Considering the art of the page-turner

Posted on: February 28, 2017

“In performance, the page turner is the pianist’s shadow,” writes Jennifer Gersten on Sunday (2/26) at New York classical radio station WQXR. “At the performance’s close, she is the first to retreat. The applause is not hers…. Many a show has gone on without a page turner, in which case the ambitious pianist does the work herself, her reckless right hand leaping across the chasm from keys to page and back…. In George Crumb’s Makrokosmos IV … beginning in the section ‘Cosmic Canons,’ the page turner, dormant before now, is asked to strike the piano’s lower strings with a ruler…. The page turner’s quiet labors are at the fore of a 2006 French thriller, Page Turner.Page Turner is also the name of a three-episode Korean drama, also about the travails of competitive pianists…. Yet, in exchange for their services, page turners may soon find themselves endangered. Tablets, now a commonplace tool for musicians, store all one’s music, and, perhaps most conveniently, pair with pedals that effectively allow musicians to turn pages with their own feet. Sadly, this may provoke a scarcity of page turners, fixture though they seem by the piano bench’s side.” Video is included.

Posted February 28, 2017