by Moha Antani
When an opportunity comes your way to photograph a world-renowned musician, you don’t miss it. Recently, Gruber Photographers had the pleasure of meeting and taking portrait shots of Stephanie Brown, a classical pianist who has performed in venues such as Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, and Alice Tully Hall. She has performed with orchestras such as the New York Philharmonic, the Mostly Mozart Festival Orchestra, and the San Francisco Symphony to name a few. Her performances have been lauded by numerous publications including the New York Times and the New York Post. Her experience and knowledge of classical music has allowed her to become a member of the piano faculty at Purchase College in New York, and help aspiring musicians find their voice.
Ms. Brown was gracious enough to do a mini interview and answer some questions for our readers.
MA: When did you first start playing the piano and know you wanted to become a pianist?
Stephanie Brown(SB): I started playing the piano when I was seven. I heard the famous Van Cliburn recording of the Tchaikovsky Concerto from Moscow and knew instantly that I wanted to be a concert pianist when I grew up. I remember wanting to practice six hours a da y as a child—my mother set a limit at four.
MA: Where has been your favorite venue to play at?
SB: I have been privileged to work with extraordinary musicians and to perform in some legendary concert halls, such as Carnegie Hall, Avery Fisher Hall, and the Kennedy Center. I performed at The White House and this was an unforgettable experience.
MA: Do you have any advice to aspiring young pianists?
SB: It is one of the great pleasures of my life to serve as a mentor to young pianists and musicians. I try to share with them the lessons I learned from the great masters of the keyboard with whom I studied. I believe that there are many different and fulfilling paths for musicians today. Every musician has something unique to communicate. It is each of our roles as artists to find and hone that inner voice so that we can share it with others.
MA: How did you like working with Gruber Photographers?
SB: I loved working with Maike Shulz on my photo shoot. I’m very comfortable in front of a piano keyboard, but in front of a camera I feel awkward and shy. Maike instantly put me at ease. Throughout the shoot, I was so in thrall to her reassuring voice and sympathetic manner, I completely forgot to be nervous. I was absolutely thrilled with her photos!
Listen to Miss Brown’s music here on Amazon.
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