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Second edition of the Christopher Norton Piano festival in India

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Pune (Jan. 27, 2015): The Academy of Music proudly hosted the second edition of the Christopher Norton Piano festival in India from January 21-25.  A memorable 5 days filled with invigorating musical enjoyment!

Norton was Composer in Residence and Jazz and Popular Music Adjudicator at MusiQuest 2011, the Academy’s pan-Indian piano festival/competition event that has happened bi-annually since 2007 and also presented the first ever Norton Piano Festival in India in 2013. 

The Academy is fortunate to have a unique tryst with Christopher Norton!  This is a rockstar personality in music education. A composer, producer, arranger and educationalist, he has written stage musicals, ballet scores, piano music, popular songs and orchestral music as well as jingles and signature tunes for TV and radio. Christopher lectures all over the world on aspects of his work and likes to integrate traditional teaching methods with aspects of modern technology.

The unique five day event featured invigorating improvisation groups where the students of all levels and ages improvised and jammed with the composer.  Each group was followed by a masterclasses which were positively inspirational learning experiences with the students working with the composer on one of his works.  A new feature this year were the highly enjoyable Fun Boxes titled Rhythm Mania, Chords Mania, C Pop, Micro Maze and There and Back again featuring a variety of hands on sessions with an emphasis on the enjoyment of piano playing and playing by ear. Norton also presented 3 engaging workshops entitled The Music of Christopher Norton, Using Pop, Chord Secrets and Getting Cosy with Contemporary styles. The events culminated with a gala recital on the final day featuring 43of the participants individually chosen by Norton himself to feature a solo Norton piece as well as some of the best improvisation groups.  The festival drew 72 participants from Pune and Mumbai.  This was a one of its kind event that enabled students to enjoy popular music making in a non competitive environment. 

Piano students and teachers had the rare opportunity to  work with, play for and learn from Christopher Norton himself! Norton has just recently completed tours in Canada, USA, Australia, Germany, Portugal and New Zealand.Pune was indeed fortunate to have a composer legend in our city!