How does one recognize a great piano performance? Do you need special training or musical knowledge? Today we speak to Mark Ainley of The Piano Files to try and answer some of those questions.
Mark Ainley is an internationally recognized authority on the art of piano playing and historical recordings of great pianists. His clear insights provide important details about the mastery of the pianists of the past and present through his magazine articles, blog and social media pages, CD productions and liner notes, and lecture-demonstrations.
Mark’s work in the field of historical recordings began in his late teens, when his pre-university writing and research on this topic won the admiration of Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times music critic Harold Schonberg. His first CD liner notes, for VAI’s release ‘Liszt: The 19 Hungarian Rhapsodies Played by 19 Great Pianists’, were co-authored in his early 20s with International Piano Archives founding president Gregor Benko, coinciding with Mark’s pioneering work in discovering previously unpublished recordings of the legendary pianist Dinu Lipatti. His internationally acclaimed efforts led to the world premiere award-winning release of over two hours of ‘unknown’ performances by Lipatti, among them piano concertos by Liszt and Bartok.