School of Arts

UKZN staff member and renowned pianist graduates with PhD in Music

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Dr Andrew Warburton.
Dr Andrew Warburton.

‘This is one of the greatest works written for the piano, and a mountain to be tackled by any classical pianist. I investigated and described the interpretations on record of eight eminent pianists, and then distilled it into an interpretation which was described as the way I would approach the work,’ he said.

Warburton was interested in the process a performer undertakes in preparing an interpretation of a great work of music for performance. ‘There is definitely an analytical process which takes place, and very few writers have attempted to investigate the process. The two public recitals which had to be given were huge challenges. Finding enough time to practise while holding down my lecturing post was very demanding,’ he said.

The most interesting part of Warburton’s research was making recordings of his own playing of the work and discovering that there were many interpretive differences based on his frame of mind at the time, as well as other factors.

He hopes his research will be a useful reference tool for other pianists who are preparing this work for performance, and who wish to explore different ways of interpreting it.

Although Warburton’s parents are deceased, his friends were always there to support him, and cheered him on during the two public recitals. ‘I just wish my mom and dad could be here for this special moment. But to everyone else, I value the support given by each and every one. Thank you.’

Warburton plans to attend international conferences on piano playing. ‘This will certainly increase my credibility within the nationwide music community,’ he said.

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