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Record Geijutsu; Tokyo: Interview with Craig Sheppard
by Daisuke Hirose, PhD. Oct 2009

Beethoven from A(usgelassen) to Z(art): A Conversation with Pianist Craig Sheppard,
Jerry Dubins, Fanfare Sep/Oct 2005

UW's Craig Sheppard tackles Beethoven's life work,
The Seattle Times, January 03, 2003

Craig Sheppard Interview
MusicWeb UK - Classical Music Web, August 30, 2002

State musicians expand horizons on Taiwan residency
The Seattle Times, August 30, 2002


Craig Sheppard Interview
By Rob Barnett, MW - Classical Music Web
August 30, 2002


Barnett: Craig, can you tell me something about your family background?

Sheppard: My family have been in the United States for the most part for eight to ten generations. I am basically of Scots and English lineage, with some Irish, German, and Polish blood as well. My father died recently at the age of 87, my mother is 85. I will turn 57 at the end of November [update October, 2004]. I have two brothers, one older, one younger. Both are businessmen.

What form did your early schooling take?

I did normal schooling (in the USA, public schools) through secondary school, whereupon I went to the Curtis Institute in Philadelphia for three years and then on to the Juilliard School in New York for another three, earning both Bachelors of Science and Masters of Music at the latter institution.

Who were your music teachers?

At the Curtis, my teacher was Eleanor Sokoloff (now 90 years old) [update October, 2004]. At Juilliard, it was Sascha Gorodnitzki. I worked privately with Rudolf Serkin when I was at Marlboro. After my Juilliard years I worked with Ilona Kabos in both London and New York and Sir Clifford Curzon in London.

Are there any generic differences between music teaching in the USA and in the UK or Europe. If so what are they and what do you put these differences down to?

You know, there might have been differences many years ago, but today, teachers in this country and all the European countries are from so many different backgrounds and nationalities that I cant believe the differences in generic teaching styles to be that great from country to country. The reason artists from a particular country exhibit certain traits would have more to do, in my view, with the general environment theyve grown up in, and not their specific teachers.

read full interview


UW's Craig Sheppard tackles Beethoven's life work
By Melinda Bargreen, Seattle Times music critic
January 03, 2003

They stand there like Mount Everest, those 32 piano sonatas of Ludwig van Beethoven.

And concert pianists can't resist surmounting them all, not just because they're there but because they distill Beethoven's compositional lifetime into a series of miraculously achieved works for the instrument he knew and loved best. There are the early sonatas, written when Beethoven was still thinking about Haydn and Mozart. There are the later sonatas, when Beethoven was thinking about heaven alone knows what (how else do you account for the "Hammerklavier" Sonata?).

For pianist Craig Sheppard, who launches his complete cycle of all 32 sonatas Tuesday (7:30 p.m., Meany Theater), the sonatas are extra valuable as teaching tools.

"I feel it's incumbent upon any serious teacher to have played them all. Secondly, I adore Beethoven. Thirdly, I feel that coming to grips with such a magnum opus is a mirror into a lifetime's development of a unique artistic genius and soul and, in a way, mirrors our own individual developments. I see life as a transformative process, and there is nobody who personifies this journey better than Beethoven." ...

read full interview at SeattleTimes.com


State musicians expand horizons on Taiwan residency
By Melinda Bargreen, Seattle Times music critic
December 22, 2002

For the best teachers, the process of teaching also is a process of learning. This was emphatically the case last month for cellist Cordelia Wikarski-Miedel and pianist Craig Sheppard, whose residency at the Taiwan National College of the Arts taught them what can be accomplished these days by top students in Taiwan's new, elite conservatory.

Out went all the old stereotypes about Asian classical musicians that they're technically excellent but artistically somewhat repressed. These students, aged 16-23, played at what Wikarski-Miedel calls "a very high, pre-professional level," and their ranks include some young players who just might go on to high-level musical careers.

Sheppard adds: "These Taiwanese players show a lot of temperament. They aren't merely technicians. They express themselves."

Wikarski-Miedel, who teaches cello and chamber music at the University of Puget Sound, was invited to give master classes and concerts at the Taiwan National College of the Arts with Sheppard, a University of Washington faculty artist. Both are well-known soloists here.

After launching her international career as winner (with her pianist sister Eleonore Wikarski) of the Munich International Duo Competition, the German-born Wikarski-Miedel later came to Seattle as the wife of the late Rainer Miedel, Gerard Schwarz's predecessor as music director of the Seattle Symphony. Sheppard, who placed second to Murray Perahia in the Leeds International Piano Competition, has played with many of the world's great orchestras and concertized around the world; he was based in the United Kingdom for several years before coming to Seattle. ...

read full interview at SeattleTimes.com




 


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