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Music

Natalie Tsaldarakis

PhD Student

Department of Music

E: Natalie.Tsaldarakis@city.ac.uk

PhD Title: Gordon Green and his contribution to the ‘Manchester School’ of pianism

Supervisor: Dr. Ian Pace

Research interests and overview

Green Gordon Green (1905-1981) was an important cultural figure in the history of pianism in Britain until his death in 1981. A close friend of Alan Rawsthorne, he had numerous pupils among them such important artists as Philip Fowke, Martino Tirimo, Stephen Hough, Gordon-Fergus Thompson, Christian Blackshaw, and Peter Donohoe and Martin Roscoe.

Gordon fostered and promoted important cultural liaisons at his home in Manchester, as piano professor of the Royal Manchester College of Music (now known as Royal Northern College of Music-RNCM), with frequent guests of international repute such as Sviatoslav Richter and Shura Cherkassky. He was also a professor of the Royal Academy of Music (London, UK), which greatly extended his sphere of influence.

Notably, Brendel has been quoted as an admirer who personally met Gordon on a number of occasions. Certainly, there were other influential artist teachers around at the time of Green, therefore this research topic is proposed as a case study of a biography.

It is also important to note that there is a vast research gap when it comes to British pianism, thus even the mere reference to a British piano tradition of any sort is problematic at this point because of insufficient research (thus still not established as a concept among British researchers). However, Gordon Green is a worthwhile subject matter whose biography could contribute to the wider mapping of pianistic historiography in the 20th c., while allowing a critical look at methodologies involved in the construction of ‘schools’. Therefore, the research intends to address objectively Gordon's specific role and position in the history of music in the 20th c. with a view to considering a plausible construct of his illustrious students as a distinct school, and in parallel contribute to the amendment and expansion of the British pianistic tradition(s) as charted by the International Piano Archives at the University of Maryland.

Biographical studies in the field of music are usually concerned with composers and performers, however this research will seek to investigate a subject whose contribution is primarily in the field of piano teaching instead.

The dissertation then would also contribute to the existing debate on the merit of systematising knowledge/practices that came from the studios of legendary piano pedagogues Leschetizky and Vengerova, and ultimately further facilitating conclusions concerning the merit of systematising knowledge/practices in piano teaching at large.

Research Interests

  • Piano pedagogy and elite (peak) performance
  • Aspects of teaching and learning
  • Performance anxiety and memorisation
  • Analysis for performance
  • Chamber music especially for two pianos and piano 4-hands.
  • British pianists
  • New music
  • Women composers

Education

  • Piano Soloist Diploma, Polymnios Conservatory (Patras, Greece) 1990
  • Bachelor of Arts in Music, The American College of Greece (Deree College) 1988-1992
  • Master of Music in Piano Performance, West Chester University of Pa. (US) 1992-1994
  • Master of Music in Advanced Musical Studies, Royal Holloway, University of London 2005-2007
  • Preparing to Teach in the Lifelong Learning Sector (PTLLS), Bromley Adult Education College 2007

Public Presentations and Conference Papers Given

  • Workshop & Masterclass on aspects of Peak Performance for Young Pianists, Steinway Hall, April 2014                                                                        
  • Discussion of Performance, Cornelius Cardew 75th anniversary symposium, Chair: Michael Chant, Glasgow University, September 2011
  • Recital of late works by Cornelius Cardew (1936-1981), Cornelius Cardew 75th anniversary symposium, Recital Room, Glasgow City Hall, September 2011
  • Conference on Cornelius Cardew, The Engine Room, November 2011
  • Constantinides’ 44 Children’s Pieces: Performance and Pedagogical Considerations,  Morley College 2009
  • Constantinides’ 44 Children’s Pieces: Performance and Pedagogical Considerations, World Piano Conference, Serbia May 2009

Performances

  • Concerts of new music for piano duo, Morley College in collaboration with Cornelius Cardew Concerts Trust (2016, 2015). Next concert in October 2017.
  • Resonance FM 104.4 (live interviews and performances on ‘Sound Out’ with Carole Finer; June 2014, October 2015, July 2015, October 2016)
  • St James Piccadilly, lunchtime concert series, July 2009 and August 2016
  • Charlton House lunchtime concert series (2007, 2010, 2013, 2015)
  • Markson's Concert Series, St Mary Magdalene Parish Church, October 2014
  • Southbank, Women of the World Festival, March 2013.
  • ‘Lets Start at the End’ work for two pianos commissioned by Performance Hub, Wolverhampton University, 2013
  • Piano Day curated by composer Lola Perrin, Lauderdale House, 2013
  • Freedom from Torture Charity Concert, with the Ivory Duo Piano Ensemble and Dr. Desbrulais, trumpet, Stone House, Lewisham, 2014
  • Fairfield Halls with Ivory Duo Piano Ensemble June 2013
  • Fairfield Halls with Nadia Lassersson's New London Piano Quartet 2013
  • Winchester Cathedral concert series, May 2013
  • Blackheath Halls (October 2007, March 2011)
  • Conway Hall, organized by the Cornelius Cardew Concerts Trust, November 2011
  • St Martin in the Fields March 2007
  • Sibelius Academy (10/2000)
  • Trinity Laban Alkan Festival 2007 (organised by Yonti Solomon then president of Alkan Society)
  • Numerous concerts in Greece (1999-2005) including Melina Merkouri Centre, Nakas Concert Hall, Deree College Athenaeum, Parnassus Philological Society; over 60 concerts in the US (1993-1994).

Recordings

  • Romantic Dance Music for Piano Duo, released 2009 through CDBaby. Available also through Amazon and iTunes.
  • Conference on Climate Change: CD release of performances at Cecil Sharp House, 2007

Teaching

  • Instructor of Music, The American College of Greece 1995-2005
  • Piano Teacher, Attiko Conservatory (Athens, Greece) 1996-1999
  • Piano Professor, Nakas Conservatory 1999-2003
  • Piano Professor, National Conservatory of Greece 2003-2005
  • Piano Tutor, Lewisham Music Service 2007-2009
  • Piano Tutor, Community Education Lewisham 2006-2008
  • Coordinator for HE Music Provision, Canterbury College 2008-2010 (concurrently Associate Lecturer, Canterbury University at Christ Church, and Associate Lecturer, University of Greenwich for the BA in Creative Music Production programme at Canterbury College).

Links

Ivory duo piano