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GREG ANDERSON

800px-Greg_Anderson_Piano_Barbados_Spring2009

BIOGRAPHICAL DETAILS

Birth name: Gregory Neil Anderson

Origin: St. Paul, Minnesota, USA

Instrument: American pianist, composer, video producer, and writer

Born: September 28, 1981

St. Paul, Minnesota, USA

CONTACT DETAILS
Web Site:  Web Site of Concert Pianist Greg Anderson

Other Links: See above:

YOUTUBE VIDEO

BIOGRAPHICAL PROFILE

Greg Anderson (born September 28, 1981) is an American pianist, composer, video producer, and writer. Greg’s mission, as declared on his website, is to “make classical piano music a relevant and powerful force in society.”

Born in St. Paul, Minnesota, Greg Anderson began his piano studies at the age of seven. He soon became a student of Kim Craig, with whom he studied for eleven years at the Saint Paul Conservatory of Music. Craig encouraged Anderson to compete in regional piano competitions and participate in music festivals. During his high school years, he attended the Aspen Music Festival and the Bowdoin Summer Music Festival. He also sat as concertmaster of the Stillwater Area High School Orchestra.

At the age of 18, Anderson moved to Manhattan to study with Julian Martin at The Juilliard School. He attended Pianofest in the Hamptons and the Banff Keyboard Festival during his undergraduate years. During this period in his life, Anderson was influenced heavily by the intense energy at Juilliard and the friends he made there, including Elizabeth Joy Roe (who would become his piano duo partner), The 5 Browns, Helen Huang, and other members of Anderson’s piano class. One of Anderson’s most frequently cited memories from Juilliard is his piano class’s creation of a musical production entitled “Life Between the Keys,” which chronicled life at Juilliard and highlighted the camaraderie among members of the piano class, dispelling rumors of cut-throat competition at the conservatory.

Anderson received his Bachelor and Master of Music degrees in Piano Performance from Juilliard in 2004 and 2006. He was also awarded the prestigious Jack Kent Cooke Scholarship in 2004. He then studied with Peter Frankl in the Master of Musical Arts (MMA) program at the Yale School of Music, where he received his Doctorate of Musical Arts. Aside from his work in academic settings, Anderson also has a long history of studying with distinguished pianist and pedagogue Aiko Onishi.

Solo career

Anderson performs as a solo artist around the world. He is known for his exciting thematic programming which runs the gamut from standard piano solo repertoire to his own compositions and arrangements. Anderson believes that the salon phenomenon, in which the performer engages the audience and encourages questions, comments, and participation, is the quintessential musical experience. Thus, many of his concerts include these elements.

Anderson and Roe piano duo

In addition to playing solo performances, Anderson concertizes with his piano duo partner Elizabeth Joy Roe. During 2010, they played concerts in at least 15 venues in the United States. They have achieved fame through their concerts, CDs, and, perhaps most significantly, their music videos (see below).

The duo’s partnership has been characterized as “the intense synchronization of genius” and “the most innovative piano duo around.” They are widely known for their daring four-hand piano technique, as described by the Southampton Press: “Their hand movements and the intertwining of arms, and it seemed at times of fingers, was elaborately and brilliantly choreographed. There were times when their hands seemed magically to occupy the same space, though they were playing different notes. The entire process was a small ballet of the hands, as wonderful to watch as to hear.”

Music videos

Solo videos

According to Anderson, producing music videos began as an experiment with the medium “for the fun of it.” His two solo music videos, Ligeti’s The Devil’s Staircase and Bach’s Sheep May Safely Graze were two of the first videos he ever produced, and he clearly envisioned them as complementary works. During the introduction to the Ligeti, Anderson instructs listeners: “Imagine you’re in hell and you want out.” In the Bach video, on the other hand, he instead instructs listeners: “Imagine you’re in heaven and all is at peace.” These videos demonstrate that Anderson believes in contextualizing classical music for his listeners. This will become a theme in his later works.

Piano duo videos

Anderson also produces Anderson and Roe’s music videos (all of which were produced after the aforementioned solo videos). The videos add several extra dimensions to Anderson and Roe’s already stellar artistry. For example, as demonstrated in the video of Mozart’s Sonata for Two Pianos, visual cues express the alternation of orderly and chaotic sections of Mozart’s music when video frames show a symmetric performance stage juxtaposed with a stage in which the pianos begin to flicker and even disappear. Other videos, such as the duo’s version of Piazzolla’s Libertango, demonstrate the sheer physicality, danger, and sexuality that four hands at one piano embody.

In summary, as Jay Wilson blogs, Anderson and Roe’s videos “explore the narrative suggested by the music they play, and they allow the viewer access to the physical element of piano duetting.”

Composition

Anderson’s oeuvre consists of arrangements, fantasies, and original compositions. Many of the works written for the piano duo are credited in concert programs and on CD notes as being by Anderson & Roe; however, ASCAP and the published scores list Anderson as the sole composer.

Anderson’s works have been premiered in such venues as the Rose Bowl, Alice Tully Hall, and the Grand National Theater in China. His compositions for The 5 Browns have appeared on the EMI, Sony/BMG, and E1 Entertainment record labels. His compositions are published by Awkward Fermata Press.

Music videos

Solo videos
Ligeti: The Devil’s Staircase

Bach: Sheep May Safely Graze

Piano Duo videos

Anderson: The Cat’s Fugue

video by musanim
Anderson: Ragtime alla turca

Bee-Gees/Anderson: “Turtle Stayin’ Alive”

Radiohead/Anderson: “Paranoid Android”

Mozart: Sonata for Two Pianos in D major

Saint-Saëns/Anderson: The Swan

Strauss/Anderson: A New Account of the Blue Danube Waltzes

Barber: Pas de deux

Piazzolla: Libertango

Anderson: Star Wars Fantasy – Impression I: “Cantina Band” for Two Pianos

Anderson: Star Wars Fantasy – Impression II: “Force Theme” for Two Pianos

Anderson: Star Wars Fantasy – Impression III: “March of the Ewoks” for Two Pianos

Star Wars Fantasy – Impression IV: “Imperial March” for Two Pianos

Other videos
Piazzolla/Anderson: Oblivion (for euphonium and piano)

with Carl Berdahl
YouTube MOONLIGHT Commentary!! (Sonata by Beethoven)

Reimagine Trailer #1

Reimagine Trailer #2

Sabre Dance

with Qing Jiang
Blue Danube Fantasy Outtakes

Pas de deux Outtakes

Libertango Outtakes

Five pianos
Rachmaninoff/Anderson: 18th Variation from “Rhapsody on a Theme by Paganini”

Discography

Solo

“Bestiary” (in progress)
“On Wings of Song” (2006)

Duo

“Reimagine” (2008)

Other

Anderson G and Kaplan D (2007). “Interior Landscapes I & II” [Audio CD]. Connecticut, USA. Laderman ; Bagatelles, op 33 / Beethoven ; Concerto op 3 no 9 BWV 972 / [Vivaldi] ; arr. Bach ; Sarabande / Lully ; Menuet in A minor / Rameau.
A live performance by the Anderson & Roe Piano Duo is featured on the “Sounds of Juilliard” CD celebrating the school’s centennial year.

Compositions

Solo piano

Mathilde, Marieke, et Madeline (2010)
Variation on “March of the Puritans” from Bellini’s I puritani (2009)
Piano Variations (2004)
Etude No. 1: “Asimov vs. Huxley” (2003)
life is more true than reason will deceive (2002)
Piano Fantasy in D minor (1998)

Two piano

Arne: “The Glitt’ring Sun” from The Morning (2010)
Schumann: “Mondnacht” from Liederkreis, Op. 39 (2010)
Carmen Fantasy (based on Bizet’s Carmen) (2010)
Mozart: “Soave sia il vento” from Cosi fan tutte (2010)
Radiohead: “Paranoid Android” (2009)
Bach: “Aus Liebe will mein Heiland Sterben” from St. Matthew’s Passion (2009)
Saint-Saëns: The Swan (2007)
Danse macabre: remix (based on music by Saint-Saëns) (2007)
Schubert: “The Crow” from Winterreise (2007)
Daquin: The Cuckoo in Sussex (2007)
Turtle “Stayin’ Alive” (based on music by the Bee Gees) (2007)
The Cat’s Fugue (based on a fugue subject by Scarlatti) (2007)
Williams: Star Wars Fantasy: Four Impressions for two pianos (2006)
Bach: “Erbarme Dich” from St. Matthew’s Passion (2005)
Saint-Saëns: Danse Macabre (2002)

Piano Four Hands

Stölzel/Bach: “Bist du bei mir,” arranged for piano, four-hands AND simple treble melody (voice, violin, clarinet, etc.). E-flat major. Low melody pitch: E-flat above middle C. High melody pitch: two A-flats above middle C. (2010)
Jackson: “Billie Jean” (2010)
Gluck: “Ballet” from Orfeo ed Euridice (also known as “Melody”) (2010)
Kreisler: Tambourin Chinois (2009)
Mozart: “Grand Scherzo,” based on the Finale to Act I of Cosi fan tutte (2009)
Rachmaninoff: “Vocalise” (2009)
Fantasy on The Last Rose of Summer (2008)
“Irish Tune from County Derry”, arranged for piano, four-hands from the Grainger version for solo piano (2008)
Debussy: Clair de lune (arranged for piano, six-hands) (2007)
Khachaturian: Sabre Dance (2006)
Dukas: The Sorcerer’s Apprentice (2005)
Piazzolla: Libertango (2004)
“A New Account of the Blue Danube Waltzes” (2004)

Piano Ensemble

Three Waltzes for Five Browns: Disney Waltz Medley, for five pianos (2009)
“Over the Rainbow: Fantasy for Five Pianos” (based on tunes from The Wizard of Oz by Harold Arlen) (2009)
John Williams: “Star Wars: Suite for Five Pianos,” arranged for five pianos (2009)
Dario Marianelli: “Atonement,” arranged for five pianos (2009)
“Happy Times,” a traditional Chinese folk song, arranged for five pianos (2008)
Mozart: “Rondo alla turca,” arranged for five pianos (2008)
“Ragtime alla turca” for five pianos, based on Mozart’s Rondo alla turca (2008)
“Dance Macabre: Hootenanny for Five Pianos” based on Saint-Saëns’ Danse Macabre (2008)
Holst: “The Planets: Suite for Five Pianos” – I. Mars, The Bringer of War; II. Neptune, The Mystic; III. Jupiter, The Bringer of Jollity. (2008)
Debussy: Clair de lune (arranged for piano, six-hands) (2007)
“Everybody Loves Somebody” arranged for 5 pianos and voice (2007)
Rachmaninoff: “18th Variation” from Rhapsody on a Theme by Paganini, arranged for five pianos (2006)
Fantasia on “Dives and Lazarus,” for five pianos (2006)
Anderson: “Sleigh Ride: A Holiday Excursion for Five Pianos” (2006)
“The Star-Spangled Banner, and then some,” for five pianos (2006)

LINKS:

  1. Web Site of Concert Pianist Greg Anderson
  2. ^ Jump up to: a b c d e The Official Website of the Anderson & Roe Piano Duo
  3. Jump up ^ “Alumni Page”

    . Stillwater Orchestra. Retrieved November 28, 2010.

  4. Jump up ^ “Alumni News: February 2009”

    . Juilliard.edu. Archived from the original

    on November 11, 2011. Greg Anderson (BM ’04, MM ’06, piano)

  5. Jump up ^ “Greg Anderson”

    . Jack Kent Cooke Foundation. Retrieved November 28, 2010.

  6. Jump up ^ Music Listening Manifesto by Anderson & Roe
  7. Jump up ^ Dunigan, Peggy Sue (June 22, 2009). “Anderson and Roe dazzles the ivories at PianoArts concert”

    . ThirdCoast Arts Digest. Retrieved November 28, 2010.

  8. ^ Jump up to: a b “EG List of Past Presenters”

    . the-eg.com. Retrieved November 28, 2010.

  9. Jump up ^ Ligeti: The Devil’s Staircase
  10. Jump up ^ Bach: Sheep May Safely Graze
  11. Jump up ^ Mozart: Sonata for Two Pianos in D major
  12. Jump up ^ Piazzolla: Libertango
  13. Jump up ^ “From songs, music, and ideas”

    . Blog of Jay Wilson. April 24, 2009. Retrieved November 28, 2010.

  14. ^ Jump up to: a b “Title Search Result”

    . ASCAP. Retrieved November 28, 2010.

  15. Jump up ^ “Videos”

    . Muggle Net. Retrieved November 28, 2010.

  16. Jump up ^ “”Live from Fraser” Media Website”

    . WGBH. Retrieved November 28, 2010.

  17. Jump up ^ “Artists: A.”

    . Steinway. Retrieved November 28, 2010.

  18. Pianofest in the Hamptons, Press Release, June 21, 2004.