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11 and 12 April 2008: masterclass by Wolfgang Brunner, Austria, fortepiano at the Estonian Music Academy, Tallinn

The fine concert given by Wolfgang Brunner demonstrated that he is a master of the keyboard and, specifically, in this context of the fortepiano. It was therefore very appropriate for him to give a masterclass at the Music Academy. This well thought-out move by the Society will clearly benefit those present as well as the progress of keyboard music in Estonia.

Wolfgang Brunner teaching. Photo © 2008 Imbi Tarum
Wolfgang Brunner teaching. Photo © 2008 Imbi Tarum

It soon became apparent that Brunner was a first rate teacher because not only did he know about keyboard playing, but he also had an immediate contact with his students and firmly placed final decisions with them. It was intriguing to see and hear him sculpt sound via the sensitive keyboard of the fortepiano and a fist full of agile fingers and then to place this in the context of a whole and well-considered piece of music.

12 April 2008: Children's Concert, Con Spirito, at the Music and Theatre Museum, Tallinn

Unlike some children's concerts that I have been to where it was about satisfying doting parents, this concert was about children and for children. The Association has a policy of encouraging and teaching children to play the harpsichord. The children taking part come from three schools where specific teaching takes place and the ages of those performing ranged from seven to twelve. Starting with the youngest the complexity of music increased through to the last part of the concert where advanced students and professionals took part. This made the children feel, quite rightly, that they are part of an exciting journey from where they are now to where these highly skilled performers are and who are still learning. Throughout the concert Ene Nael placed the pieces in their historical context in a way that clearly the children appreciated and understood. After the concert the curator of the museum showed the children around the museum and played several of the mechanical instruments for them.

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Copyright © 1 May 2008 Peter G Howell, Shropshire UK


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