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David Owen Norris

Summer performances – on and off the air

Professor David Owen Norris describes his summer projects - a special post for all the students who think the staff are on holiday when term is over :) Pianos & Premieres The Geffrye Museum has very kindly decided to give us an 1812 Strecker grand pianoforte with divided pedal. This will fit very well with our other instruments with divided pedals – a Ganer Square of 1781, a Broadwood grand of 1828, and a Bechstein of 1902. Continue reading →

Perfect Pianists

On Friday March 4th at 8pm on BBC 4, Professor David Owen Norris presents Perfect Pianists,  a compilation of archive film of great pianists, including Benno Moiseiwitsch, Myra Hess, Artur Rubinstein, Radu Lupu and Murray Perahia - David filmed the links at the Cobbe Collection at Hatchlands, so you’ll hear him as well, playing Chopin on Chopin’s own Pleyel. Continue reading →

A week with David Owen Norris

David Owen Norris, Professor of Music and Head of Keyboard and Percussion Studies,  gives us a round up of a week's wide-ranging activities... Some interesting coaching this week - the Banks String Quartet at the Royal College of Music in Frank Bridge's 1907 student piece, the quartet in B flat, for the Bridge Study Day, where my fellow contributors included Fabian Huss, Lewis Foreman, Anthony Payne and Stephen Banfield. Continue reading →

Meet the (modern) pianos

In the final instalment of our Meet the Pianos series for this year, David Owen Norris introduces some of our modern concert grands.  Many people will find these more familiar-looking than our rarer historic instruments. But they're not all the same, and modern piano firms, just like their 18th-century counterparts, search to create instruments with their own characteristic sounds. Continue reading →

Meet the pianos again

In the second of our series of  'Meet the pianos' videos, David Owen Norris introduces an instrument like the ones Jane Austen would have known - a wonderful 1796 Broadwood grand piano. We acquired the Broadwood four years ago, and it has been a hard-working addition to our historic piano collection. Continue reading →

Meet the pianos

Almost all of our students and staff use some form of keyboard nearly every day.  They are indispensable for a whole range of our activities - whether for solo performance or accompaniment, for bands and ensembles, or for working out harmony exercises and new composition ideas. Because keyboards are so central to our programmes, they also represent the largest cost in our performance budget.  We are starting a new funding drive to help. Continue reading →

Celebrating women composers

Professor of Music Laurie Stras has been working on a programme for a special BBC3 event: Next Sunday is International Women’s Day, and BBC Radio 3 is marking the occasion with a weekend of programmes celebrating female composers, including live concerts and discussion panels, documentaries and debate. I'm taking part along with one of my Southampton colleagues. Continue reading →

Cramer at Chawton

Pianist Harry Matthews (year 2) tells us about the most recent Music department concert at Chawton House Library: Last Tuesday, I went with Professor David Owen Norris, Laurence McNaughton and Manikka Marchant to provide a night of Georgian piano music at Chawton House Library. The concert was performed on an early 19th-century Stodart Patent Compensating Grand piano. Continue reading →

Music’s War-Torn World

During the 2014-15 academic year we will be mounting a series of concerts commemorating the Great War.  Here our head of keyboard studies, Professor David Owen Norris, explains the background to his upcoming concert 'Dreams of Germany: Music's War-Torn World': Mark Wilde (tenor), Joseph Spooner (cello) and I are putting on a day-full of music at St John’s Smith Square, London. It’s called A Dream of Germany – Music’s War-Torn World. Continue reading →