2016 Conference Featured Artist Neil Rutman's Interview with Micah Schweizer at Wyoming Public Radio.
A celebrated concert pianist will offer a public performance at Casper College on Friday. He’s the featured artist at this year’s Wyoming Music Teachers Association conference.
Neil Rutman has won top prizes in international competitions—and has performed around the world and to glowing reviews in the New York Times and the Washington Post. Off-stage, he’s passionate about teaching. Rutman is an Artist in Residence at the University of Central Arkansas and the author of Stories, Images, and Magic from the Piano Literature. He will bring the central message of that book to the conference—how to use imagination in learning and performing music.
“When the student is working on a piece, one of my first questions would be ‘What are the characters you find in the piece, or do you have an image for the piece?’ And most of the time they can’t come up with anything verbal, because they’re not taught that way,” he says.
Rutman says the imaginative approach allows musicians to put a more personal stamp on the music they play. He says modern recording technology has overemphasized technically perfect live performances. In the past, he says, “One expected wrong notes, one expected originality, one expected great creativity, and today, some of that has gone by the wayside, sadly. And I’d like to see it come back more.”
Rutman’s public performance will feature works by German and Russian composers. It takes place Friday, June 10 at Casper College.