Title: Keeping Our Place: On Performing Lengthy Musical Works

26 April 2017; 1700-1900

King’s College London, Strand Campus, St David’s Room


Lengthy solo musical works, such as those seen in the piano literature, create artistic as well as physical challenges to the performer. We can imagine that arduous memorization process (at least the mechanics of it), one phrase leading to the next, with entrainment and tremendous muscle memory joining it all together. Yet how is it that these piano soloists keep their place artistically, producing a stylistically consistent musical interpretation in both large and very fine scale? How are moments developed and connected in deference to a carefully crafted larger vision, one that is never entirely before their consciousness? In this lecture/recital, we’ll look at these questions both from a philosophical perspective, and from the perspective of the pianist himself. It is our hope that this will offer the philosophers in attendance a chance to ask questions and probe the soloist’s experience.