Matt Herskowitz, Bach Prelude in C minor, WTC bk. 1, “Bach à la Jazz”
Interview with Matt Herskowitz
Uniquely combining the superlative technique of a classical virtuoso with his prowess in jazz, world music and free improvisation, pianist, composer and arranger Matt Herskowitz has carved out a unique and personal voice in music.
Over the course of the last decade, Matt has produced a series of critically-acclaimed recordings, premiered his works in settings from New York’s Central Park to Germany’s Köln Philharmonie, collaborated with top classical, jazz and pop artists, and has performed at music festivals across the globe.
A graduate of the Juilliard School and the Curtis Institute of Music, Matt is originally from Rensselaerville, New York, and has lived in Montreal since 1999.
Matt Herskowitz is quite simply one of the most skilful, versatile, and soulful pianists on the planet.
Best Sheet Music download from our Library.
Matt shines in many genres, but it’s his outstanding work jazzing up classical music in particular that was the reason I absolutely had to chat with him for the podcast!
I include many generous audio clips of Matt’s playing during the interview to give you a taste of what I love about his playing.
- [3:04] Matt’s classical background and education- Curtis Institute of Music, Julliard with teacher Joseph Kalichstein, further progress with Russian teacher Vladimir Viardo
- [22:00] Winning piano competitions, and recording the Glazunov 2nd Piano Concerto
- [28:42] Matt’s jazz background
- [33:35] Combining classical and jazz. Success with Bach A La Jazz for the soundtrack of The Triplets of Belleville. Bach Reimagined with flautist Andrea Griminelli. Bach XXI with violinist Philippe Quint
- [43:02] Long-term collaboration in various genres with violinist Lara St. John
- [54:04] Working on Chopin Etudes
- [1:03:29] Matt’s arrangement of the slow movement from the Ravel Piano Concerto in G
- [1:06:36] On Jacques Loussier and Claude Bolling
- [1:14:46] Future plans. Gershwin’s World video with Paul Merkelo (Principal trumpet with the Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal). A history of North American jazz & folk music with Lara St. John
- [1:45] Chopin Etude in C# minor, op. 10 no. 4, “The Torrent”, arr. Matt Herskowitz: https://youtu.be/cgMnwFZB3hc
- [22:27] Glazunov Piano Concerto no. 2 in B Major, Musici De Montréal, Yuli Turovsky, Matt Herskowitz:
- [36:26] Bach A La Jazz from the soundtrack of The Triplets of Belleville- Bach arr. Matt Herskowitz: https://youtu.be/ughto1R5U2I
- [40:35] Goldberg Variations, BWV 988 Aria, Bach arr. Matt Herskowitz from Bach XXI with violinist Philippe Quint: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jSPLj8ocykw
- [44:14] Kolo- trad, Lara St. John & Matt Herskowitz: https://youtu.be/iBwWfc-VAYY
- [46:13] Nagilara- trad, Lara St. John & Matt Herskowitz, arr. Matt Herskowitz: https://youtu.be/PDnJjiFiq1I
- [47:44] Franck Sonata in A major for Violin and Piano- II. Allegro, Lara St. John & Matt Herskowitz: https://youtu.be/y1_eqQGYeBQ
- [50:19] Beethoven Violin Sonata No. 9, Op. 47, “Kreutzer”- III. Presto, Lara St. John & Matt Herskowitz: https://youtu.be/NrxGrqFNGug
- [57:30] Chopin Etude op. 10 no. 1, “Boogie-Woogie”, arr. Matt Herskowitz: https://youtu.be/IbBVriCAyWc
- [1:03:50] Ravel Piano Concerto In G: Adagio Assai, arr. Matt Herskowitz: from the album Mirror Image
- [1:15:36] Gershwin’s Summertime mixed with Schoenberg’s Verklärte Nacht- Paul Merkelo & Matt Herskowitz, arr. Matt Herskowitz
- [1:20:16] Ravel Piano Concerto In G: Adagio Assai- Paul Merkelo & Matt Herskowitz, arr. Matt Herskowitz
- [1:23:25] Chopin Raindrop Prelude (Op. 28 No. 15) arr. Bob Rose
- [1:29:14] Gershwin Rhapsody in Blue (with improvisations)- Matt Herskowitz, arr. Matt Herskowitz: https://youtu.be/rbY-VgYtrwg
Matt’s website: www.MattHerskowitzPiano.com
Matt’s YouTube channel: www.youtube.com/user/matthersk
Matt’s concert of jazzed-up Chopin Études on Medici:
Matt’s sheet music of jazz arrangements: https://www.mattherskowitzpiano.com/shop