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50 words

Canadian pianist Alan Fraser has written several landmark books on piano technique, The Craft of Piano Playing, Honing the Pianistic Self-Image, All Thumbs: Well-Coordinated Piano Technique, and Playing the Piano with the Whole Self (release date December 2015). Based in Novi Sad, Serbia, he regularly presents workshops and recitals worldwide.

100 words

Canadian pianist Alan Fraser‘s landmark books, The Craft of Piano Playing, Honing the Pianistic Self-Image, All Thumbs: Well-Coordinated Piano Technique, and Playing the Piano with the Whole Self (release date December 2015) present a new approach to piano technique growing out of the Feldenkrais Method and his collaborations with Phil Cohen and Kemal Gekic. He focuses on the body not to impoverish but enhance artistic expression, increasing richness of tone and power even while developing sensitivity and precision. His approach, aimed at healthy pianists, also effectively addresses various performance injuries. Alan Fraser teaches piano and Feldenkrais at the University of Novi Sad, Serbia, and gives recitals and workshops worldwide. More at www.alanfraser.net .

150 words

Canadian pianist Alan Fraser is best known for his landmark works, The Craft of Piano Playing, Honing the Pianistic Self-Image, All Thumbs: Well-Coordinated Piano Technique, and Playing the Piano with the Whole Self (release date December 2015). These present a new approach to piano technique that accesses the innate structure and function of the human hand, replacing tension and over-relaxation with effective hand activation, which leads in turn to enriched piano tone, greater agility and a deeper emotional expression.

Born and raised in Montreal where he completed several university degrees and studies notably with Tom Plaunt and Phil Cohen, he moved to the former Yugoslavia in 1990 to collaborate with Kemal Gekich, a virtuoso whose transcendent technique Fraser would analyze on the way to forming his own approach.

Fraser teaches piano and Feldenkrais at the University of Novi Sad, Serbia, and gives seminars and recitals throughout Europe, Japan and North America. Find out more about Alan’s various activities at one of his several websites:

www.alanfraser.net
www.craftofpiano.com
www.pianotechnique.net
www.maplegroveproductions.com

370 words

Based in middle Europe, Canadian pianist Alan Fraser enjoys an international reputation both as a teacher and a performer. After studies in Montreal (B.Mus McGill ‘80, Dip.AMPS Concordia ’84, M.Mus McGill ’87) notably with Alan Belkin, Lauretta Milkman, Phil Cohen and Tom Plaunt, he embarked on a long-standing collaboration in Yugoslavia with pianist Kemal Gekic where he developed an approach to piano technique that unlocks the hand’s innate power by returning to its structure and function.

Both his book, The Craft of Piano Playing (Scarecrow Press 2003, 2nd Revised Ed. 2011) and his DVD of the same name (Maple Grove Music 2006) are now considered classics in the field and are sought after worldwide, with translations into several languages soon to appear. He has published a second volume, Honing the Pianistic Self-Image: Skeletal-Based Piano Technique (Maple Grove Music 2010), a Study Guide (Maple Grove Music 2009) that ties in all the themes of both books and the DVD, a third volume, All Thumbs: Well-Coordinated Piano Technique (Maple Grove Music 2012), and has a fourth planned, Playing the Piano with the Whole Self (Maple Grove Music 2015).

In his work, Alan Fraser’s focus on the physical aims to unlock the deepest possible musical levels of expression. Critics have described his performances in this way….

Trossinger Zeitung, “Fraser’s playing was mystical in its intensity, calling forth the spirit of the composer and suffusing the highly dissonant, fin-du-siècle textures with an emotional expression searing in its raw power.”

Cambridge Evening News,“Fraser has a wonderfully wide and rich tonal palette, and most important, he uses this vast array of pianistic-orchestral colours for the deepest possible artistic ends – a profound expression of the composer’s emotional world that doesn’t try to be, but simply is, in all its dramatic, emotional and philosophical significance.”

Alan Fraser is a senior practitioner of the Feldenkrais Method, an approach to neuro-motor re-education that played a crucial role in the development of his piano technique. He is also a respected digital-sound editor who has recently embarked on an exciting series of CD projects with Kemal Gekic in Miami, Florida. He still lives and teaches in Serbia, where he is on staff at the University of Novi Sad. He has two daughters, Megan and Masha.

You can find out more about Alan’s various activities at one of his several websites:

www.alanfraser.net
www.craftofpiano.com
www.pianotechnique.net
www.maplegroveproductions.com

650 words

Piano & Feldenkrais

Alan Fraser was born in Montreal in 1955 and there pursued his musical development, which centered around the piano but including composition, cello, classical singing and forays into pop music. After conceiving the goal of developing a new approach to playing and teaching piano that would grow out of the Feldenkrais Method, he embarked on a professional training in the Method in 1988. Feldenkrais Method applies advances in the field of bio-mechanics to ameliorate neuro-musculo-skeletal functioning – in short, it improves how we move by improving the very learning processes involved in movement.

Move to Yugoslavia

He moved to former Yugoslavia in 1990, beginning a collaboration with the acclaimed virtuoso Kemal Gekich. The goal: to synthesize elements of the three main 19th century schools of piano playing (the Russian French and Germanic) with more recently developed principles of human movement found in Feldenkrais Method, to arrive at a new school of piano playing. A decade after he set out for Yugoslavia, Alan Fraser’s unusual odyssey continued in mainland China, where in the millennium year 1999-2000 he worked with the most promising pianistic talents at Wuhan Conservatory of Music. By now his application of Feldenkrais’ principles of movement to the brilliant practical work of Gekich and others was crystallizing into a whole new vision of piano technique. Back in Yugoslavia, Alan Fraser finally distilled the fruit of this rich cross-cultural pianistic and pedagogical experience into book form. The Craft of Piano Playing, presenting both a general theory and its practical application in over 60 exercises, was published by Scarecrow Press in 2003.

The DVD version of Craft appeared in 2006, and a second volume, Honing the Pianistic Self-Image was published in 2010. Following these have come a Study Guide (Maple Grove Music 2009) that ties in all the themes of both books and the DVD, a third volume, All Thumbs: Well-Coordinated Piano Technique (Maple Grove Music 2012), and a planned fourth volume, Playing the Piano with the Whole Self (Maple Grove Music 2016).

Master Classes & Presentations

Fraser has presented his work at the 2008 MTNA-CFMTA Special Joint Session on Musicians and Wellness in New York City, the 2009 University of St. Paul, Minnesota Summer Piano Institute, the University of Ottawa Piano Pedagogy Laboratory Conference on the physical in performance, the 2008 EPTA Austria Annual Meeting, the special ISSTIP course on Musicians and Health at the London School of Music and Media, Thames Valley University, and numerous other events. He has given master classes in London (King’s College), Lewes and Cambridge, England, in Trossingen, Dortmund, Cologne and Hamm, Germany, in Nizhny-Novgorod, Russia, the Liszt Academy in Budapest, Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore, the Conservatoire Superieure Nationale de la Musique in Paris, McGill University in Montreal and elsewhere throughout Europe and North America.

Appearances & Recordings

Fraser has recently appeared in recital in Heidelberg, Trossingen, Hamm, Dortmund, Wuppertal and other cities in Germany, in numerous Canadian cities as well as in most major centers of Serbia. He has broadcast solo recitals and concerto performances on the Yugoslav National Television network and has made numerous recordings for both Yugoslav radio and Radio Canada. The playing on his CD Russian Recital has been acclaimed as “Horowitzian”. He has appeared several times at the International Liszt Festival in Hamilton, Ontario. He also has considerable experience as vocal soloist, including ten years with le Studio de Musique Ancienne de Montreal. His compositions include works for piano, several solo songs, a liturgical mass and Magnificat for 8-voice unaccompanied choir and a Missa Brevis for organ and choir.

Students’ Activities

He has prepared students for many important international competitions – the Chopin in Warsaw 1995 and 2000, the Liszt in Budapest 1996 and 2001, and the Tchaikowsky in Moscow 1994 and 1998. Of his students in Wuhan, Xu Hong aged 16 placed among the finalists at the Hamamatsu 2000 and won 1st prize at the Hong Kong 2000 and 3rd prize at the Gina Bachauer 2001, while Tao Chi, also 16, won 4th prize at the Hong Kong 2000.

Alan Fraser teaches both piano and Feldenkrais at the Art Academy of the University of Novi Sad, Serbia.

You can find out more about Alan’s various activities at one of his several websites:

www.alanfraser.net
www.craftofpiano.com
www.pianotechnique.net
www.maplegroveproductions.com

One Comment

  1. zuhair bakdoud
    Posted 29 April 2014 at 20:58 | Permalink

    Great!

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