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Famous pianists good at another instrument/s (Read 1118 times)

Offline cuberdrift

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Famous pianists good at another instrument/s
« on: May 11, 2019, 03:08:53 PM »
Hey all,

Just wanted to know what famous pianist/s you know that are also excellent in at least one other instrument? Or in singing.

Of course in Jazz, we have Nat King Cole (and Oscar Peterson!), but what about the others?

On a related note, I also have fantasies of learning classical guitar and voice.  Will this be attainable? I'm a graduating conservatory student of piano but intend to pursue a piano career.

Would love to hear from you.

Regards,
cuberdrift

Offline georgey

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Re: Famous pianists good at another instrument/s
«Reply #1 on: May 12, 2019, 12:58:29 AM »
I am currently listening to Arthur Grumiaux play the 6 Bach violin solo Sonatas and Partitas (maybe the greatest recording of all time of these works?).  Looking at liner notes it does not say anything, but I seem to recall that he was also a very fine pianist.  Julia Fischer has recordings playing both violin and piano.  I remember hearing somewhere her playing the Tch violin concerto that sounded very good to me.

You will have no problems learning to play classical guitar except that as a pianist, you will not be able to pluck the guitar strings with long, well shaped and polished fingernails as is customary these days.  Playing without nails can be done (like Fernando Sor in early 1800s vs his contemporary Aguado who used fingernails), but the sound will be less bright and will not project as well.

Edit:  You will get calluses on left hand fingertips (assuming you use LH on the fretboard) if you don't already have them from piano playing.  All guitarists get these calluses.  Not sure about piano though.

Offline thalbergmad

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Re: Famous pianists good at another instrument/s
«Reply #2 on: May 17, 2019, 04:20:28 AM »
Thalberg by all accounts was very good on the banjo. He was given one on his first American tour.

Thal

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Offline maxim3

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Re: Famous pianists good at another instrument/s
«Reply #3 on: May 17, 2019, 07:21:04 PM »
John Browning was a notable player of the pink oboe.

Offline Bob

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Re: Famous pianists good at another instrument/s
«Reply #4 on: May 25, 2019, 11:43:50 PM »
Hindemith?
Favorite new teacher quote -- "You found the only possible wrong answer."

Offline ahinton

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Re: Famous pianists good at another instrument/s
«Reply #5 on: May 26, 2019, 06:09:38 PM »
Thalberg by all accounts was very good on the banjo. He was given one on his first American tour.
"All accounts"? Whose? Could you provide a few examples, for the enlightenment of the membership here (not to mention my own!)? Many thanks in advance!

For what it might or might not be worth, I did find this - http://minstrelbanjo.ning.com/forum/topics/thalberg-on-the-banjo - and this - https://timesmachine.nytimes.com/timesmachine/1857/08/01/78503205.pdf - and this - https://elib.hamilton.edu/omeka/exhibits/show/banjo/manuals/instructor - so there appears to be some evidence, but to what extent he developed skill at the instrument remains to be discovered, it would seem. Curious, though. I'm just trying to imagine - admittedly not without considerable difficulty - Liszt writing operatic fantasies for it and Alkan studies for it...

Best,

Alistair
Alistair Hinton
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The Sorabji Archive

Offline ahinton

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Re: Famous pianists good at another instrument/s
«Reply #6 on: May 26, 2019, 06:10:22 PM »
Heifetz is said to have the piano parts of all ten Beethoven sonatas for violin and piano from memory.

Best,

Alistair
Alistair Hinton
Curator / Director
The Sorabji Archive