Garrick Ohlsson talks about pianos

I spent some time with Garrick Ohlsson recently during his visit to Tanglewood and recorded our discussion of various piano topics. The stepping off point was his own collection of pianos.

The problem with sports

I’m not a sports person. Skinny and hollow chested, I was much more at home behind the music stand practicing horn in high school than doing anything athletic. Now that I’m older I appreciate not having the knee and hip problems that many of my more physically active peers have, but I regret having to get into an exercising habit at an older age for health reasons. I wish that I had developed more of a physically active habit earlier in life.

That being said, the problem with sports is that they simplify life; there is a winner and a loser and that’s that.

Ok, it’s a little more complicated than that, but not much. Teamwork, strategy, tactics blah blah, the end result is the same, you want to win by an objective standard (score, clock, set of judges) and if you don’t win, you loose. Yes, second place in the olympics is not bad, but nobody will say it’s as good as gold. Sports of course have their merits, but essentially looking at life through the lens of a sports background removes much of the subtlety.


Garrick Ohlsson on YouTube

Garrick is a good friend of Bosendorfer and graciously agreed, at an event at the Museum of Arts and Design in NYC, to give a sampling from his upcoming all Scriabin recital.

This was music making of the highest order, in the most wonderful, casual, engaging setting you can imagine.

Wait, Andreas…let me explain!

Why am I such a Bosendorfer geek?

In a nutshell, everything I know about high end pianos I learned from Bosendorfer. Seeing my first Imperial at the University of Wisconsin/Madison at the ripe age of 20 set me on my path. From then on, there was nothing so dramatic, spectacular and, well, downright sexy as […]

Pianos in recordings

I’ve been trying to come up with some examples of recordings where the non-Steinway piano is notated, AND it is a good representation of that makers sound.

I have many Bosendorfer examples, mostly Garrick Ohlsson’s vast output. I have also found some bad examples, such as good piano sound but bad playing (no, not Garrick) […]