Overview of all courses

Aesthetics of Classical Piano Performance

– 20th Century Schools, Styles and Trends

Study Levels: Undergraduate, Postgraduate
Faculty: Emil Gryesten and guest lecturers Richard Uttley (RCM), Lisa Yui (MSM), Jens Elvekjær (RDAM), William Grant Naboré (International Piano Academy Lake Como)
Royal Danish Academy of Music

Tentative online meeting dates in 2024: March 13, April 10, May 8 – at 5 PM CET

Emil Gryesten introduces Aesthetics of Classical Piano Performance

Aesthetics of Classical Piano Performance – 20th Century Schools, Styles and Trends


In this course we will examine the aesthetic currents that have led to the eclectic and pluralistic piano performance culture of today.
The course will give insight into the divergent approaches that characterize today’s music culture and will help you to better understand and formulate your thoughts on differing and sometimes conflicting opinions on interpretation.
Through the various analytical and critical approaches explored in the course, you will become more aware of the newer history of piano performance aesthetics and develop tools to analyse and describe stylistic and artistic choices in interpretation and performance.
The core activity of the course will be examining, sometimes in great detail, the recorded performances of pianists representing different pianistic schools, styles and trends.



By the end of this course students will be able to:

  • Demonstrate knowledge of various classical piano performance styles and traditions from c. 1945 until the present
  • Explain how particular performances relate to their stylistic and/or historical context
  • Apply an understanding of diverging performance traditions in analysing and comparing different interpretations
  • Discuss and evaluate performances in a manner that is both open-minded and referencing contextualized sources
  • Use knowledge and inspiration gained from studying performance aesthetics to enhance one’s own artistic practice