Bill's Piano Blog

Contact on: steinway777@hotmail.co.uk

I'm the handsome sprog stuck onto the side of the Steinway above. I don't look like that now of course, that was back in the days when I was taking piano lessons, round about 1958 ish. 

When I was a kid, I couldn’t decide whether to become a concert pianist or an electronics engineer. I hadn’t spent too long at school because I grew up in hospital, so I was about 8 or 9 when I first went to school and learnt to read and write. An inspired decision was reached. In order to become a concert pianist, one has to be able to play the piano to a high standard. I’d taken piano lessons since I was about 7 or 8, but I was more interested in playing pop songs and generally fooling around than getting stuck into dedicated practising. By the time I was 15, I dropped out of the piano world and totally lost interest in becoming a pianist. I'd entertained the kids at school and I joined a pop group called Small Paul and The Young Ones, but that wasn’t very demanding. Again, I was just bashing out the pop songs of the day (1962/3).

For a living, I chose the world of electronics and at the age of 15, I emigrated to the Netherlands where I worked in the construction of ships’ radio equipment.

As for the concert pianist quest, well, I didn’t  reach that standard (I lack the endurance to sit and practice for five hours a day), but after a 40 some odd year sabbatical, I rekindled my interest in piano playing and I think I’m progressing at a reasonable rate, focusing mainly on Chopin and Beethoven. Sadly, I'm having to do it all 'self taught' as I don't have a teacher at this time. They don't come cheap. I joined the Friends of the Leeds Piano Competition back in 2006.

I have quite a wide musical taste spectrum. I like classical of course, but right now I'm listening to Jimi Hendrix on the Planet Rock radio station. Tomorrow I could be listening to Lady Gaga, Lily Allen , Pixie Lot or Pink. One of my all time favourite musical performances is Autumn Leaves played on the piano by Erroll Garner, live in concert at Carmel California in 1955. Take a look at this guy:

 

                                          Erroll Garner 

                                          More on him in Pianists 

                                      Me slightly older than in the top photo.