In At the Piano: Interviews with 21st-Century Pianists, Caroline Benser explores the kaleidoscopic world of twenty-first-century pianism through a series of extended interviews with eight major pianists: Leif Ove Andsnes, Jonathan Biss, Simone Dinnerstein, Marc-André Hamelin, Stephen Hough, Steven Osborne, Yevgeny Sudbin, and Yuja Wang.
The pianists represented here are not only a virtuosos on their instrument, renowned for their renditions of classic works by Bach, Beethoven, Liszt, Debussy, and Bartók, they are also dedicated to advancing pianism, commissioning and performing works by living composers as well as revisiting and re-exploring musical possibilities neglected by their predecessors. Interviewees talk with Benser about such matters as their first experiences at the piano, the critical role played by their earliest teachers, the literature they play, the instruments they prefer, the meaning of musicianship to them, and the joys and difficulties of a professional career doing what they love.
Teachers, students, and amateur pianists alike will learn about new and lesser-known piano literature; newly developed instruments that have extended the range of the keyboard; the phenomenal rise of pianists in such countries as China; and new research on pianists' injuries and healthy playing. At the Piano is written not only for the specialist and non-specialist pianist but also for all musicians and general music lovers.