Igor Lipinski named KMTA Teacher of the Year

The members of the Knoxville Music Teachers Association selected Dr. Igor Lipinski for the 2016-17 KMTA Teacher of the Year award, recognizing Lipinski’s “outstanding contributions to the community and students.” Founded in 1958, the Knoxville Music Teachers Association is a local affiliate of the Tennessee Music Teachers Association (TMTA) and the Music Teachers National Association (MTNA).

Igor Lipinski joins the piano faculty at the University of Oklahoma

Dr. Igor Lipinski joins the piano faculty at The University of Oklahoma as the Assistant Professor of Piano starting Fall 2017. Lipinski will teach a studio of undergraduate and graduate piano majors and will collaborate with the piano faculty on many exciting artistic initiatives.

The University of Oklahoma is a major public research university with the main campus located in the suburban Norman, OK, twenty five minutes outside of Oklahoma City.  An institutional member of the National Association of Schools of Music since 1931, the OU School of Music is the most comprehensive music program in Oklahoma.

The OU Piano Department offers several degrees in piano performance and piano pedagogy including B.M., M.M., and D.M.A. The piano faculty at OU is recognized nationally and internationally as a leading center for performance and pedagogy:

Barbara Fast
Edward Gates
Jeongwon Ham
Jane Magrath
Stephanie Shames

For audition information, please visit the OU Piano Performance and OU Piano Pedagogy websites.

A Performer’s Guide To Chopin’s Mazurkas

This lecture-recital is a comprehensive guide to teaching and performance of Chopin’s Mazurkas, highlighting unique features of this hybrid dance form to inform the authentic application of Chopin’s articulation, phrasing, rhythm, and tempo rubato.

The fifty-seven mazurkas of Frédéric Chopin show a fascinating evolution of the genre, from a charming dance to a sophisticated musical poem. This lecture-recital, illustrated by a dozen of examples at the piano, offers a comprehensive and practical guide to teaching and performance of these masterpieces.

Since the mazurka is a hybrid of three Polish dances, the presentation will address unique characteristics of (1) the mazur, (2) the kujawiak, and (3) the oberek, along with dance movements present in Chopin’s writing, such as the “hołubiec” (heel-clicking leaps on offbeat accents) of the mazur, the “wahadłowy” (pendulum motive) of the kujawiak, and the “młynek” (whirling) of the oberek. Playing excerpts of the original folk song recordings will reveal peculiar effects featured in Chopin’s instrumental transformation of the genre, such as the “przyśpiewka,” a short improvised vocal introduction, an upbeat used for instrumental tuning, and a glissando effect, as well as Chopin’s re-imagination of folk band instruments, shown in “basy i dudy” (bass drones) of the accompanimental ostinato and the tradition of Polish fiddling. Highlighting these elements will address essential performance considerations such as moveable accents of the mazur, agogic accents of the kujawiak, a rapid stepwise motion of the oberek, a distinction of accentuation between the mazurka and the waltz, and a careful application of tempo rubato.

Lastly, the presentation will offer ideas on how this practical knowledge informs the teaching and performance of the mazurkas written by the twentieth-century composers influenced by Chopin, including Alexander Scriabin, Manuel Ponce, and Karol Szymanowski.

Igor Lipinski, is an Assistant Professor of Piano at the University of Oklahoma, a frequent orchestra and recital soloist, and a graduate of Northwestern University and the Eastman School of Music.

From Liszt To Victor Borge: A Legacy Of Unique Piano Performances

This interactive lecture-recital examines an element of surprise in Franz Liszt’s Monologues Pianistiques and Victor Borge’s Comedy in Music to explore unconventional recital programming and rediscover a sense of wonder in our own performances.

When Franz Liszt (1811-1886) premiered his Monologues Pianistiques in Rome, he finished every concert with an element of surprise. The pianist would ask the audience to write down the names of popular arias and drop them into a silver urn. By the end of the recital, he read the selections out loud while conversing joyfully with the crowd. Once settled on a particular theme, he included the familiar melody in his closing improvisation.

Following into Liszt’s footsteps, Victor Borge (1909-2000) redefined an element of surprise for Broadway with his record-breaking 849 shows of Comedy in Music in New York City. Borge encouraged musical requests, conversed with the public, and delighted his spectators with a unique touch of music and humor, turning a familiar tune of “Happy Birthday” into a set of piano variations and playing Rossini’s William Tell with the sheet-music upside down.

Liszt and Borge lived in different times and played for different audience yet they both recognized the power and the value of surprise. They believed that surprising the audience is often as important to a successful performance as technical mastery of the instrument. This presentation features a lively recreation of Liszt’s and Borge’s performance styles at the piano and explains a creative process behind programming such an interactive concert experience for today’s audience. By revisiting the legacy of these two engaging artists, we learn to think outside of the box, and bring a sense of wonder to our own performances while attracting new audience to classical music.

Igor Lipinski, is an Assistant Professor of Piano at the University of Oklahoma, a frequent orchestra and recital soloist, and a graduate of Northwestern University and the Eastman School of Music.

Igor Lipinski performs Chopin on Hong Kong TV

Listen to Lipinski’s rendition of Chopin’s Nocturne op. 9 no. 2 in E-flat Major featuring the composer’s original ornamentations recorded live at RTHK—Radio and Television Hong Kong. Featured on RTHK’s The Works, a weekly program on music and culture in Hong Kong, January 4, 2017.