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The Piano Pod

Author: Yukimi Song, Clara Zhang

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Hi 🎹 lovers out there! We are The Piano Pod, a bi-monthly podcast🎙 show, hosted by Yukimi Song and Clara Zhang--classical pianists & educators from NYC. Our podcast show is for anyone who plays the piano for fun, loves listening to the piano music, is currently pursuing a career in piano or works professionally in the music industry, or someone curious about the world of piano music!

Twice a month, we interview a guest speaker who has been breaking exciting new ground in the music industry. Started during the coronavirus pandemic as a way to adjust to the new musical reality, the goals of The Piano Pod are to examine the traditions of the piano, adapt them, and expand its capabilities in this modern era.

📺Each episode is also available in video format on our YouTube channel (https://www.youtube.com/c/ThePianoPod).
🔗Follow us on social media: https://linktr.ee/thepianopodnyc
🌍Visit our website: https://thepianopod.com

Thanks for listening♥️
34 Episodes
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TPP had the great fun and honor interviewing Mr. BLKBOK https://www.youtube.com/c/BLKBOK —a neo-classical pianist, composer, and Yamaha Artist who had worked as a lead pianist and musical director with A-list pop singers such as ☑️ Rihanna ☑️ Justin Timberlake ☑️ Demi Lavato ☑️ John Mayer 💿 BOK (😁 yup, now we get to call him that way!) recently released a new album “Black Book”, a compilation of his original piano pieces, inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement and the 2018 film, Green Book. 📼 Besides his debut album, His first Mixtape release, CVRART, and current Mixtape project Angels Watching Over Me, with world-renowned tenor Lawrence Brownlee, illustrate the innovative and disruptive musical landscape.  🤳 BLKBOK is also very active on social media and creates fun and engaging content for his fans--he has over 30K followers on TikTok and 21K followers on IG. 🎹 He was recently named as a Yamaha Artist, added to their classical piano roster, of which there are only 125 worldwide🌏. We also invited Mr. Ray Mak, YouTube Star, https://www.youtube.com/c/RayMak (do you remember Ray? He was our guest of Season 1 Episode 5: https://thepianopodnyc.simplecast.com/episodes/the-piano-pod-season-1-episode-5-ray-mak-youtube-star-and-digital-entrepreneur) as the guest co-host of the episode! Wanna hear him perform live? 🎟Book BOKBOK's tour in 2022 👇👇👇 https://www.blkbok.com/events😎😎😎[BLKBOK—guest of Episode 7] Neo-classical Pianist, Composer, and Yamaha Artist 🎵TikTok: https://www.tiktok.com/blkbok  🤳IG: https://www.instagram.com/blkbok  📺YT: https://www.youtube.com/c/BLKBOK  🟢Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/artist/2WaCa...  🍎Apple: https://music.apple.com/us/artist/blk...  ♣️ Tidal: https://tidal.com/browse/artist/24456553  🙂Amazon: https://music.amazon.com/artists/B092...  🌐website: https://blkbok.com[Ray Mak--guest co-host of Episode 7]  📺YT: https://www.youtube.com/c/RayMak  🤳IG: https://www.instagram.com/makhonkit/  🟢Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/artist/6diqr...  🍎Apple: https://music.apple.com/us/artist/ray... ♣️ Tidal: https://listen.tidal.com/artist/18355662   🙂Amazon: https://music.amazon.com/artists/B084...  🌐website: http://www.redefiningpiano.com/[The Piano Pod]🌐website: thepianopod.com  📺YT:https://www.youtobe.com/c/ThePianoPod 🤳Social Media: https://linktr.ee/thepianopodnyc
TPP had the privilege of interviewing Mr. Ricardo Hernandez, Entertainment/Corporate attorney, from Nashville, TN, for this episode. We had such great conversations, covering the latest Taylor Swift dispute with her record label company, the pandemic aftermath, and tips on how to achieve a long, successful career in the music industry. [Guest: Ricardo A. Hernandez] Ricky is an associate in the Nashville office of Shackelford, Bowen, McKinley & Norton, LLP whose experience primarily lies in the fields of entertainment, intellectual property, and corporate law, with a broad knowledge base in the areas of music, technology, commercial lending, mergers & acquisitions, and day-to-day corporate matters. Ricky’s experience as a Certified Public Accountant allows him to see the obstacles and concerns of his clients from many different perspectives. Ricky’s broad range of experience in complex corporate and entertainment transactions provides him with the opportunity to better understand the marketplace and which in turn allows him to be the best advocate for his client. Throughout the course of his career, he has advised private companies of varying sizes in all stages of growth and development as well as through a variety of exit opportunities. His practice areas: 👉 Corporate Law and Transactions 👉 Entertainment and Media 👉 Intellectual Property 🌍 https://shackelford.law/profiles/rica... 📧: rhernandez@shackelford.law [Guest Co-Host: Aggeliki Psoni] For this episode, we invited Ms. Aggeliki Psoni, Greek/Jazz singer and Real Estate attorney, as a guest co-host! Aggeliki is a friend of Clara--and Yukimi also got to meet Aggeliki and work with her (and with Clara!) for a fun Halloween gig in CT recently. Aggeliki is the one who introduced us to Ricky, and we also asked her to join us as a guest co-host. 📺 https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCNEX... 🥰 https://www.instagram.com/aggelikiliki/
TPP has some important announcements to make for the audience on our audio platforms--in case you missed our social media posts lately. In this special edition, Clara and Yukimi discussed the future of The Piano Pod🎙--how we can use this platform to spread the message of love and positivity. Starting in the next episode, we will change up the format of the show a little bit to bring hotter and more informative content to our audience in a creative way! Please follow our social media on:Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ThePianoPodNYC/Instagram:  https://www.instagram.com/the_piano_pod/Twitter: https://twitter.com/podpianoTwitch: https://www.twitch.tv/the_piano_podLinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/the-piano-pod/YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/c/ThePianoPodbilibili: https://www.bilibili.com/video/BV13r4y1C7uW/
TPP had the privilege of interviewing Dr. Alexandria Le, concert pianist, Yamaha Artist, educator, and arts advocate.  A winner of over twenty first-prize music awards, her performance career has seen her play everywhere from Carnegie Hall and the Salle Cortot to the jails of Riker’s Island. After establishing her career for over 15 years in New York, she returned to her hometown, Las Vegas, to form the nonprofit organization Notes with a Purpose.  Since its inception several years ago it has already engaged thousands of children and adults in the Las Vegas area through outreach concerts and special events.  [Dr. Alexandria Le] Alexandria Le, pianist and Las Vegas native, has appeared as a soloist on the world’s most illustrious stages, such as Carnegie Hall in New York City and Salle Cortot in Paris, and in the most intimate of venues, such as the French Embassy in New York City and the Parrish Museum in the Hamptons. Her performances have been broadcast over radio stations in cities including Los Angeles, Las Vegas, and Seattle.  A winner of over twenty first-prize music awards, she is a laureate of the Pro Musicis International Award and the Ackerman Chamber Music Competition. She was the pianist for two years with Ensemble Connect, the resident ensemble of Carnegie Hall, and appeared regularly on Carnegie Hall’s concert series. She has also performed with principal members of the world’s leading orchestras, including the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, St. Martin-in-the-Fields, Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, American Brass, and Canadian Brass. She has worked with Pulitzer Prize-winning composers Steve Reich and John Corigliano, and has commissioned and premiered new works, including a solo piano piece (Competing Demands) dedicated to her by Ryan Carter. Alexandria is a graduate of the Las Vegas Academy, where she was an inaugural inductee in their Hall of Fame. She holds piano performance degrees from the Eastman School of Music and SUNY Stony Brook, where she received her Doctorate of Musical Arts. She was named a Yamaha Artist in 2015, of which there are fewer than 100 worldwide on their classical piano roster. After establishing a career in New York, she returned to her roots in Las Vegas to make a difference in people’s lives. In 2016, she founded Notes with a Purpose, an award-winning music nonprofit that has enriched the lives of over 15,000 elementary schoolchildren and disenfranchised adults. Through performances, community outreach, and private piano teaching, she is committed to adding beauty and cultural growth to her hometown every day. 🎹 Alexandria’s Website: https://www.alexandriale.com/ 📱 Alexandria’s Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/alexandrial... 🌐 Notes with a Purpose Website: https://www.noteswithapurpose.org/ 🎶 Notes with a Purpose: https://www.instagram.com/noteswithap...
Part 2 of 2. TPP had the privilege of interviewing Claire Marie Lim, also known as dolltr!ck, for this episode. A professor in the Electronic Production & Design department at Berklee College of Music, she specializes in instruction for live electronic performance, production, and programming, and is an advocate of womxn and Asian representation in music technology. She is an Ableton Certified Trainer, Bitwig Certified Trainer, and Apple Certified Pro. In music education and arts activism, Claire collaborates with the Girls Rock Campaign, Beats By Girlz, and the Queens Public Library network, and has received support from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs and Queens Council on the Arts. She develops curriculum for various ages and experience levels, having consulted for the International Center of Photography, Queens College, Coursera, and the Berklee network. Claire also independently runs the doll troop, a mentorship experience where K-12 girls can shadow her in electronic songwriting sessions and live shows.
Part 1 of 2.TPP had the privilege of interviewing Claire Marie Lim, also known as dolltr!ck, for this episode. A professor in the Electronic Production & Design department at Berlkee College of Music, she specializes in instruction for live electronic performance, production and programming, and is an advocate of womxn and Asian representation in music technology. She is an Ableton Certified Trainer, Bitwig Certified Trainer, and Apple Certified Pro. In music education and arts activism, Claire collaborates with the Girls Rock Campaign, Beats By Girlz, and the Queens Public Library network, and has received support from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs and Queens Council on the Arts. She develops curriculum for various ages and experience levels, having consulted for the International Center of Photography, Queens College, Coursera and the Berklee network. Claire also independently runs the doll troop, a mentorship experience where K-12 girls can shadow her in electronic songwriting sessions and live shows.
Part 2 of 2.For Season 2 Episode 3, TPP was privileged to interview Josh Massicot: keyboardist, author, songwriter, and educator.  We invited him for this episode for his approach to music education and particularly for his views on the Rolling Stone article (March 8, 2021): "Julliard Must Modernize, Or It Will Die," written by Emma Sutton-Williams.As a keyboardist, Josh has performed both with major symphony orchestras and shared the stage with international touring acts. For the past thirteen years, he has served on the faculty of Nazareth College, where he teaches piano lessons, pedagogy, and functional piano. His textbook, Functional Piano for Music Therapists and Music Educators: An Exploration of Styles, is a required text for college and graduate students both domestically and internationally. Josh is also a successful singer-songwriter, and his alt-Americana group, “Stella Hill,” has two EPs that are available to stream and download on all major music platforms.Recently, Josh became the production manager at Concerts at Point of the Bluff Vineyards, where he oversees all aspects of day-of-operations for some of the biggest international touring acts and artists in the world.
Part 1 of 2.For Season 2 Episode 3, TPP was privileged to interview Josh Massicot: keyboardist, author, songwriter, and educator.  We invited him for this episode for his approach to music education and particularly for his views on the Rolling Stone article (March 8, 2021): "Julliard Must Modernize, Or It Will Die," written by Emma Sutton-Williams.As a keyboardist, Josh has performed both with major symphony orchestras and shared the stage with international touring acts. For the past thirteen years, he has served on the faculty of Nazareth College, where he teaches piano lessons, pedagogy, and functional piano. His textbook, Functional Piano for Music Therapists and Music Educators: An Exploration of Styles, is a required text for college and graduate students both domestically and internationally. Josh is also a successful singer-songwriter, and his alt-Americana group, “Stella Hill,” has two EPs that are available to stream and download on all major music platforms.Recently, Josh became the production manager at Concerts at Point of the Bluff Vineyards, where he oversees all aspects of day-of-operations for some of the biggest international touring acts and artists in the world.
Part 2 of 2.Korean-born American pianist Min Kwon excels in a versatile career that encompasses concerti, solo recitals, and chamber music appearances, while in high demand around the world as a pedagogue, arts advocate, and administrator. She has held professional engagements in over 60 countries on seven continents and all 50 U.S. states, and currently is the Professor of Piano at Mason Gross School of the Arts, Rutgers University since 2002. Dr. Kwon is also the founder and director of the Center for Musical Excellence (CME), a nonprofit dedicated to mentoring and supporting gifted young musicians.  She served as Co‐Director of Vienna ConcertoFest in Austria and is the first music alumna to have been invited to serve on the Juilliard School Council in New York. Her latest project, America/Beautiful, is a modern-day Diabelli Variations with contributions from over 70 contemporary composers.  Min Kwon is a Steinway Artist. 
Part 1 of 2.Korean-born American pianist Min Kwon excels in a versatile career that encompasses concerti, solo recitals, and chamber music appearances, while in high demand around the world as a pedagogue, arts advocate, and administrator. She has held professional engagements in over 60 countries on seven continents and all 50 U.S. states, and currently is the Professor of Piano at Mason Gross School of the Arts, Rutgers University since 2002. Dr. Kwon is also the founder and director of the Center for Musical Excellence (CME), a nonprofit dedicated to mentoring and supporting gifted young musicians.  She served as Co‐Director of Vienna ConcertoFest in Austria and is the first music alumna to have been invited to serve on the Juilliard School Council in New York. Her latest project, America/Beautiful, is a modern-day Diabelli Variations with contributions from over 70 contemporary composers.  Min Kwon is a Steinway Artist. 
Part 2 of 2.Welcome to Season 2 of The Piano Pod! To celebrate the start of the new season, we interviewed Jeffrey Biegel, the renowned concert pianist, Steinway artist, recording artist, composer, and arranger. Mr. Biegel has performed with many major orchestras throughout the world, such as the London Symphony, the BBC Philharmonic, the Philadelphia Orchestra, and the National Symphony, among many others; and he is a professor of piano at the Conservatory of Music at Brooklyn College. He is both a traditional virtuoso, and a dedicated champion of new music, having created more than a dozen commissioning projects. His recording of one of them, Kenneth Fuchs's Piano Concerto 'Spiritualist'; won the 2019 Grammy Award for Best Classical Compendium. His own composition, "Three Reflections," will have its premiere with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra on October 7, 2021. He also has multiple new recordings coming out in the next few months, including the 1924 version of Rhapsody in Blue with the original orchestration, Islamey on the Steinway Label, and "A Planet's Odyssey" by Daniel Perttu. BONUS OPPORTUNITY FOR TPP FANS!Mr. Biegel played so many excerpts during the interview, we couldn't keep up! If you hear a melody you recognize, write the title of the piece in the comments on YouTube!Everyone who correctly identifies an excerpt will get a mention in the credits of a future episode!
Part 1 of 2.Welcome to Season 2 of The Piano Pod! To celebrate the start of the new season, we interviewed Jeffrey Biegel, the renowned concert pianist, Steinway artist, recording artist, composer, and arranger. Mr. Biegel has performed with many major orchestras throughout the world, such as the London Symphony, the BBC Philharmonic, the Philadelphia Orchestra, and the National Symphony, among many others; and he is a professor of piano at the Conservatory of Music at Brooklyn College. He is both a traditional virtuoso, and a dedicated champion of new music, having created more than a dozen commissioning projects. His recording of one of them, Kenneth Fuchs's Piano Concerto 'Spiritualist'; won the 2019 Grammy Award for Best Classical Compendium. His own composition, "Three Reflections," will have its premiere with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra on October 7, 2021. He also has multiple new recordings coming out in the next few months, including the 1924 version of Rhapsody in Blue with the original orchestration, Islamey on the Steinway Label, and "A Planet's Odyssey" by Daniel Perttu.BONUS OPPORTUNITY FOR TPP FANS!Mr. Biegel played so many excerpts during the interview, we couldn't keep up! If you hear a melody you recognize, write the title of the piece in the comments on YouTube!Everyone who correctly identifies an excerpt will get a mention in the credits of a future episode!
WE ARE BACK!!!! After a brief hiatus to rest and catch up on our own projects, The Piano Pod is ready to launch our second season! In this episode, we talk a bit about how we spent our summers, what we learned from our first season, and our plans for the new one, including our first three guests. Join us on YouTube for the premiere: https://youtu.be/u7yEBdZXE2sWe were also recently featured on two other podcasts:🎙All Keyed Up, Episode 38: https://www.benkapilow.com/allkeyedup🎙And If Love Remains, Episode 74: https://andifloveremains.podbean.com/e/episode-74-the-piano-pod/We are very excited about this new season! Hope you will enjoy all the great content we have coming up!
Part 2 of 2.For our final episode of Season 1, TPP interviewed Ben Laude, Juilliard-trained pianist, and Head of Piano at tonebase.co, a premium video subscription platform for classical music education.Tonebase revolutionizes music education by providing its users with a vast database of lessons, masterclasses, and interviews with some of the biggest names in performance and pedagogy - previously only accessible at elite institutions.  We picked Ben's brain on the subject of this great new platform for content distribution.  
Part 1 of 2.For our final episode of Season 1, TPP interviewed Ben Laude, Juilliard-trained pianist, and Head of Piano at tonebase.co, a premium video subscription platform for classical music education.Tonebase revolutionizes music education by providing its users with a vast database of lessons, masterclasses, and interviews with some of the biggest names in performance and pedagogy - previously only accessible at elite institutions.  We picked Ben's brain on the subject of this great new platform for content distribution.  
TPP had the privilege of interviewing James Redcay: Senior Executive Overseeing Operations and Sales at MidAmerica Productions (https://www.midamerica-music.com/), the most prolific presenter of choral concerts in the history of Carnegie Hall.  James explained to us how a six-year diversion in Macau, China 🇲🇴 where he created and managed entertainment programs for the world's largest casino company - helped to shift his career path from the traditional one of a composer and classical pianist to a choir booking manager working closely with the famous venue 🎭.  Join us to hear his fun anecdotes from backstage, as well as learn how his company dealt with the sudden cancellation of all concerts during the COVID-19 pandemic. [James Redcay, composer/pianist/manager]A native of Allentown, Pennsylvania, James Redcay spent four years in New York City as an accomplished pianist, composer and teacher, performing and composing for numerous concerts and institutions. During this time Redcay also held the position of Composer-in-Residence at Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken, NJ. After graduating from NYU, Redcay moved abroad to Macao, where he taught music at the Conservatory of Macao and created and managed arts and entertainment programs for Sands China Ltd., a subsidiary of Las Vegas Sands. After six fruitful years, Redcay relocated to the United States and now resides in New York City.  He joined MidAmerica Productions in April of 2015.https://www.youtube.com/user/jredcay7https://www.instagram.com/redcayjames/
In this episode, Yukimi, Eric, and Clara abandon their roles as interviewers to return to their first love: playing the piano! This full-length recital was livestreamed and broadcast through Zoom over Youtube and Facebook.  See the full performance here: https://youtu.be/0XqObHdQe6g Program: Yukimi SongSonata in F minor, Op. 5 by J. BrahmsI. Allegro maestosoIII. ScherzoIV.  Andante moltoV. Finale Eric HunterSelected Preludes from Livres I and II by C. DebussyI, 1: Danseuses de DelphesI, 3: Le vent dans la plaineI, 4: <>II, 5: BruyèresI, 5: Les collines d'AnacapriI, 7: Ce qu'a vu le vent d'ouestI, 10: La cathédrale engloutie Clara ZhangSinfonia from Partita No. 2 BWV 826 by J.S. BachDanza De La Moza Donosa by A. GinasteraBulgarian Rhythms 1 & 2 by B. BartokAndante Sostenuto from Piano Concerto No. 2, Op. 22 by C. Saint-Saens
Part 2 of 2. For this episode, TPP interviewed Madeline Bruser: Founder of the Art of Practicing Institute and author of the highly acclaimed book "The Art of Practicing: A Guide to Making Music from the Heart." An authorized instructor of mindfulness meditation in the Buddhist tradition, Madeline has presented mindfulness in secular contexts for more than 30 years. She frequently teaches workshops on Mindfulness, Confidence & Performance at conservatories and college music departments, including the Juilliard School, Mannes School of Music, the University of British Columbia, and Northwestern University. Madeline has performed as a soloist with the San Francisco and Denver Symphony Orchestras and was featured on National Public Radio’s Performance Today in an interview and piano lesson broadcast in 200 cities. Inspired to help more musicians unleash their full potential, Madeline founded the Art of Practicing Institute, offering a weeklong summer program and online master classes throughout the year. The Institute provides training in mindfulness techniques, community support through discussion groups, in-depth musical work in master classes, and teacher training workshops. Please visit our YouTube channel if you are interested in watching the video version: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCmFJ7CoQokjjrCxs1VCS39Q
Part 1 of 2.For this episode, TPP interviewed Madeline Bruser: Founder of the Art of Practicing Institute and author of the highly acclaimed book "The Art of Practicing: A Guide to Making Music from the Heart." An authorized instructor of mindfulness meditation in the Buddhist tradition, Madeline has presented mindfulness in secular contexts for more than 30 years. She frequently teaches workshops on Mindfulness, Confidence & Performance at conservatories and college music departments, including the Juilliard School, Mannes School of Music, the University of British Columbia, and Northwestern University.Madeline has performed as a soloist with the San Francisco and Denver Symphony Orchestras and was featured on National Public Radio’s Performance Today in an interview and piano lesson broadcast in 200 cities. Inspired to help more musicians unleash their full potential, Madeline founded the Art of Practicing Institute, offering a weeklong summer program and online master classes throughout the year. The Institute provides training in mindfulness techniques, community support through discussion groups, in-depth musical work in master classes, and teacher training workshops.Please visit our YouTube channel if you are interested in watching the video version: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCmFJ7CoQokjjrCxs1VCS39Q
Part 2 of 2.For Jazz Appreciation Month (JAM), we had the privilege of interviewing Jim Ridl: jazz pianist, composer, recording artist, and educator. Jim shared with us his insights on improvisation and differences in approach between jazz and classical musicians. This interview rapidly evolved into more of a masterclass as he then demonstrated stylistic differences between blues and jazz, various improv techniques, and even his warm-up routines at the piano. We hope that this episode inspires you as much it did us!About Jim Ridl:Jim has released multiple critically acclaimed recordings, and performed across the globe with the Jim Ridl Trio and Quartet, the Dave Liebman Big Band, the Mingus Big Band,  and the Tim Horner Quintet.  Commissions as a composer/arranger have included the BMI New York Jazz Composers Orchestra, the Denver Symphony Orchestra, the Lamont School of Music Chamber Orchestra, and the Off-Broadstreet Theatre. 
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