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Gloucester County Woman - The Women of Gloucester County New Jersey (NJ)
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Owner/Editor: June Bower (856) 803-6878
WOGCNJ@aol.com
Celebrating Gloucester County's Women
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MAY 2012

FEATURED WOMEN

FEATURED ARTICLES

Norma Meyer
Concert Pianist

Norma Myer

Imagine… 4 virtuoso pianists at 4 grand pianos…4 distinct parts and dazzling finger-work executed with passion and humor. Piano4 has performed across the United States breaking barriers with music accessible to all audiences. Piano4 tours with four matching Steinway grand pianos and is “a truly extraordinary musical adventure.” (Palm Beach, FL presenter)

Piano4 performs music of all eras and styles
in exclusive original transcriptions and arrangements, as well as concertos and new commissions. Themed programs include “Love Songs and Songs You Love,” the entire “Nutcracker Suite” and an all Gershwin celebration. Residency activities include workshops with pianists and string ensembles, workshops customized to community groups and “side by side” student concerts. Courtesy of www.pennpat.org  

John Kozar can be credited for bringing the experience of a "Monster Performance Concert" or the "Grandissimo", to as many people as he can. In the 1990’s, together with his associate, Elizabeth Carder, the not for profit Piano Production Inc. was formed whose sole mission was to foster interest in the acoustic piano through performance, recording and publishing.

Norma Meyer, has been a Gloucester County resident for the past 26 years and is the retired Orchestra Director of the Washington Township High School Orchestra which has been widely praised. She has recently been named New Jersey’s honoree for the national award, “50 Directors Who Make a Difference.”

In addition, Norma is a founding member of Piano4 and has toured with them since the ensemble’s inception in 2001. Piano4 is the only four-piano ensemble currently touring.  Performances include the Kimmel Center and the opening night of the Philadelphia Bach Festival, at which Ms. Meyer performed Bach’s concerti for 2, 3 and 4 pianos. Last winter, tracks from their new CD, “Piano4 Christmas,” were aired nationally. Touring dates and other important information can be found at their web site:  http://www.Piano4.org

As Vickilyn Hussey, the publicity coordinator of the Pinnacle Concert Series said regarding their recent concert in Scottsdale, Arizona, "Piano4 is the ultimate in heavy metal! Four Steinway grand pianos on stage at the same time when Piano4, a unique four-piano quartet, performs selections from Bach to Broadway."

piano4
Photo courtesy of Pinnacle Concert Series / William Lampkin

The Piano4 pianists include; Norma Meyer, an animated virtuoso and respected conductor of youth orchestras, who serves as the General Manager of Piano4;  Randall Hartman, a brilliant pianist from Doylestown, PA, where he maintains a large teaching studio; newest member Noam Sivan, a Juilliard-trained pianist who teaches classical improvisation at the esteemed Curtis Institute in Philadelphia and Mannes School of Music in NYC, and Michal Schmidt, an Israeli pianist and cellist who performs with numerous groups in the Philadelphia area.

Additionally, she continues her lifelong commitment to music education as an accompanist and coach. She holds degrees and advanced study in piano performance and education. Norma participates with the Piano4 Residency Activities with the accompaniment and coaching of instrumental students in the South Jersey and Philadelphia areas. Norma said, "As I have been a music educator for my entire adult life, it is important to me to continue with this work."

Brief Descriptions of Residency Activities:

1. PIANO4: SidexSide
- 4 students in each of two age groups are selected in audition to rehearse and perform ’in concert’ ... 4 pianos, 8 pianists ... two pianists at each piano, 4 students, side by side with Piano4.  A once in a lifetime experience for young pianists at all levels to rehearse with a professional ensemble and perform with them in their concert.  Orchestra students often get this opportunity, but this is the only chance that student pianists will probably have.  After all, Piano4 is the only four-piano ensemble currently touring. 

2. PIANO4: Send in the Strings - Local high school or college string ensemble accompanies Piano4 in a concerto .

3. PianoTalk - An informal ’play & talk’ format that includes a brief intro to the First Piano Quartet and Piano4 with Q&A.  Please feel free to propose ideas of sessions which you think would be useful to your community, students and teachers.

4. Master Class - Open to the public master classes conducted by the members of Piano4, for students at different levels.  A subject of concentration could be chosen (a composer or pianistic problem, for instance), or it could be a more general session.

5. Learning at Load-in - A hands-on session for theatre students to assist at load-in of four grand pianos, hanging lights, sound check, etc.  Do you know how to assemble a piano brought in on its side?  Students will learn how to do this, plus participate in a sound check and crew the setting of lights.

Norma is also a member of the Ranaan Meyer Band. This group creates arrangements of great works, with a distinctive 21st century edge, in addition to new compositions. Their repertoire crosses and connects the boundaries of music of the past, present and future.

Other collaborative pianist work includes performances with her son Ranaan, cellist Nancy Stokking and violinist Jonathan Beiler. Recent venues include Carnegie Hall, the Kimmel Center, the Philadelphia Museum of Art and a concerto performance with the Ambler Symphony, under the direction of Maestro Jack Moore (WRTI).

Recent collaborations include benefit performances with members of the Philadelphia Orchestra, as well as with her son, Ranaan, a bassist. Norma is a member of the Grand Piano Orchestra and has been featured in productions of “Grandissimo”. Norma has Bachelor and Masters degrees in Piano Performance from the Philadelphia Music Academy and Temple University.



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