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#4 – Jeanette Fang, Pianist

#4 – Jeanette Fang, Pianist

Aired 10/31/2018

Jeanette Fang: I actually don’t remember, but according to my mom (she’s a piano teacher so there was a lot of piano music going on), apparently, I started trying to play what her students were playing and she was like, ‘Oh man…now I have to teach her.’ So, that’s kind of the origin story I guess.

Today we will meet one of the resident musicians of the Garth Newel Music Center : Pianist Jeanette Fang. I was interested to know what her first memories of Classical music were. 

JF: It was Mozart, A Major Sonata, with these scales, and I remember playing it for this little competition. I think I was seven. When you’re young, you’re kind of fearless; you don’t remember being nervous, you just remember playing. It was the first time I heard applause and I was like, ‘Oh people actually like this,’ and every year I would do that same competition. Yeah, I think that’s my earliest memory of really playing.

My mom being a pianist, she wanted to do things right – there were a couple of things she didn’t want to repeat from her own life. So she wanted me to have a good teach and also be in a pre-college program. She first got me a teacher at 11 because her and me…wasn’t quite working out (laughs). So I went to Julliard pre-college and then I went to Julliard for undergrad because it was an easy transition. And after that, I couldn’t wait to get out, so I went to Yale for my Master’s and then University of Michigan for my Doctorate, and then I wound up here.

I asked her if she had any advice for listeners interested in listening to more Classical music. 

JF: So, ‘don’t be scared of Classical music’ is my number one thing. And the other is just exposure.

Jeanette suggested exploring the internet in order to experience the variety that the modern Classical music scene has to offer. 

JF: It’s not just pretty music that you’d, like, study to or fall asleep to. There’s so much — wonderful things being created now that are typically genred as “Classical contemporary” music…and I think these labels are kind of a disservice, right? Like, there’s very energizing music, powerful, intense music…  I think people think of Classical music as kind of boring, or maybe just something that doesn’t quite appeal to the. But I think if you just explore a little bit, you’ll find that there’s a lot to enjoy.

In addition to Classical, what else does she listen to?

JF: I like any artist that is very creative, and very umm… like, you can tell they put a lot of passion into what they do. I had the benefit of having an older brother who kind of introduced me to a lot of music. I tend to like high energy, I like House music actually, I like Trance. I like things that make me want to get up and move – I am not a dancer, at all! But I will dance at home when nobody’s watching because it’s fun! And, I don’t really have a type of music I dislike. I think I get influenced by a lot of different ones. It just kind of depends on the artist I think.

To learn more, www.garthnewel.org

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