Category Archives: Music

London Piano Institute: A Condensed History of Wilhelm Kempff

London-Piano-Institute-Wilhelm-Kempff Pianist and composer Wilhelm Kempff was a German native with a special interest in Beethoven interpretation. Here, London Piano Institute answers questions about this modern musical maestro.

Q: Where was Wilhelm Kempff born?

London Piano Institute: He was born in Jüterbog, Brandenburg, Germany and grew up in Potsdam. He also lived in Berlin and Italy.

Q: Where did he take studies?

London Piano Institute: He would have first learned piano from his father, an organist and the Royal Music Director for St. Nikolai Church. When he was 9, he enrolled at Berlin Hochschule für Musik.

Q: Prior to his formal education, did Wilhelm Kempff have any exposure to piano?

London Piano Institute: His father taught him at an early age, as did his grandfather who was an organist. He also had a brother who was the music director at the University of Erlangen.

Q: Did Wilhelm Kempff study under any notables?

London Piano Institute: While in Berlin, he studied the intricacies of compositions with Robert Kahn. Karl Henrich Barth instructed a young Wilhelm Kempff on piano.

Q: When did Wilhelm Kempff make his first recital?

London Piano Institute: Though he would have played for smaller audiences prior, Wilhelm Kempff played his first major presentation in 1917 when he debuted his interpretations of select Beethoven and Brahms works.

Q: How extensively did Wilhelm Kempff travel for performances?

London Piano Institute: He traveled throughout Europe. He was particularly fond of London. Abroad, Wilhelm Kempff made his first appearance in New York in 1964. He performed nearly a dozen times in Japan.

Q: Why did Wilhelm Kempff retire?

London Piano Institute: He was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, a neurological disorder that causes shaking of the hands. This undoubtedly made performing quite difficult.

Q: Were there any particular composers that Wilhelm Kempff was fond of?

London Piano Institute: He is particularly noted for his interpretations of Beethoven. However, he also enjoyed playing Chopin, Mozart, Schubert, Brahms, and a handful of other distinguished composers.

Q: Did Wilhelm Kempff strictly perform concert halls or did he leave behind any recordings?

London Piano Institute: Wilhelm Kempff actually recorded for around six decades. Interestingly, he is known for taping the Beethoven piano concert toasts twice—once with Berlin Philharmonic and later with Ferdinand Leitner.

Q: How would one describe Wilhelm Kempff’s technique?

London Piano Institute: All of his works stressed the spontaneity of the music. He was very lyrical and leaned toward moderation.

Q: When was Wilhelm Kempff’s first performance with the Berlin Philharmonic?

London Piano Institute: He first performed with the Berlin Philharmonic as a soloist in 1917, when he was 22 years old.

Q: What was Wilhelm Kempff’s last performance with the Berlin Philharmonic?

London Piano Institute: His last concert with this group was in 1979, when he was 84 years old.

Q: Did Kempff teach during his career?

London Piano Institute: He enjoyed teaching very much. For five years, Wilhelm Kempff directed the Stuttgart College of Music. Before his death, he founded Kempff Kulturstiftung in southern Italy. He taught there periodically until 1982.

Q: As a composer, what sort of works did Wilhelm Kempff leave behind?

London Piano Institute: He composed four operas, a number of songs and ballets, along with orchestra works and violin concertos.


London Piano Institute is a private adult-oriented learning academy located in London, England. More than just an education, London Piano Institute strives to instill an appreciation and understanding of music into each student. London Piano Institute accepts students from beginner to expert and takes great pride in educating correctly the first time.

Tom Patterson of Round Rock Tells the Story of Jazz in Modern Music

Tom Patterson of Round Rock’s Deerpark Middle School continues an examination into the modern manifestations of early jazz music. There are many modern musicians, says Tom Patterson of Round Rock, who are masters of combining new elements with traditional jazz. Tom Patterson of Red Rock district points out that Rhythm and Blues is a premier example of a new style forged from classic jazz. This genre, adds Round Rock’s Tom Patterson, features such artists as Jerry Lee Lewis, Michael Jackson, Prince, and Jodeci.

Tom Patterson explains to middle school band students in the Round Rock district that the beat and style innovations of R&B in turn reincarnated jazz into soul and funk music. Round Rock’s Tom Patterson tells them how the soulful tunes of Aaron Neville and Barry White also owe a debt to jazz. In the same way, continues Tom Patterson of Round Rock, George Clinton and Funkadelic tip their hats to the pioneers like Charlie Parker and John Coltrane. Tom Patterson urges Round Rock readers to consider how Rock and Roll could not exist without jazz. When Chuck Berry took up his guitar and rocked, he performed jazz and blues, but with a lot more electricity.

Round Rock’s Tom Patterson explains further that jazz spins like a great wheel of musical generation. Every turn of the wheel, notes Tom Patterson of Round Rock, produces a new expression of jazz. According to Tom Patterson of Round Rock, each new jazz style is unique, yet true to its roots. The Deerpark students in Round Rock have learned from Tom Patterson that this is why bebop, boogie-woogie, doo wap, rhythm and blues, rock and roll, and even electronica belong to the jazz music family.

Some proponents of traditional jazz disagree with Tom Patterson of Round Rock school district. They are concerned that the essence of jazz music is diluted and lost through so many periodic innovations. Round Rock’s Tom Patterson assures these skeptics that jazz is being true to its essence by turning over new forms and styles. Tom Patterson of Round Rock reminds them that jazz itself was an interpretive rebellion against the big band and swing sounds. Jazz music is part and parcel of the musical spirit of innovation.

Tom Patterson Deerpark – A Blues Guitar Primer by Tom Patterson, Band Director

The blues guitar is one of Deerpark Band Director Tom Patterson’s favorite instruments. Working as Deerpark Middle School’s band director provides Tom Patterson with the opportunity to orchestrate a wide variety of instruments. Director Tom Patterson says that working with a middle school band is a great and satisfying role, but he jokes that it could use more blues guitar. Since middle school band ensembles do not typically use blues guitar, band director Tom Patterson pursues the study as a hobby. Here, Tom Patterson delves into some of the particulars of just where the blues guitar has come from.

Blues guitar, as explained by band director Tom Patterson, is played in any suitable key. The three basic forms of blues guitar, according to Tom Patterson, are based on bars. A bar, said the Round Rock band director, is a unit of musical time similar to a measure. According to band director Tom Patterson, blues songs are structured as eight, twelve, or sixteen-bar blues. A classic example of an eight-bar blues tune is “Heartbreak Hotel,” pointed out Tom Patterson, and the band director also noted that “St. Louis Blues” is a very popular and recognizable version of twelve-bar blues. Sixteen-bar blues, said Tom Patterson, is a bit more rare and complex, but is exemplified by songs like “Saint James Infirmary.”

Band director Tom Patterson particularly enjoys the beauty of the eight, twelve, and sixteen-bar blues forms. The blues are built out of a simple and accessible structure, explains the Deerpark band director, so that once learned they are easily maintained and improvised upon. Once a group of musicians familiarizes themselves with the blues bar count, they can play with any other blues performers, adds Tom Patterson. The Deerpark band director says that breaking blues into basic forms, like eight, twelve, and sixteen-bars helps to create a versatile and universal musical language that performers from any culture can use to collaborate.

In the end, according to band director Tom Patterson, twelve bar blues is the most popular of the three basic blues styles. Tom Patterson says that twelve bar blues are well suited to vocals. Not to mention, adds band director Tom Patterson, that they are very catchy and popular with listening audiences. Furthermore, concludes the Round Rock band director, twelve bar blues is the format appropriated by many great tunes beyond the original blues style.

Larry Weir | New Single 'Rock On' 09 | Larry Weir

History Repeats For Fast Rising New Single ‘Rock On’ 09 – By Larry Weir

Recording Artist Michael Damian appears to have a hit all over again with the release of his new ’09 version of his No 1 Billboard rock classic, “Rock On” from his soon to be released CD album, “Rock On” from Caption Records.

“Rock On” ’09 was released twenty years after Michael Damian’s version hit No 1 on the Billboard and Radio & Records charts.  The same production team behind Michael’s chart topper – Grammy® Award winner Tom Weir, Michael Damian and Larry Weir – produced “Rock On” ’09. Larry Weir who runs National Record Promotion has been running all of the radio promotion for the single. Taking a break from his successful independent film career as an award winning Writer/Director/Producer (“Moondance Alexander”) to return to the studio and his musical roots by popular demand, Michael has artfully crafted a warm, intimate musical treasure of new music tracks combined with fresh, innovative new recordings from his hit music catalog, with a few classics.

“It was exciting to return to the recording studio and immerse myself completely in my music once again,” reveals Michael. “I’ve been so focused creatively on making art through my independent films (directing/producing) until the fans and the media spoke up demanding more of my music.” Michael adds, “Plus, it’s hard to believe it’s been twenty years since my original ‘Rock On’ hit No 1 on Billboard. Yet, this new version shows it’s still a classic song and socially relevant to a whole new generation.”

Adult Contemporary, Hot AC and select Top 40 radio stations across the country have already embraced the new single favorably generating high rotation airplay, strong fan response and the buzz is spreading quickly. Michael’s ‘Rock On’ has become a national anthem and his new version is ready to conquer a whole new generation,” raves Tom Holt at WSRS radio. “Let’s Rock On!”

“Michael has taken ‘Rock On’, his ’80s classic and given it a contemporary edge without losing that classic feel,” adds Rusty Keys of KBEE radio. The new “Rock On” CD album features new contemporary tracks plus new recordings of fan favorites including “Was It Nothing at All”, a hit on the Billboard charts, and Top 5 Radio & Records Adult Contemporary chart twice for which Michael was awarded a BMI Song-writing award.

Michael’s new album features world renowned musicians Tim Pierce, who has played with Celine Dion, Chris Isaak and David Cook on guitar; Paul Bushnell, who has recorded with Kelly Clarkson, Faith Hill and Miley Cyrus on bass, Josh Freese, who has played for Avril Lavigne, Sting, Gun’n’Roses, and Daughtry – who toured with Michael on the first Rock On Concert Tour when he was only 16 years old – playing drums. Michael’s brother and record promoter Larry Weir also did back-up vocals for many of the tracks.

Michael is also known for his starring role in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical “Joseph & the Amazing Technical Dreamcoat” where he broke box office records both in L.A. and on Broadway, plus performed in San Francisco and Chicago. His starring role earned him a Grammy® nomination for the cast recording. Damian features a new rendition of “Close Every Door” and “Any Dream Will Do” from the hit musical.

The ‘Joseph’ musical songs were a family affair – co-produced by Maria ‘Mom’ Weir, a classical pianist and choir director. She directed the children’s choir in the songs. Plus, one of the children in the choir is Mia Frampton, the daughter of rock superstar Peter Frampton. It’s the first time many of these fan favorites by Damian from “Rock On” and “Was It Nothing At All” to his selections from “Joseph & the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” will be available to fans for purchase.

As an actor, Michael is probably best known for his 18 year run in CBS No 1 Daytime Drama, “The Young & the Restless”, where he recently reprised his role and performed two of the CD’s tracks, “Getting So Much Better” and “Still Mad About You” for Y&R’s 35th anniversary special. Besides Y&R, TV audiences have seen Michael perform his music on a wide range of TV shows including Oprah and The Tonight Show, where brother Larry Weir played keyboards. Michael is currently on location in Vancouver, Canada directing the feature film FLICKA 2 for 20th Century Fox.

“Rock On” 09 the single has been released and is available for purchase through iTunes. The album “Rock On” has been released by Caption Records March 24 and is available for purchase on iTunes, and through retail stores nationwide. For more information, visit

Larry Weir | Rock 09 Hits Top 30 | Larry Weir

Rock 09 Hits Top Thirty on the Billboard AC Charts – By Larry Weir

Caption Records announced that Recording Artist Michael Damian’s “Rock On 09″ hit the Top30 on the Billboard AC charts. Record promoter Larry Weir from Heartland Entertainment ran the radio promotion for Caption records.

It was twenty years ago that Damian’s first release of the rock classic hit #1 on both the Billboard and R&R Top40 charts. The single taken from the newly released “Rock On” album from Caption Records, also moved to #28* on the Mediabase AC charts, and is Top 10 at New Music Weekly and now ranks #5* on the Independent Music Network’s Top 30 Countdown.

Larry Weir was Damian’s manager at that time and oversaw all the promotion activity with the A&M records staff. Damian is currently in production on location directing the film “Flicka 2″ for 20th Century Fox, where he recently added Clint Black (country singer & TV star of “The Celebrity Apprentice”) to his all-star cast.

“I’m so thrilled for what’s been going on with ‘Rock On 09′,” said Michael from his film set up in Vancouver, Canada. ” And thanks to the fans along with my friends at radio who have been so much a part of making this happen a second time around.

“The new “Rock On” album was produced by Grammy® Award winner Tom Weir, Michael Damian and Larry Weir and is a top feature on iTunes this week. Plus, a summer tour is in the early planning stages. “Rock On” from Caption Records is available for purchase on iTunes, Amazon and through retail stores nationwide. For more information, contact Caption Records LLC at 818-505-9368 or visit the website at