I am studying more along the lines of music pedagogy than piano performance, though; if I had to do it over again I'd probably do it differently.
I think being a piano teacher can be so great as being a concert pianist, if you are satisfied with it. For example my piano teacher loves his job so much, he looks always very happy with his pupils. And I as one of his pupils respect him a lot. He is capable of imparting the love toward the music to others. (Btw I read that you have a great teacher, too!)
With all that you have to do with school that you must have an incredibly busy schedule.
Actually it isn't so
I know how busy the american students are because some friends of mine and my sister studied in the US. But in Germany PhD students (at least in humanities) don't need to register for lectures - I'm registered for two lectures in this semester though, just for enlargement of my knowledges- and all they have to do is just writing their thesis alone. Because they have so much "free time", they're studying usually longer than the american PhD students (I belong to the lazy german students, too
I definitely could see that you would have to cut down on some of your activities, but I'm sure it had to be a hard decision to give the piano less priority because you do so well with it. When do you graduate?
Yes, it was really hard... I'm planning to finish with my thesis within one year. Actually I must work much harder than I do now.
And it's funny that Steinway would manufacture pianos with lighter actions, because I would think that most advanced pianists would want something a little more substantial.
The impression I've got there was that the most of their customer are not "advanced pianists" but the children from rich families. I've been there about two hours and found that more than half of people who were trying on the pianos were small and completely normal-looking - I mean, never being a child prodigy
- kids playing a couple of easy, short songs and talking to their parents like "Papa, I like this one! I wanna buy it!" And the rich papa seems to really buy such expensive grands for the kids
Btw I was spoken to there by an old gentleman who looks like a serious pianist and also he complained about the light actions of the pianos there. So I thought they're hiding really good pianos somewhere and showing only the ones with light actions which are for the children comfortable to play
But I have only played on American Steinways, though, so I haven’t a clue. Have you played on a Hamburg Steinway?
I'm practicing on and using for my recording a Hamburg Steinway B. (Our chorus master of the choir in which my husband and I have been singing had allowed me to use this grand and maintained this is size C, but recently I measured it myself and found that actually it is B which is 16 cm shorter than C!) But it's the only Hamburg Steinway on which I've ever played.
I found this presentation featuring Emanuel Ax playing the same piece on two different Steinways - a German one and an American one - and giving his thoughts about the two, and it was very educational for me. http://www.nytimes.com/packages/html/ny ... 3_PIANO04/
Thank you so much for this link, Sarah!
It's really interesting!!! Even though my experience with Steinways is limited to the pianos in NY Steinway Hall and to the Hamburg B, I would agree with Ax about the differences after I watched this presentation (even though I understood what he said just ca. 70%
I'm not good at listening in English). And the sound of Hamburg one played by him is more familiar to me than the sound of New York one, indeed.