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Studies in Poetry – Volume 1

The Studies in Poetry series is a collection of concert etudes for the piano that pay tribute to some of the composer’s favourite books of poetry in the English language. In all cases, the poetry book’s title has been used as both a point of inspiration and a subtitle for each study. The composition of the first three studies dates from 2000 and coincided with the purchase of a new grand piano with the writing process serving to both break in the instrument’s stiffness, and provide an incentive to practice diligently with the goal of premiering these pieces later in the year. As additional studies have been added to the collection and premiered by the composer, the new pieces have always been grouped in sets of three, although it is perfectly acceptable to perform just one or two separately. These works are definitely written in the tradition of the Liszt concert etude and have a technical difficulty at the diploma level. Even the shorts pieces in a slower tempo, often demand a level of contrapuntal control and rhythmic independence between hands that can be challenging. 22 pages.


More information can be read about each individual study in the publication’s introductory notes found in the samples below, but in many ways, the character of the music can be found in the title. The name of the poet from whom the title is borrowed provided in brackets.


No. 1 – Til My Fingers Bleed (Charles Bukowski)

No. 2 – No Time (Margaret Avison)

No. 3 – Riffs (Dennis Lee)


Check out the glowing review of all five volumes of the Studies in Poetry series in International Piano – July/Aug 2023.