Faculty Presentations at 2017 Summer Symposium

Explore the comprehensive lectures and presentations taking place this year at the 2017 Summer Symposium and International Piano Festival at Princeton University, July 9-16.


Showing the Path to Successfully Handling Wide Stretches and Large Leaps in Chopin’s Scherzo No. 1 and Liszt’s La Campanella
MONDAY, JULY 10, 2017 – 3:30 PM
TUESDAY, JULY 11, 2017 – 3:30 PM 

How to successfully navigate large distances is an issue that every student and performer has to tackle on a daily basis. It’s one of the main reasons for fatigue, tension and pain among pianists and other instrumentalists. It’s a direct result of isolated, curled fingers, stretching exercises and more. It shows up in beginning, intermediate, and advanced repertoire. These particularly difficult pieces show how, with the correct positions and motions, the stress is taken out of the overused fingers and is distributed among other limb parts. It results in the ability to play symptom free, with great speed and accuracy, and control every sound.

Solving the Mystery of Double Thirds with Demonstrations from Tricky Passages in Chopin, Beethoven, and More
THURSDAY, JULY 13, 2017 – 3:30 PM

Playing double thirds has been an enigma for centuries. There are those who play it with great ease while others, including famous pianists, shy away from it. This presentation solves this enigma by showing how it can be successfully played and taught.


Fingering in Focus: Avoiding Stretching with a Creative Strategy
TUESDAY, JULY 11, 2017 – 11:00 AM

Editorial fingerings often cause uncomfortable stretches purely for the sake of physical legato. This presentation will offer keen insight into a solution that can eliminate such awkwardness altogether, while promoting ease, speed, and security.

One of the great values of the Taubman Approach is that it enhances comfort at the instrument. When we are more comfortable physically, we are freer, we can manage the technical demands of the music more easily, we are not plagued by fatigue, and we can give our attention more fully to expressing the music. 

Intelligent fingering significantly facilitates the playing of any passage. Though editors sometimes have good suggestions, they just as often have inconvenient ones. Students and artists alike benefit from knowing how to evaluate and choose the most logical, efficient fingering for the music they play.

Many examples from the traditional repertoire will be used to highlight the dilemma pianists face when they wrestle with fingering choices. An often overlooked possibility is the repetition of the same finger on consecutive notes. Once this useful strategy becomes part of the pianist’s arsenal, solutions for some thorny passages can appear as if by magic!


Two Hands Play Together! A Game of Chance or Skill? 
SATURDAY, JULY 15, 2017 – 11:00 AM

In this lecture, Robert Durso will explain and demonstrate the necessary skills of putting hands together. Called “The Interdependence of the Hands” in the Taubman Approach, these skills are innovative, pragmatic, and far reaching.


Beethoven Piano Sonata in C Minor, Op. 13 “Pathetique”
THURSDAY, JULY 13, 2017 – 11:00 AM

This presentation is an overview of the three movements of this popular sonata with analysis of the main musical and technical highlights of each movement. The left hand figures (broken octaves, Alberti bass, and arpeggiated accompaniments) of each movement will be discussed in detail.

Beethoven’s eighth piano sonata, Opus 13, was written and published in 1798-1799. In addition to a brief historical overview of the composer at this time, and a short analysis of the three movements, illustrating the motivic connections between them, this presentation will center on the musical and technical issues that one encounters when performing this work.  

The Grande Sonata Pathetique has always appealed to the young. This appeal continues in the present time as most pianists and teachers will have occasion to perform and/or teach this work. Certain technical requirements in the piece often present difficulties for the pianist and can hinder the freedom to express this rich emotional writing.  

With the Taubman Approach, technical demands such as tremolos, leaps, broken octaves, and staccato articulations will be analyzed and discussed. There will be an emphasis on diagnosing different aspects of problems that can occur and why. This knowledge will help students and teachers both to evaluate their playing and manage these situations. The result will be the ability to focus mainly on Beethoven’s musical intentions and how best to express them.


Applying the Taubman Approach to Violin (one-week strings program)

Designed particularly for violinists and string players who are professionals, students, and amateurs, the daily technique lectures cover Taubman/Golandsky principles. Daily workshops provide hands-on practical help with problem passages and enable participants to experience the Taubman/Golandsky work in action. Master classes offer performance opportunities, both for solo and chamber music repertoire, and four private lessons enable every participant to address specific personal needs.


Dorothy Taubman: The Story of the Movie
THURSDAY, JULY 13, 2017 – 4:30 PM

Dr. Ernest Urvater, editor and producer of Choreography of the Hands: The Work of Dorothy Taubman, presents his fascinating 32-year-long relationship with Mrs. Taubman-a circuitous journey culminating in the film’s production in 1986, as well as the production of the 10 Taubman Technique DVD’s in the following year. During his talk, excerpts from Choreography of the Hands will be shown.


Taking the Road Less Traveled By: Schubert, Rachmaninoff, and Ilya Itin
FRIDAY, JULY 14, 2017 – 4:30 PM

Princeton University musicologist Scott Burnham addresses the challenges offered by pianist Ilya Itin’s program of lesser-known gems by well-known piano composers, taking into account the performer’s view of the pieces as well as his own impressions. The presentation includes an onstage discussion between Ilya Itin and Professor Burnham.


Translating the Score: A Panel Discussion of Interpretation with Festival Artists: Ilya Itin, Josu de Solaun and Sean Duggan​
FRIDAY, JULY 14, 2017 – 4:30 PM

Festival Director, Adrienne Sirken, will moderate a discussion about how artists apply their personal philosophy, knowledge, and history to the close reading of the score when creating music of varying styles and historical epochs.  Audience questions will be welcomed. 

Join us at the 2017 Summer Symposium and International Piano Festival at Princeton University, July 9-16.