I’ve always loved playing the piano and remember vividly my very first lesson at age 8 with Mrs. Sellars. A captivating universe was revealed by her and that wonderment has stayed with me my entire life.
When it came time to choose a major in college there was no question that I would major in piano. I first earned a Bachelor of Music degree at Florida State University where I studied piano with Edward Kilenyi. I then went on to earn the Master of Music and Doctor of Musical Arts degrees at Louisiana State University where I studied piano with Milton Hallman, a pupil of both Edward Kilenyi and Ernst von Dohnányi.
My playing and interpretative style have more recently been influenced by Alfred Cortot through his recordings and writings and by recordings of other pianists whose recordings were made in the early 20th century.
My career has focused mainly on teaching piano privately and performing locally where I’ve lived in Florida and Louisiana. I have also given piano recitals in California, Oklahoma, and Georgia as well as recording an album in historic Wigmore Hall in London. Since 2005 I’ve been teaching online for Columbia College of Missouri. Currently, I teach Music and the Human Experience and Music of the United States.
In 2018 I re-issued by 1986 world premiere recording of piano pieces by the German conductor Wilhelm Furtwängler, composed during his childhood. It is distributed through CDBaby and can be found on iTunes, Spotify, Pandora, Amazon, YouTube, and on other streaming services. The album is titled: Furtwängler: Selected Piano Compositions.
My new single has now been released as of 7 September 2020. It’s a composition of my own: Robert Cooper Rivard: Improvisation for Piano on Franz Schubert’s “Boatman’s Song to the Dioscuri.” Of all the songs Schubert composed this Lied is my favorite. He was only nineteen years old when he composed it and the melody is heartbreakingly beautiful yet consoling. I hope you will take comfort when listening to it.
I will be recording and releasing in June a new composition titled Élégie de Françoise. This work is in memory of French actress Françoise Dorléac who died in a tragic car accident on June 26, 1967. The melody used in it I wrote on learning of her death all those years ago.
Please take time to listen to my recordings in Studio B103. Thanks!
Stay well and safe!