Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Christopher Norton at Clement Pianos, Nottingham, UK April 21st 2013

Clement Pianos has been trading in Nottingham for 90 years. To quote from their website (

Established in 1919, Clement Pianos are now a third generation family business. Owners Mick & Andy Wilson, both of whom are piano technicians, trained by some of the world's finest, have spent many years carefully selecting what they consider to be the ultimate instruments in each class and price category.

Apart from their wonderful piano showroom and recording studio, they also run the Nottingham International Jazz Competition ( which was won in 2012 by Jeremy Siskind, who I know well from various conventions in America and who always comes and does a duet with me on the APP stand. Small world! Here’s Jeremy (

Clement Pianos has a selection of sheet music for sale in the showroom and decided to put on a Christopher Norton event, partly due to the enthusiasm of a teacher who came to my last Nottingham presentation (see the report on that workshop at

The presentation at Clement Pianos started with American Popular Piano, introducing the series but also immediately launching into simple improvisation. Students and teachers had a go at this and one of the teachers did particularly well:

The audience were very interested in both the Repertoire and the improvisation Etudes and looked at the books on sale with great interest in the interval:

The second half was all things Microjazz, with video clips of students from around the world as well as performances by me and by some students who had learned the pieces for examinations. This was also of great interest to the audience, especially the backing tracks for Microjazz and the wealth of online resources now available on Youtube and Facebook.

The idea came up of both another, longer workshop day and also of a Nottingham-based Piano Festival. I hope to see some or all of the teachers and students again sometime soon.

 Christopher Norton, London, UK 24th April 2013

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Christopher Norton at Messe, Frankfurt 12th and 13th April 2013

Christopher Norton at the Frankfurt Music Fair (Messe Frankfurt) 12th – 13th April 2013

The Frankfurt Music Fair is the big European event for music retailers and I have attended it for at least 20 years now! As always, I stayed at the delightfully named Hotel Hammer in Mainz. The picturesque Mainz railway station is across the road from the hotel:

I was at the Messe for the 2 public days, so was able to talk to customers as well as to dealers. One highlight was meeting a flute player who met me at the Messe last year and had bought the Concert Collection for Flute. She liked it very much and was interested to hear that the Sonatina for Flute and Piano as well as the 2 Microjazz Flute Collections were now available to listen to on Soundcloud (as well as being for sale from www.boosey.com 
Here she is with the composer:

The head of publishing at Boosey & Hawkes, James Eggleston, was at the Messe and while we were there we were able to do quite a few useful things. One was to meet with Sarah Holcroft, the person at Faber Music who is overseeing the building of my new website ( Another was to talk to a dealer who wants to do editions of Microjazz for Absolute Beginners and Microjazz for Beginners in Italian and Spanish. Here’s James with the Italian dealer (James is on the right):

I showed James scores and music of some of the pieces from my new Micro Musicals. These will be the first featured new products on my new-look website (which should be ready by August) I’ve written 5 Micro Musicals so far and they are suitable for children in years 3 to 6. Piano scores, backing tracks (including “teaching” tracks) dialogue and suggestions for staging will all be part of a series of useful packs. And each Micro Musical can be taught in one day and lasts no longer than 20 minutes!

Workshops in Belgium, Germany, Italy, Spain and Sweden were all discussed with dealers – more details will follow.

This was a low-key event – numbers at large Music Fairs are diminishing – but was worthwhile for strengthening links with European dealers and for getting the chance to speak direct to customers. And of course it was great to see colleagues from Schott and Hal Leonard US as well.

Christopher Norton. London April 17th 2013