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Edward Neeman - Biography


Dr. Edward Neeman

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Edward Neeman - Biography


Dr. Edward Neeman

 

The Australian-American pianist Edward Neeman has performed across five continents. Critics have lauded him as a “true artist” with “an excellent technique” who “isn’t afraid to put a distinctive stamp on whatever he touches, without resorting to mannerism.” A top prizewinner of numerous international piano competitions, including first prize in the Joaquín Rodrigo Competition in Madrid, second prize in the Southern Highlands International Piano Competition, and third prize in the World International Piano Competition, Dr. Neeman has appeared as a soloist with the Prague Philharmonic, Sydney Symphony, Melbourne Symphony, Kentucky Symphony, Symphony of Northwest Arkansas, and the American West Symphony with conductors including Andrey Boreyko, Alan Buribayev, Chen Lin, Ruben Gimeno, Enrique Perez Mesa, Nicholas Milton, Pascual Osa, and Vladimir Verbitsky.

Dr. Neeman’s debut album, Rachmaninoff & Sitsky, was released to wide acclaim in March 2016. The album includes a premiere recording of the Piano Sonata No. 1 by Larry Sitsky, written especially for him. Dr. Neeman also has released a live recording of the Concierto para piano by Joaquín Rodrigo on the Rodrigo Foundation label, andl as a collaborative CD with trumpeter Jason Dovel which was lauded for the players’ “nuanced, stylistic interpretations and technical mastery” by ITG Journal. An enthusiastic collaborative artist, he has performed with musicians including Itamar Zorman, Abigail Fischer, Ben Capps, and members of the JACK quartet. Dr. Neeman has made numerous piano duet arrangements for the Neeman Piano Duo, in which he performs with his wife, the Indonesian pianist Stephanie Neeman. He also enjoys accompanying ballet and performed with the American Ballet Theater in their 2014 tour of Japan.

Dr. Neeman’s published research includes his doctoral dissertation on free improvisation and graphic scores, an article on the chamber music of Larry Sitsky, published by ANU E Press, and pedagogical articles in STACCATO, an Indonesian music magazine. He has developed an innovation in the mechanism of the piano’s sostenuto pedal that allows the sostenuto and damper pedals to be combined in new ways, and has given presentations on its ramifications for pedaling technique at the MTNA National Conference in the United States and the Australian National Academy of Music.

Dr. Neeman’s interest in microtonal music has inspired him to transcribe quarter tone works by Charles Ives, Ivan Wyschnegradsky, and Alois Hába for MIDI keyboard. Originally written for a specially designed quarter tone piano, these works can now be performed by a single pianist as intended by the composers.

Dr. Neeman holds a Bachelor of Music degree from the Australian National University, a Master of Music from the Manhattan School of Music, and a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from The Juilliard School. His teachers have included James Tocco, Jerome Lowenthal, Solomon Mikowsky, Santiago Rodriguez, Larry Sitsky, and Irena Orlov.

Dr. Neeman regularly gives masterclasses around the world. He has been a jury member for the Mozart International Piano Competition in Thailand, the Hong Kong Schools Festival, the Jakarta Conservatory National Competition, the West Australian Pianists Competition, and numerous competitions and festivals in the United States. He has taught at Utah Valley University and currently teaches at South Georgia State College. He also holds the position of Artist Faculty at the ELMS Conservatory in Jakarta, Indonesia.

 
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Recordings


“The absolute brilliance of his technique and musicality was apparent to all and he received an overwhelming ovation”
Gregory Sullivan Isaacs, TheaterJones.com

Recordings


“The absolute brilliance of his technique and musicality was apparent to all and he received an overwhelming ovation”
Gregory Sullivan Isaacs, TheaterJones.com

Themes of death and the struggle for rebirth intermingle on this album of Rachmaninoff's sombre Etudes-tableaux, Op. 39, and Larry Sitsky's Sonata No. 1, "Retirer d'en bas de l'eau", which is based on an ancient Voodoo ritual.

Free and open-source recordings of the complete Chopin Études and 31 selected Mazurkas, courtesy of MusOpen. These acclaimed recordings are available for general use.

Live performances from around the world.

“Fine collaboration by Edward Neeman”—American Record Guide

“On every track, Dovel's and Neeman's nuanced, stylistic interpretations and technical mastery are on full display"—ITG Journal

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Projects


“Neeman is a true artist who isn't afraid to put a distinctive stamp on whatever he touches, without resorting to mannerism”
Don Rosenberg, Plain Dealer

Projects


“Neeman is a true artist who isn't afraid to put a distinctive stamp on whatever he touches, without resorting to mannerism”
Don Rosenberg, Plain Dealer

Quarter-Tone Piano

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Amid the cobwebs of almost-forgotten piano history lies the strange story of the quarter-tone piano.

Alois Hába, Ivan Wyschnegradsky, and Charles Ives were the vanguard of quarter-tone piano composition, writing ground-breaking works for quarter-tone pianos developed by August Förster in Europe and George Weitz of Chickering Pianos in the USA.  While acoustic quarter-tone pianos are scarce as hen's teeth, these pieces can be resurrected by the intrepid twenty-first century pianist with the aid of a MIDI keyboard and virtual piano technology.


Independent Sostenuto Pedal

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On an acoustic piano, the damper pedal normally interferes with the sostenuto mechanism in a way that can cause all the dampers to be caught on the sostenuto pedal. Hacking the pedal mechanism by restricting the damper pedal motion results in an independent sostenuto pedal that is completely unaffected by the damper pedal.

The independent sostenuto pedal expands the technique of double pedaling, or using the damper and sostenuto pedal at the same time. There are three basic techniques: joint pedaling, overlapping pedaling, and the partial sostenuto.


Improvisation

My doctoral dissertation “Free Improvisation as a Performance Technique: Group Creativity and Interpreting Graphic Scores” (The Juilliard School, 2014) discusses the practice of free improvisation as practiced by improvising groups in the 1960s and 70s, and argues that the techniques and skills involved can be tools for interpreting graphic scores.

As part of my lecture recital on Catch 2 (1968) by Roman Haubenstock-Ramati, I gave an improvised interpretation of this graphic score.

In my sample recording of excerpts from the Piano Concerto (2008) by Joel Hoffman, I improvised a cadenza based on the concerto's unique 68-note scale. Two complete improvised cadenzas are available here and here.


Writings & Compositions

“Sitsky’s Chamber Music,” (2008–9) is my contribution to Larry Sitsky’s comprehensive survey of the Australian chamber music repertoire with piano. Published by the Australian National University EPress.

Was It Really a Dream? (2011) for solo piano. 4 minutes.

Prelude after Scriabin (2009) for solo piano. 2 minutes.

Variations on “I Got Rhythm” (2006) for solo piano. 9 minutes.

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Edward Neeman - Repertoire


“He made it sound as if he was actually improvising it on the spot... This was a virtuosic performance”
Gerard Willems, ABC Classic FM

Edward Neeman - Repertoire


“He made it sound as if he was actually improvising it on the spot... This was a virtuosic performance”
Gerard Willems, ABC Classic FM

 

Solo Concertos Performed

Ludwig van Beethoven: Concerto No. 5 in E flat major Op. 73, “Emperor”
Béla Bartók: Concerto No. 2, Sz. 95
Johannes Brahms: Concerto No. 1 in D minor, Op. 15
George Gershwin: Concerto in F
George Gershwin: Rhapsody in Blue
George Gershwin: Variations on “I Got Rhythm”
Edvard Grieg: Concerto in A minor, Op. 16
Bernard Herrmann: Concerto Macabre
Joel Hoffman: Piano Concerto (2008)
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Concerto in D minor, K. 466
Franz Liszt: Concerto No. 1 in E flat major
Francis Poulenc: Aubade
Sergei Prokofiev: Concerto No. 1 in D flat major, Op. 10
Sergei Prokofiev: Concerto No. 2 in G, Op. 16
Sergei Rachmaninoff: Concerto No. 2 in C minor, Op. 18
Sergei Rachmaninoff: Rhapsody on a Theme by Paganini, Op. 43
Joaquín Rodrigo: Concierto para piano
Camille Saint-Saëns: Concerto No. 2 in G minor, Op. 22
Robert Schumann: Concerto in A minor, Op. 54
Larry Sitsky: The Twenty-two Paths of the Tarot
Leith Stevens: Concerto from Night Song
Piotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky: Concerto No. 2 in G major, Op. 44
Carl Maria von Weber: Konzertstück in F minor, Op. 79