To start the new school year off as well as a new concert season, the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra brought acclaimed pianist Fabio Bidini to NOCCA for an intensive master class with classical music students.
“When you play the first finger, the fourth finger already has to be over the note,” explained Mr. Bidini, one of the leading pianists to emerge from Italy in the last two decades and known for his technical wizardry and poetic lyricism. A frequent guest artists with orchestras worldwide, he has performed with the San Francisco Symphony, Budapest Festival Orchestra, The Philharmonic Orchestra of London, and the BBC National Orchestra of Wales and in venues including Carnegie Hall, The Kennedy Center, Royal Festival Hall in London and Rudolfinum in Prague.
That mastery and passion he brought to the residency at NOCCA in full force, breaking down the fundamentals of hand position and finger articulation at the same time raising students’ understanding of in depth technique. “The quality of the staccato of F that you have is not there because the note is too long. It is the correct note, but you have to pay attention to the quality of the sound. You work on this. Let’s go on.”
The student starts to play the next passage. Mr. Bidini stops her. “How difficult is it to play four notes in four different actions and four different lengths?” he asks. “The first finger will not play at the same level as the fifth finger because by nature the first finger is stronger,” he explains as he continuously works with the student on hand position.
“The last thing I want you to do at home for 10 minutes – if you don’t have the time, find it – is practice this scales exercise” Bidini says as he demonstrates. “The brain needs to be able to do the same thing with both hands. Practice scales with cross hands. Everything must feel natural. If it feels too difficult, it is because it is wrong,” he closes, smiling broadly and leaving students with much to absorb.