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David Witten, pianist
Dr. David Witten
Lecture Demonstration:

The Greatest Method Book Never Written: Chopin's Sketchbook for Pianists

Dr. David Witten, DMA


Sketches for a piano method book were preserved after Chopin's death. The fragmentary nature of the sentences, full of numerous scratched-out phrases, indicate the Chopin was not comfortable as a writer. Nevertheless, there are precious revelations buried in these rough sketches, and they are worthy of the attention of every serious pianist and piano teacher.
Pianist David Witten's international career has included numerous concert tours in Ireland, Finland, Russia, Ukraine, Europe, Mexico, South America, and China. As the recipient of a 1990 Fulbright Scholar award, Witten spent five months teaching and concertizing throughout Brazil, and he is frequently invited back to give concerts and masterclasses. Closer to home, Witten's performances have included solo appearances with the Boston Pops Orchestra, the Pro Arte Chamber Orchestra, and various chamber music collaborations with members of the New York Philharmonic and the Boston Symphony Orchestra. Witten has also been active in contemporary music. He has recorded piano music of Nicholas Van Slyck (Titanic Records), and has commissioned over a dozen new works for Soli Espri, a chamber trio he founded in Boston with clarinetist Chester Brezniak and mezzo-soprano D'Anna Fortunato. With flutist Sue-Ellen Hershman-Tcherepnin, Witten formed D�o Cl�sico; their recording, Flute and Piano Music of Latin America, was issued on the Musical Heritage Society label. Marco Polo Records released Witten�s solo recording, Piano Music of Manuel M. Ponce.
Witten's involvement in music has not been limited to performance. He is the editor of Nineteenth-Century Piano Music: Essays in Performance and Analysis (Garland Publishing, 1997), which includes his landmark analytical study of the Chopin Ballades. Born in Baltimore, Maryland, Witten received his early training at the Peabody Conservatory, and at the Rubin Academy of Music in Jerusalem. His undergraduate studies at the Johns Hopkins University led to a degree in Psychology. Later graduating with high honors from Boston University, he earned the degree of Doctor of Musical Arts in piano performance. His most influential teachers have been Reynaldo Reyes, Walter Hautzig, Leo Smit, and Dorothy Taubman. After twenty years as an active recitalist, chamber music pianist, and teacher in the Boston area, Witten accepted a position at the Cali School of Music at Montclair State University, where he is currently Coordinator of Keyboard Studies. As an enthusiastic photographer, Professor Witten has won top prizes in several international photography competitions. He has had solo photography exhibitions in Budapest and Milan, and his photographs can be seen through www.davidwitten.com.

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