Michael Sheppard

piano, composer
Photos
Michael Sheppard
Pianist
Composer

    Michael Sheppard
    Pianist
    Composer

      Michael Sheppard
      Pianist
      Composer

        Michael Sheppard
        Pianist
        Composer

          Video / Audio
          Liszt Sonetto 104 del Petrarca

          Uploaded to YouTube on Nov 17, 2011

          From my recital last week at the University of Hawaii. One of my favorite Liszt pieces.


            Liszt Ballade no. 2 in B minor
            From my recital in Orvis auditorium at the University of Hawaii (Honolulu) on 11/11/11. It's also one of my favorite Liszt pieces, and I'm happy with the way it turned out. Hope you enjoy it.

              Rachmaninoff: Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini, Op. 43
              Performance for André Lousada's conducting recital at Peabody. Yours truly at the piano. While I had couple of *derp* moments, overall I think it holds up. The orchestra, it should be noted, while they did fabulously on very little rehearsal, is not a regular ensemble, but rather a pickup-group of Peabody students and friends; the conductors must martial their own forces for these recitals, so the results can be random. I think we all had a good time, though. Hope you enjoy it!

                Fantasy on Themes from "Harry Potter" - world premiere!
                2011 Performance
                I began writing my Harry Potter fantasy back in 2004 or maybe even 2003. It isn't because of writer's block that it took so long to finish; it's just that I would put it on the back burner for weeks, months, and at one point even years at a time to focus on being a pianist! But whenever I would bring it out again, it would immediately transport me back into the magical world of Hogwarts and all of those friends' adventures.

                This, I think, is largely due to John Williams's irresistible main theme that is woven throughout the scores to all the movies, even the later sequels whose scores he didn't write himself. It's called "Hedwig's Theme" (named for the owl that is Harry's constant companion throughout), and is, for my money, one of JW's more successful tunes in a career of hugely successful tunes. This theme is the basis for my fantasy.

                It started out as almost -- and I say "almost" very pointedly, because there are also a few fun quotes from other, not unrelated, music -- a theme and variations, but then, at a certain point, I discovered that it wanted to go somewhere else; after a few variations, it seems to come to a kind of resting-place, where it wonders about the main material for a few measures, and then takes off in a flurry of other themes, some of which have been hinted at before. It builds to a huge climax using the "Family Portrait" material, which then abates a little and then builds up again into, yes: a fugue. (I had to.) The fugue uses all of the Harry-Potter-related material we've heard so far. Then this builds to an even bigger climax , where a surprise (and, again, not unrelated) theme gets aired for a few measures, but then it keeps going until it seems as if the very fabric of the universe gets ripped in half. Out of that mist creeps Hedwig's Theme in a haze of disorientation; after considering all that has come before, it comes down and touches ground again. Where it touches down is, of course, anyone's g
                Invitation to Travel
                A piece I wrote in 2006; performance is from February, 2010 in Indianapolis.

                  Mad World Fantasy

                  Published on YouTube on Mar 14, 2012

                  Piano fantasy on the song "Mad World", by Tears for Fears. Based more on the version in the movie "Donnie Darko" than the original TFF version. Hope you enjoy it.

                  P.S. That buzzing you may hear is from two paper clips, for a prepared-piano piece that had been rehearsed just before the concert, accidentally falling into the piano. We didn't have the proper tool to get them out in time. So there's buzzing. Yay. Anyway, it's barely detectable in the video, so I deemed it not sufficiently horrible enough to keep me from posting it. Also yay.


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