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Live in Studio 4A
Our showcase for artists invited to perform on the program and talk about their music
The PT 50
Our list of 50 essential classical CDs
Piano Puzzlers
Bruce Adolphe's "name that composer" piano quiz
Amelia Piano Trio: Web-Only Q&A with Pianist Rieko Aizawa

Rieko Aizawa
Rieko Aizawa
Credit: Jason Duckles
Q: Do you find that being in this trio makes you a better musician?

Rieko: For me, absolutely yes. I believe that playing chamber music helps tremendously to understand solo music better. In fact, there are many solo works written in the chamber music style such as Beethoven's early sonatas, which reminds you string quartets. Also, playing in the chamber groups makes you listen to other voices much more carefully with flexibility.

Q: Do you come from a musical family? How and when did you first pick up your instrument?

Rieko: My family is not musical, but I started taking piano lessons together with the girl next door who also turned 5 then. Our first teacher was really great and I enjoyed it so much from the very beginning! (but my friend quit only after a few months....)

What is your favorite book?

Rieko: W. Kandinsky's Concerning the Spiritual in Art, and looking at pictures in the cook books

Q: Favorite movie?

Rieko: When Harry met Sally. I enjoyed the German film Mostly Martha recently. Food in this movie looked so yummy!

Q: Favorite TV show?

Rieko: I watched "Seinfeld" and "SNL" a lot, which helped my English too (!?!) I also like "Nigella Bites" (cooking show).

Q: What do you like doing with what little free time you have?

Rieko: I used to play ping pong all the time at school, festivals etc. I'm interested in scuba diving these days; I got to do it for the first time when I took a vacation in Hawaii last year and it was fantastic!! I'd like to get a license sometime soon.

Q: What are your top 5 favorite CDs, CDs you can't live without?

Rieko: Oscar Peterson (don't know much about jazz but his live concert several months ago was great!)
I like my teachers' recordings too such as:
-Szigeti/Horszowski's Brahms Violin Sonata in A with Horn Trio (John Barrows, horn)
-Peter Serkin's Brahms 1st Concerto w/ Robert Shaw and the Atlanta Symphony
-also Peter Serkin's Messiaen Catalogue d'oiseaux
-harpsichordist Lionel Party's Bach album

Q: Do you have a guilty pleasure in music? Something you don't quite want to admit that you listen to but you totally love?

Rieko: I actually don't feel so guilty about it but I do have some Michael Jackson's CDs...! I even went to his live concert in Tokyo when I was 12 (it was around the time I was going to quit piano), it was overwhelming!