American Concert Pianist, Steinway Artist, Susan Merdinger

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The Chicago Symphony Orchestra Strike- MY OPINION 

As the CSO Strike continues to weigh on the musicians of the CSO, the Chicago Classical Music community and Classical Music lovers around the world, I have been reading with great interest a lot of commentary on the situation at hand. I have noted a gradual shifting away of support from the musicians towards the management. and a general lack of patience with this process.

I want to go on record as saying that I am 100% in support of the CSO Musicians, even as I can rationally agree with some of the points…

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Preparing a concerto for performance with orchestra 

As I get ready to perform Brahms' monumental Piano Concerto No.2 on May 5th with the Northbrook Symphony, I figured my fans might want some insight into the process that I go through to prepare a concerto for performance. 

I will tell you first that it is at once a challenge and a pleasure to play a concerto with an orchestra. The Van Cliburn Silver Medalist Santiago Rodriguez once told me backstage after one of his concerts that "concertos are the bread and butter" of a pianist's career. So, what exactly…

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New friends, new music! 

Coming up next week I will perform a new recital program entitled "Four Centuries- Sonatas". At my November 4th recital at the Northbrook Public Library I will present this program with some discussion about what the definition of Sonata is, and what are the common attributes of a sonata or sonata form. The works I will play span four centuries, hence the title. For openers I will start with two Sonatas by Domenico Scarlatti- each a little gem! This will be followed by two fairly famous sonatas- Beethoven's…

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Perfect Pianissimo: Jeremy Denk in Recital At Symphony Center 

Sunday afternoon proved to be a challenging time to give a piano recital- a glorious, beautiful day, following a week of the most historic and tumultuous Presidential Election in recent times. Jeremy Denk's recital proved to be at times challenge for both him and the audience, with varying degrees of success. Denk presented a most interesting and engaging recital program, of choice standard repertoire more memorably complemented by some unusual fare.

His program opened with the famous Mozart Sonata in A…Read more

A new facet to my music career- Music Journalism! 

Dear Friends,
I invite you to read the marvelous Music Review Column by Phil Muse, the long-standing reviewer for the Audio-Video Club of Atlanta. Phil has invited me to take over his role as reviewer for the AVCOA, starting in November, and as such, I have written to sample reviews for his August column, which I am re-posting here, by mutual agreement!
I hope you enjoy reading these reviews and listening to these newly released CD's! 

“Colors,” music of Vitali, Janáček, Prokofiev, Beethoven, Debussy – Jessica…

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A lot is happening! 

Looking forward to offering a Chopin Mazurka Masterclass to the Chicago Amateur Piano Guild this Saturday! I've been working on the Mazurka's and finding such joy in the creative spark that Chopin displayed in this stylized dance form native to his homeland- Poland. I cannot wait to listen to the passionately dedicated adult pianists who are in a quest for "piano perfection". Does this "perfection" ever exist? Not a chance...not for any true professional nor amateur. That is the fate of being a musician-…Read more

Reflections on making a violin and piano CD recording... 

Yesterday was Day 1 of my recording session with the German-born violinist, David Yonan. This recording will be our first studio recording together, although we have performed together in so many concerts I have lost count. While I have made numerous duo piano recordings with my husband, Steven Greene, and have played many chamber music concerts which have been recorded live, this CD will represent the first recording of a piano and "other instrument" I have ever made. So I thought it would be interesting…Read more

My new mantra to my students: Look, Listen, Love.... 

This past week of teaching brought to the fore my latest advice in alliterative form- therefore, easy to remember. While teaching one 13 year old prodigy student, who seemed to be having some difficulty digesting the music, I realized that what was lacking in his approach was some relatively basic, fundamental processes that are necessary to bring a 2-dimensional page with black dots and lines all over it to life as a real piece of music.
The first directive is- "Look"- that is to actually study the score…Read more

Reflections on the future of Classical music...from a love, life and death perspective. 

Being a professional musician requires a great deal of sensitivity and high emotional IQ,  no doubt. No greater test of one's ability to control one's emotions in a performance occurs when one is called upon to play at a wedding, funeral or memorial service. Early in my career, I played a ton of wedding gigs. I didn't like it much, and resented often being  simply "background" music. However, over the years I have come to realize that weddings and funerals present a similar intensity of emotion- from the…Read more

The Making of a Musician... 

It's been quite a week here in the Merdinger-Greene household! Our eldest daughter, mezzo-soprano Stefanie Greene, performed her Masters of Music Degree recital on March 19th at North Park University, performing works by Verdi, Strauss, Heggie, and Berlioz. Our middle daughter, Sarah Greene, appeared on the FOX TV show, Final series and season episode of Glee! and our son, Scott Greene, aka Megaphonix, has newly released tracks on Beatport! Husband Steve Greene did accompanying for young artists in solo and…Read more