Join us in welcoming Robert Merfeld to our store where he will be presenting his book Is It So If You Think It's So?: Thoughts on Playing & Teaching Chamber Music - An Anti-Manual .
Why does this "anti-manual" about teaching chamber music pose a question right in its title? The premise here is that certainty can spell doom in creative interactions and that "not knowing" democratizes and opens up the learning environment. Having taught at institutions such as Harvard, Boston University and the Longy School of Music of Bard College, and performed nationally and internationally for over five decades at venues such as Lincoln Center, the Marlboro Music Festival and the Library of Congress, the author reaches into a deep reservoir of experience to share his thoughts on coaching and performing. This book is essentially a plea for kindness and for an approach to education which breaks down hierarchies and the dominance of ego. It is a study of human behavior as it exhibits itself not only in music but sports as well. "Is It So If You Think It's So?" is rewarding reading for all musicians, teachers and listeners.
Robert Merfeld has lead a life in which love for music has meshed with love of the outdoors. Although his career has had him playing recitals at Alice Tully Hall, the Library of Congress and Ravinia with some of the world's most prominent musicians, he could as easily be found on a soccer field, be it Central Park in New York City or a dusty field in La Paz, Bolivia. He started playing chamber music as the age of 9 both on piano and viola. Over the past 60 years he has taught and performed this literature in places such as Marlboro Music festival, Harvard and Boston Universities, The Longy School of Music of Bard College and Tanglewood. He has, as well, taught master classes (a term he does not favor) throughout the U.S., the Middle East, Latin America and Korea.