there has been harder music written than the Liszt Sonata, I was just citing Boulez 2 as an example,
Ed
 

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