Classical pianist Shirley Kirsten is ready to release her latest recorded work -- a 17-track CD on which she plays the compositions of Scarlatti and Chopin.
To mark the release, she's doing something a little different. She's hosting a CD release open house at her home on Saturday.
We talked to Kirsten -- a graduate of New York University and a piano teacher -- about the new CD and her unconventional way of introducing it.
(Kirsten graduated the NYC HS Of Performing Arts, Oberlin Conservatory, and holds a Master of Arts from NYU)
What's the most exciting thing about your new CD?
I've taken on very challenging works that require great technical skills and emotional stamina.
What made you tackle the music that you did? What about it grabbed you?
Chopin's "Revolutionary" etude drew me to it like a magnet with its volcanic eruption and force. It concludes the album. On the opposite end, Chopin's Nocturne in C sharp minor draws out long, remorseful singing lines.
To you, what's so captivating about the piano?
It has a magnificent orchestral dimension, yet it can sing as beautifully as an operatic soloist.
You take a very do-it-yourself approach to your music, much like rock bands do. What's your motivation?
I believe in the importance of the independent artist in this society and the freedom it accords the musician to make individual program and performance choices.
You're doing something interesting for your CD release event, having it at your house? Why?
This is where my music and creativity spring. It is my personal artistic sanctuary with its three amazing pianos. I want to share this spiritual space with others in our community.
Can just any ol' person come?
Yes, music is for anyone willing to surrender to its magical, transforming force.
Where can people buy up your music?
Miller Sheet Music and here at my home studio, where I have a good supply. This latest album will soon be up on cdbaby.com/cd/shirleyk for sale as well.