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Saturday, October 24, 2020 | 2 p.m. Pacific

At Home With
Eric Zivian
An Online Piano & Fortepiano Workshop

An introduction to period pianos, and a hands-on, in depth exploration of a musical passage, with acclaimed fortepianist Eric Zivian. A brand new look at music you thought you knew.


Event Video

About the Event

Get a brand new view of the music you thought you knew: acclaimed fortepianist Eric Zivian will turn a trip down some well-worn paths into a journey of discovery. Learn how some fundamental assumptions of today’s piano playing – articulation, pedal, dynamics, and more – come from the characteristics and limitations of a modern concert grand piano. Is it time to question those assumptions? We’ll explore the history and evolution of pianos and piano performance. Who knows – it just might open the door to some new ideas for how to approach your favorite repertoire.

Workshop sponsored by the Ross McKee Foundation

About the Mentor

Eric Zivian is a fortepianist, modern pianist, and composer. He has performed with the Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra, the Portland Baroque Orchestra, the Santa Rosa Symphony and the Toronto Symphony, among others. He is a founder and Music Director of the Valley of the Moon Music Festival, a festival in Sonoma specializing in Classical and Romantic music on period instruments. Eric is using this period of shelter in place to learn all 32 Beethoven piano sonatas on the period instruments he owns.

Eric is a member of the Zivian-Tomkins Duo, the Benvenue Fortepiano Trio, and the Left Coast Chamber Ensemble. As a composer, he was awarded an ASCAP Jacob Druckman Memorial Commission to compose an orchestral work, Three Character Pieces, which was premiered by the Seattle Symphony in March 1998.

Eric studied piano with Gary Graffman and Peter Serkin and composition with Ned Rorem, Jacob Druckman, and Martin Bresnick. He attended the Tanglewood Music Center both as a performer and as a composer.

Learn more about Eric on our blog.

Workshop Materials


Beethoven Sonata for Piano and Violin, Op. 30 no. 3, minuet


    Eric talks about playing Beethoven on the fortepiano

    This video starts at a discussion of the period instruments and their particular challenges and advantages. Feel free to listen to the whole episode for a wonderful conversation with Eric and Tanya Tomkins!