Author Archives: Ryan Libel

New Year Slowdown

I had my first lesson yesterday after a break of over a month – the longest hiatus to date that Teacher and I have passed in our five years.  During that time, travel for a funeral and for the holidays and other end-of-year happenings conspired to keep my practice at bay.  I probably only practiced […]

Proficiency Means Different Things to Different People

Nana

In phone conversations with my nana, at some point she’d generally say, “I read all your blog posts, Ryan – I just think it’s great!”  While I don’t have a lot of 90-year-olds in my list of acquaintances, I do think it’s safe to say that Nana managed to keep up with the times more […]

Lovera’s Chaconne

My Mondays off afford me the opportunity to take in free concerts at the Chicago Cultural Center from time to time.  I gravitate toward the recitals sponsored by the Musicians Club of Women – they present “award winners in concert” and start at 12:15 (on the dot).  Last Monday, November 26, the award winner was […]

The Last Note

Book Four is a long haul.  In yesterday’s lesson, after we played through the final notes of the final bars of the final piece, Teacher rejoiced jubilantly – a slightly unexpected celebration for me, “You made it!”  She wrote the date in the book in the margins next to the last measure.  Sloughing through all […]

Diwali with The Chicago Sinfonietta

A week ago I attended the Chicago Sinfonietta’s most recent concert at Symphony Center, a program entitled Sea of Light timed to coincide with Diwali, the 5 day Hindu celebration of the triumph of light over darkness, of knowledge over ignorance.  In Hindu cultures, Diwali is a time for reflection, celebration, family, and starting fresh.  […]

A Matsuev Matinee

Symphony Hall was nearly full yesterday for a matinee recital by Denis Matsuev, the 43-year-old Russian pianist.  I bought a cheaper seat, since I wasn’t previously a fan and I didn’t think the playlist included any of my favorites.  But sometimes programs change – after I bought the ticket, I went online to check the […]