BTW - I did not see that attachment with your bio !?
True. I don't see it either. Strange, it said it was uploading it. Ahh. There was an error message "The extension txt is not allowed." that I hadn't noticed.
Okay, I'll just past the text in below.
Mark was born in 1956 and started piano lessons at age six at the Bryn
Mawr Conservatory of Music in Pennsylvania, where he continued until
age 18, first under the tutelage of Mme. Baroni, and later under
Taylor Redden. He applied to, but was not accepted to Oberlin
Conservatory and Northwestern University, and went to college at
Tulane University. It was his intention his freshman year to get a
Bachelor of Fine Arts in piano performance and a Bachelor of Science
in mathematics. However, in talking with some of the upperclassman
music majors, he discovered two alarming facts: (1) the music majors
had come to be so critical about performances that they could only
hear the mistakes after a while, and no longer could enjoy music, and
(2) there is an inherent trade-off between being a musician and
earning enough to be able to eat. Accordingly, Mark dropped the piano
major and instead did a triple major in mathematics, physics, and
chemistry. He eventually went on to get a Ph.D. in Computer Science
from Brown University, and has worked in the semiconductor industry
since 1995. He has been living in Austin with his wife and children
It is actually a good thing that Mark decided not to pursue music as a
career, because, frankly, he was not very good at it when he was in
college. Although he had been practicing 6 to 8 hours per day in high
school, nevertheless he had poor technique that led to his having a
very heavy, wooden touch.
When Mark was in his 30s, his grandfather passed away, and left him
enough inheritance money to buy a new Baldwin baby grand piano. At
that point, he decided to take some lessons, and engaged the services
of Robbert de Vries in the Boston area. During his first 90-minute
lesson, his teacher talked about Mark's posture, his shoulders, his
elbows, his wrists, and his thumbs. Fingers were not even mentioned
during that first lesson. Essentially, Robbert took a bulldozer to
Mark's technique and started from the ground up, teaching him how to
keep the tension out of his hands and to play with minimal effort. As
a result, Mark was able to develop the light touch that had eluded him
up until then.
Although Mark only took lessons from Robbert for a couple of years, he
has continued playing the piano for fun. Over the last decade or so,
Mark has learned all the Mozart sonatas, most of the Beethoven
sonatas, most of the Chopin repertoire, Ravel, Rachmaninoff, Glinka,
Franck, Fauré, and most recently Field. He also has season tickets to
the Austin Symphony, and has a hobby that whenever the orchestra plays
a piano concerto, he learns the piano part prior to the concert. The
concertos so far are the Grieg, Liszt #2, Beethoven #2, Rachmaninoff
#2, Tchaikovsky #1, Brahms #1, Prokofiev #4, and now Schumann.