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Master Class In Improvisation, And The Creative Process

In 1981, William Goldstein was selected to be a visiting artist by the Academy Of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. He was sent to the Far East. He lectured on music in film and contemporary aesthetics. He also performed some of his unique keyboard improvisations. This experience whet his appetite for sharing his experiences with others as his composing schedule allowed.

In August 2011, he was invited by the Transatlantyk International Film and Music Festival in Poznan, Poland, to give performance Master Classes on the "Art of Instant Composition". He also presided over the jury in what was most likely, the first competition in "instant composition" in over 100 years. A musical expression practiced by most of the great composers throughout history.

He uses improvisation as a conduit to explore the creative process with all who experience his ability to sit at a keyboard and create instant composition. Unlike Jazz improvisation, which is built around an existent structure, he starts with nothing, and creates a complete piece, with form and structure....from scratch.

In September of 2012 he embarked on a Cross Country Master Class Tour of Performing Arts schools, in Oakland, Reno, Salt Lake City, Denver, Omaha, Newark NJ, Washington DC, Memphis and Las Vegas, organized by the California State Summer School For The Arts. He inspired music, dance and media students, by sharing his experience, insights and philosophy, and by having these students join him in creating new works in real time.

See more photos from the 2012 Cross Country Master Class Tour

In March 2013, he was invited back to Poland to share his gift of "Instant Composition" in a series of workshops and concerts, and was also President of the jury at the Screen & Sound Festival in Krakow. The festival also featured the first European performance of On The Path, with Mr. Goldstein conducting the Beethoven Academy Orchestra.

See more photos from the 2013 Screen & Sound Festival, Krakow Poland

In both Master Classes and concerts, he invites students and audience members to come up and pick three random pitches. He will take those pitches, and the order in which they were selected, and create a piece. He improvises ballets with dancers and creates musical conversations with singers. He has scored short films in concert, the audience told that both they and Mr. Goldstein are watching the film for the first time. He then starts playing with the first frame of the picture, and continues until the film completes, at which time an entirely original score has been created. For a class in the Far East he improvised on Piano with a Chinese Violin , mixing eastern and western influences.

For over 20 years composer William Goldstein has given an annual Master Class in Improvisation and The Creative Process on the campus of Cal Arts.

His uniquely gifted improvisations, his arts philosophy (Los Angeles Times), his innovations in technology, his unique approach to solving difficult issues (New York Times), and most of all, his music, continue to inspire music, dance, theater, film and creative writing students. The opportunity to witness the spontaneous burst of creativity apparent in these improvisations gives students an insight into their own creativity.

"I very much enjoyed your workshop … especially your piano playing…. great to see you at work, unbelievable that you could have reached your level of piano without formal training--clearly, a kind of genius"

Steven D. Lavine, President of CalArts

"An Exciting Night of Ballet, Piano Improv", "Goldstein, …..was very adroit, whether working with his composition "Cycles" from his recent "First Impressions" CD …. or taking a three-note motif from an audience member and creating a subdued, meditative etude that proved one of the evening's highlights."

Lewis Segal, Los Angeles Times Dance Critic

Goldstein Improvises a new composition based on a three note motive selected by Phillip Kawin of the piano faculty , who pledged a $1,000 gift to MSM for the honor. Mr. Kawin looks on (far right).

The 2008 All-Alumni Reunion, President's Brunch at Manhattan School of Music (October 18, 2008), Peter Jay Sharp President's Residence.

Improvised Ballet at Transatlantyk Festival. Goldstein and dancers from The Polish Dance Theater featuring Paulina Wycichowska.

(Photo by Pawel Grzelaczyk)

See Also:

Master Class Baroque Improvisation

Experience A Musical Conversation, Los Angeles with Tiffany Wilson

See Excerpts from The Transatlantyk International Film and Music Festival

A Martial Arts Ballet Created in real time, Taipei

Creating a Contemporary Instant Composition

A description of the improvisation process between composer William Goldstein and Dancer Qi Zhang

...... see an Improvised Ballet with Qi Zhang from the DVD Of The Moment

...... see a 2nd Improvised Ballet with Qi Zhang and her beautiful red fan from the DVD Of The Moment

William Goldstein Profile / An Unusual Story

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