Earlier this year, I received a copy of “By Heart: the Art of Memorising Music” by harpsichordist and blogger Paul Cienniwa. Published in 2014, this little gem is exactly the kind of book I had been searching for when I started this blog back at the start of 2013!
The book provides some clear guidance as to how to approach the daunting task of memorising a piece, from nothing to performance. Cienniwa’s personal perspective on this topic is… Read more
Through the collaboration of violist da Gamba Carol Lewis and music director Dr. Paul Cienniwa, First Church in Boston, located at 66 Marlborough St., has been awarded the 2015 Gian Lyman Silbiger Grant of the Viola da Gamba Society of New England (www.vdgsne.org). The award fosters the performance of music for viols and voices around New England and encourages further exploration of the viol and its music.
As recipient of the award, First Church in Boston will present… Read more
On Thursday, July 30 at 6:30pm at the Paquachuck Inn (2056 Main Rd., Westport, MA), mezzo-soprano Allison Messier and harpsichordist Paul Cienniwa will give their debut concert as ALLISON, a new ensemble dedicated to the art of the contemporary folk song.
Messier says, “Last month we gave a recital at St. Andrews by-the-Sea in Little Compton. For that program, we performed a lot of music by people like Joni Mitchell, Cat Stevens, and Harry Chapin, but I never expected such… Read more
Over the weekend, I learned that my first harpsichord teacher, Roger Goodman, died from AIDS-related renal failure. I studied with Roger in Chicago from 1991 till I left Chicago for Boston in 1995.
Roger was a controversial figure in his approach to spirituality and sexuality, and those two elements were strongly apparent in his marvelous music making. As a 19-year-old trying to find my place in the world and in the world of music, I came to Roger as a discouraged pianist, wary of the ego-driven repertoire… Read more
LITTLE COMPTON, R.I. — On Saturday, June 13 at 6:30 at St. Andrews-by-the-Sea, mezzo-soprano Allison Messier and harpsichordist Paul Cienniwa will collaborate on a program that elevates many of today’s folk and pop classics to the art songs of the Elizabethan era. From Popular Songs to Art Songs will feature music of singer/songwriters Harry Chapin, Bob Dylan, Billy Joel, John Lennon, Joni Mitchell, Cat Stevens and Neil Young interspersed with 17th century
About a year ago, violinist EmmaLee Holmes-Hicks and I premiered a work by Karl Henning. What a great piece! There are three sections: Introduction, Passacaglia, and Toccata. The video (below) highlights them quite clearly. Give it a listen!
Paul Cienniwa, DMA, has been appointed director of the Collegiate Chorale at Stonehill College, a liberal arts college in Easton, MA, founded by the Congregation of the Holy Cross. He will continue as Chorus Master of the New Bedford Symphony Orchestra, choral director at Framingham State University, and director of music at First Church in Boston, where the professional First Church Choir can be heard weekly on WERS (88.9 FM) Boston. For more information, visit http://www.stonehill.edu/directory/paul-cienn… Read more
NEW BEDFORD — On Wednesday, Jan. 28, violinist Dorian Komanoff Bandy and harpsichordist and Fall River resident Paul Cienniwa will present the second part of their recital-series “Bach Explored.” Each program focused on a different aesthetic facet of Bach’s musical language,
Last night, I learned that Richard Rephann passed away yesterday morning. I studied harpsichord with Richard at Yale from 1995-1998. From 1998-2003, when I was a DMA candidate, Richard took on an advisory role.
Richard's wife, Susan Thompson, wrote to tell me the news, sending this photo, one that I had never seen before. In it, Richard and I were preparing a performance on matching Taskin epinettes. Susan wrote, "What a great picture! Here you are blessed with the better of… Read more
Back in 1991, I worked with Chicago poet Michele Fitzsimmons to create a theater piece based on her poetry. My piano/keyboard accompaniment was improvised to her picturesque poems. The following review was in the Chicago Tribune.
Poetry Takes A Seductive, Feisty Turn In A Poet`s `Sirens`
June 08, 1991 By Sid Smith, Entertainment writer.
Poetry has been on a frisky roll in this city for some years, mostly in the form of live recitations in high-speed meets at select clubs and watering spots.
By Heart: The Art of Memorizing Music Authored by Paul Cienniwa, Foreword by Larry Thomas Bell FAAR
List Price: $12.956" x 9" (15.24 x 22.86 cm) Black & White on Cream paper 112 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1496180698 ISBN-10: 1496180690 BISAC: Music / Instruction & Study / Techniques
By Heart: the Art of… Read more
November 10, 2014 Classical music has been a staple of Boston entertainment and culture for hundreds of years. In fact, it is now more so than ever. So many talented professionals and accessible institutions offer up classical music in the city so anyone in the area can enjoy anything from church music to the great operas. Enjoy some holiday entertainment or take in a concert in one of the oldest cities in the country.
The November 2014 issue of The Diapason includes a review of one of the two services that I led at First Church in Boston for the 2014 National Convention of the American Guild of Organists. The review neglects to mention that I am the Director of Music at First Church. Among the comments:
"the service...[was] certainly [a] convention highlight...model of liturgical music"
"The choral music [directed by Paul Cienniwa] for this service was beautifully done, much of it a cappella by a small and… Read more
The second gem was Johann Sebastian Bach’s Concerto for Cembalo No. 4 in A Major, BWV 1055. For this segment the battery of wind and percussion players left the stage, leaving two dozen string players and one harpsichord, played by Paul Cienniwa, known locally for his mastery of his instrument and for his musical leadership of the NBSO Chorus. Before the concert, I put a similar question to Cienniwa, and he was quick to respond that the Larghetto (middle)… Read more
On Sunday afternoon, the New Bedford Symphony Orchestra presents "Entrancing Showpieces" at St. Julie Billiart Church in North Dartmouth. The concert opens with Alberto Ginastera's "Variaciones Concertantes," which features demanding solos from many of the orchestra's principal players. Featured guest artist harpsichordist Paul Cienniwa will then treat concertgoers to the elegance and profundity of Bach's Concerto No. 4 for Harpsichord. Cienniwa has a burgeoning career as a soloist, recording artist and… Read more