How to teach an Alabama piano masterclass from …. New York

How to teach an Alabama piano masterclass from …. New York


norman lebrecht

April 20, 2017

The point of a masterclass is personal contact. No Longer, perhaps…

Press release:
On April 26, Dr. Edisher Sivitski will conduct a live piano master class with University of Alabama students assembled in Tuscaloosa—from New York City, more than 1,000 miles away.

As Dr. Savitski performs on a Yamaha DCFX Disklavier PRO concert grand piano in New York City, a similarly equipped instrument on stage at the school’s Moody Concert Hall will recreate, in real time, his exact performance – the piano’s keys and pedals moving up and down to capture the subtlest nuance. At the same time, students will be able to watch Dr. Savitski’s live performance on a big screen TV, with the video perfectly in sync with the piano on stage.


  • Jeffrey Biegel says:

    Glad to see this continue! (Incidentally, in 2006, I created the first Skype lessons on a global platform. One of the first was with a young pianist based in Singapore, and several students thanks to Frank Baxter who runs the Piano World website. A few years later, we shared a meeting with students of Alexandre Dossin from my NY home laptop connected via Skype with his studio in Oregon. The early years of this fashion of connecting with musicians worked quite well, with a good laptop, built in mic and camera and inexpensive headphones. Tone quality and communication were never a concern. Hopefully, more people will enjoy this manner of teaching; the reason why I started this was primarily the geographic distance and cost factor for students who wanted to have lessons but travel costs made it cost prohibitive. Of course, ‘live’ is best, but this is available as well, and gives a very good quality interaction at its best.)

    • Alexander says:

      this is what was mentioned in future education programs (not only for musical students) … so-to-speak “first sprouts” ….any way new educational paradigm is all about creativity and innovations ( not to forget lifelong education and self-directed learning ) … should be promoted further I think

  • V.Lind says:

    Nothing new about it. When Pinchas Zukerman was in Ottawa at the National Arts Centre, he often taught — probably students at the Manhattan School of Music, where he is a staff member — he often taught by video link, apparently very successfully — he was a great advocate of using this technology to increase teaching/learning opportunities.

    • Jeffrey Biegel says:

      Yes, V. Lind. I remember this as well. An anecdote–when discussing projects with Klaus Heymann at Naxos 11 years ago, in sharing the skype lessons with him, he also shared that his wife was doing the same! Good things catch on quickly.

    • Peter Giles says:

      V.Lind, you are correct in saying that Disklavier Remote Lesson is not new. Back in 2007, Dr. Savitski participated in the world’s first “live” Remote Piano Performance in which he performed concert selections from his home in South Bend, Ind. on the Yamaha Disklavier, which were recreated note for note on a similarly equipped Disklavier in New York, the keys and pedals of the remote instrument in NYC moving up and down capturing every nuance of the performance. The technology has been significantly refined over the years and has become highly reliable, which is why many colleges are now embracing Yamaha Remote Lesson to enhance their offerings to students, while giving faculty a unique opportunity to audition or conduct master classes with students from across the country, or around the world.

  • Dodi Komanov says:

    LOLA (LOw LAtency) is a very interesting project coming from Italy (Conservatorio di musica Giuseppe Tartini & GARR, Trieste). Here is the link and a few words about it:

    “… LOLA (LOw LAtency) project aims to enable real time musical performances where musicians are physically located in remote sites, connected by advanced network services, like the ones provided by the NRENs and GEANT and other International backbones…

    … LOLA provides a tool which permits musicians to perform many more rehearsals before a concert… they can engage in MasterClasses teaching students around the world…, including the ability to perform together with the student during the lesson and enabling many more students to participate without the need of travel; they can take part in recording sessions without the need to travel to the recording studio, etc…

    … it also provides the ability to perform real concerts for the public, with distributed performers, and distributed audience…

    … LOLA was conceived in 2005 after a demonstration of the first intercontinental viola MasterClass between the GARR National User’s Conference in Pisa (Italy), and the New World Symphony music academy in Miami (USA)…”

  • Hugh Jaarsz says:

    No more sidling up into the safe spaces of beguiling female students by randy* old goat master class professors.

    (*American translation: horny)