Classical conversation is a filmed interview series curated by pianist, author, teacher and composer Melanie Spanswick.
The series, which took place from 2013 – 2016, consists of over forty interviews with eminent classical pianists and pedagogues.
Each interview was filmed and edited by Melanie, who chats informally on camera to each artist, asking about their training, musical education and careers. She tends to ask similar questions but the answers are diverse; it’s fascinating hearing how each artist’s respective musical education has shaped and influenced their careers.
Melanie Spanswick is a British pianist, writer, teacher, and composer, who has authored best-selling books on many aspects of piano performance and pedagogy.
A piano professor at Junior Guildhall School of Music and Drama, and an Honorary Master Piano Teacher at the Tom Lee Academy in Hong Kong, Melanie also teaches the piano at Eton College. She is artistic director of the Ars Nova Festival held in Singapore and Malaysia, and is a member of the academic advisory board for the International Performing and Visual Arts Examination Board also based in the Far East.
Melanie’s music is increasingly performed and recorded worldwide, and she is one of the few female composers to be published in the renowned Edition Schott Composer Series.
Melanie studied the piano at the Royal College of Music in London, where she won many prizes and scholarships, graduating with a Master’s degree in Piano Performance. Her principal piano professors included Patricia Carroll, Tatiana Sarkissova, and John Lill.
As a pianist, Melanie has performed and broadcast widely, giving recitals as a soloist, chamber musician and accompanist at many music festivals and major concert halls around the world, touring over twenty countries, including solo performances in the UK at the South Bank Centre, CBSO Hall, and St. John’s Smith Square. She has made a solo recording at Wigmore Hall (for Opera Omnia), has performed for the Queen Mother and Queen of Denmark, and has also broadcast on Classic FM, BBC Radio, CBC Radio, and Swedish and Spanish television.
As an author, she is published by major publishing houses: Schott, Faber and Alfred UK. Melanie’s three-book piano series, Play it again: PIANO (Schott Music), an in-depth taught course containing sixty works, intended for piano returners, is an international success, and has become one of Schott’s best-selling series. And she has written over forty ‘How-To-Play’ articles for Pianist magazine, as well as contributing twenty piano technique feature articles to Piano Professional, EPTA’s (European Piano Teachers Association) flagship publication.
As an educator, Melanie has examined for the ABRSM (Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music) and she adjudicates for the British and International Federation of Festivals. She has adjudicated both nationally and internationally, and has been a jury member at many competitions. Melanie regularly tutors courses at Jackdaws Music Education Trust, Finchcocks Music, Piano Week, and the Montecatini Piano Festival (Italy). Workshops have included presentations for EPTA (European Piano Teachers Association), hosting a bilingual piano project near Düsseldorf (Germany) for teachers and students, as well as serving as a faculty member at the Overseas Masters Winter Piano Academy which is held biennially at the Yehudi Menuhin School.
Recent lecture and workshop destinations include Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Hong Kong and China, Italy, the USA, and Germany. Melanie will direct the Piano Teachers’ Course at the 2021 Chetham’s International Piano Summer School. As a composer, Melanie’s educational music has featured in various piano festival programmes, it has frequently appeared in Pianist and International Piano magazines, as well as in music exam and competition syllabuses.
Her music has recently been performed at the Shiga Bank Piano Festival in Kyoto, and it was featured in the Chamber Music Series at Toppan Hall in Tokyo, Japan, as well as in Italy and the UK as part of Piano Week. Melanie’s piano music has been recorded on the Steinway ‘Spirio’ piano, and it was recently broadcast live on Radio-Berograd and on RTS, Serbian National Television, played by Japanese pianist Aisa Ijiri.