BEYOND THE KEYS is a workshop exploring groundbreaking works for piano that use non-traditional piano sounds like bowed, prepared, and harp piano. We will look at how each piece was conceptualized, how to study them and perform them, how to use these techniques safely so that the piano is not affected, and discuss practical ways to use these non-traditional techniques in your own writing and performance. A special feature is the music of composer C. Curtis-Smith, the inventor of the modern piano bow. Other techniques include string piano (Cowell), prepared piano (Cage), masking and overtones (Lachenmann), and extended techniques (Crumb).


This unique program is designed for both composers and pianists. All techniques are safe for the piano, and a unit on piano preparation and piano safety is included.

“Barbara Lieurance’s performance of this prepared piano music was one of the most thoughtful, engaging, and imaginative that I’ve heard. In working with our students, she combined history, technique, and musical philosophy in a concert/demonstration tailored young composers and performers. I would unreservedly recommend both concert and the presentation to other educators and music lovers.”  Lisa Coons, Professor of Music Composition, Western Michigan University.

click to listen:    

John Cage: Sonatas and Interludes

Curtis-Smith Rhapsodies: MVT 1 * MVT 2 * MVT 3 * MVT 4

Lachenmann: Child’s Play