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5 minutes with ... Maurice Hinson.

Maurice Hinson is senior professor at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary's School of Church Music in Louisville, Kentucky, where he teaches piano, chamber music, piano literature and piano pedagogy. Hinson is internationally celebrated for his many awards, articles, references, editions, videos, recordings, master classes and lecture/recitals. AMT's Arthur Houle had a few questions for Hinson.

As a child, were you a "difficult" piano student or the "wild-horses-can't-keep-me-from-the-piano" type? The latter. I began picking out tunes on the piano and playing by ear around age 5. I played and sang Sunday-school tunes and all the pop tunes of the day, including Three Little Fishes.

Who inspired your terrific anthologies? Irwin Freundlich, my piano literature teacher at Juilliard. In 1963, he requested I update his Music for the Piano, co-authored by James Friskin. Friskin's wife, however, did not want alterations, and Irwin later indicated he was too busy, so it befell me to write the entire book (Guide to the Pianist's Repertoire)--so I did!

Do you have a favorite composer? Composition? Cooking spice (maybe a Vivaldi seasoning)? My favorite composer is whoever I'm playing or editing, which is currently Mozart. I have no truly favorite work, but one favorite is Cesar Franck's Prelude, Chorale and Fugue.

Please share the most memorable experience in your distinguished teaching career. Working with a brilliant student, Frank Carter, who performed a graduate recital and then memorized a complete second recital of Chopin--just because he loved Chopin! He earned a performer's certificate for his efforts, won the concerto competition, etc.

How about your most embarrassing experience? While accompanying a visiting Hungarian basso, Miklos Bencze, on Mussorgsky's Song of the Flea, I turned a page and the next page was missing! I hopped all over the keyboard improvising a "suitable" accompaniment until I arrived at the following page. Since then I've been very careful to make sure all pages are in proper order and present!

Reveal one thing about yourself that would rock our world (e.g., "I secretly dig country western and canvas for Ralph Nader in my spare time"). I won't hold my breath, but I'd love for my senior men's tennis team to win the national championship. They've won the Kentucky state championship twice!

If you could change one thing in higher education, what would that be? Curricula should allow students more time to practice each day. The level of performance would go up considerably.

What's the most ambitious project you'd like to accomplish? A complete edition of Mozart's piano sonatas, now in progress. I finally have copies of the available autographs. Now I need lots of patience and perseverance!

What advice do you have for young pianists today? Be yourself, pay great attention to detail and be the best in your field, or you will not have a job.

In an alternate universe, what far-out career choice could you imagine for yourself if you had never taken up music? Choreographer. Accompanying out youngest daughter, who was a professional dancer, always inspired my very pictorial imagination, even when sleeping! Dreams galore!

Arthur Houle is founder and director of the International Festival for Creative Pianists (www.pianofestival.org) Houle has taught at the New England and Boston Conservatories, the Universities of Iowa, North Dakota and Texas-Austin and, most recently, at Albertson College.
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Title Annotation:Professional Resources
Author:Houle, Arthur
Publication:American Music Teacher
Article Type:Interview
Date:Aug 1, 2004
Words:548
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