Randy Anderson | Texas Public Radio

Randy Anderson

Randy was Texas Public Radio's Classical Music Director until 2013 and the longest-serving employee in Texas Public Radio's history. He hosted the very first airshift on KPAC when the station went on the air at 90.9 FM in San Antonio back in November, 1982.

Randy started his career in classical broadcasting at KMFM in the mid-70s, working with one of KPAC's founders, B.J. McClain. The overnight shift was the only full-time job when KPAC first started in 1982 and he was happy to take it.

Randy's first love is painting; he enjoys portraits, landscapes and still lifes, and he spends much of his free time in front of an easel. Great music is a perfect complement to his love for painting and Randy spent years trying to find the perfect instrument. The piano came close, but he eventually realized that his best instrument is a turntable or CD player (or digital library).

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SAIPC

It is nerve racking to compete head to head. In sports this is a fairly normal part of the job, but when it comes to artists, especially pianists, it is a big shift from the norm.

A musician's routine is quiet and predicable. You generally practice alone and it is here that you polish and learn, working on your fingering, phrasing and the little things that mean so much to you, but might not be even noticed by an audience.

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I remember reading a legendary performer once say that no two performances are alike. When I starting studying the piano I recorded some of my practice sessions to hear how I was playing without the distraction of making the music.

The great musician was right, not only were all my repetitions different, I couldn't make my performances sound the same if I tried.

Wikipedia

In the hurly-burly of a Piano competition there are selections that can make or break the chances of a competitor; pieces so difficult or dense that only a master musician can make them work for the audience and more importantly, the judges.

On the Piano this Sunday, we continue with music from the 2012 San Antonio International Piano Competition where two of the pianists "go big" in an effort to convince the judges that they have what it takes to be worthy of the gold medal.

Debussy

all-music-sheets.com

Over the years of listening to the San Antonio International Piano Competition, I've noticed that nerves play an important part. Just enough, and a performance can be charged with excitement, too much, and disaster awaits.

With the competitors narrowed from 11 to eight, the stakes are higher, and that could help the judges separate the best as the competition continues.

SAIPC

I've seen contestants in piano competitions play some large and impressive works when trying to stand out from their other competitors. Big and difficult works like Liszt's "b minor sonata" or Ravel's "Gaspard de la Nuit" are sure to get the judges attention, but there is also the fear of losing the audience.

It is not easy programming your first set at a competition. This week on The Piano, we visit more recordings from last October's San Antonio International Piano Competition.There are only two big and challenging works on the program.

Wikipedia

We continue working our way through the preliminary rounds of last years contest. This Sunday, the music of Italian Domenico Scarlatti, a man who won a harpsichord "play-off" against G.F. Handel, and was so impressed by Handel's abilities that he always crossed himself when mentioning the composers name.

Scarlatti left Rome and moved to the courts of Spain and Portugal where he taught Queen Barbara to play harpsichord. Our "concert" starts with three of Scarlatti's sonatas.

Carrying Scarlatti's style

San Antonio Inter. Piano Competition

Contrast really means something to those of us who enjoy classical music. The carefully constructed essence of music is the growth and movement between the various emotional plateaus of the composition. This is where the listener derives enjoyment, knowing that Beethoven, Stravinsky or Leonard Bernstein is in the driver's seat and that while we perhaps have a frame of reference for the adventure, we still don't completely know how the journey will proceed or end.

Wikipedia

A wave of great young pianists crashes into the Alamo City every three years to compete in the San Antonio International Piano Competition. Last October 11, aspiring artists arrived and prepared themselves to impress the judges at the usual venue - the Ruth Taylor recital hall. Luckily for all of us it was all recorded by John Coker.

Wikipedia

Russian composer Nicolai Medtner had it all; he was a brilliant pianist who was a musical intellectual, and while he could have made a comfortable living playing the classics, he was devoted to his composition.

On The Piano this Sunday, three aspects of Medtner.

I first present the lyrical genius of the composer, then his love of structure and complexity with his theme and variations, and the program concludes with his grand expression of lyricism in the Ballade Concerto in e minor.

Wikipedia

In pop music, pieces featuring the "original artists" are usually big sellers. These are the performances we heard first and are used to -- not the cover songs performed by other artists years later. Some pieces are so familiar that we mentally hear the scratches and pops on the 45's that we had at home back in the day.

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