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From Piano Playing to the Player Piano, 1900 Through the Roaring 20s


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Feb 16, 2024
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In this Fall Festival 2023 event at the Main Street Museum in White River Junction, Artis Wodehouse pianolizes (foot-pump) a representative group of piano rolls from the early 1910s to the 1920s on the Main Street Museum’s player piano. They provide musical guideposts for her description of the significant cultural and musical impact of the play piano’s unprecedented ability to deliver a musical performance. Piano rolls featured include well-known opera and symphonic period piano roll arrangements, “hand-played” roll performances by famous classical composers such as Edvard Grieg, and popular ragtime and blues rolls by Scott Joplin, George Gershwin, and James P. Johnson.

About Artis Wodehouse​

Artis Wodehouse dressed in red standing behind a Yamaha organ #1
Pianist and harmoniumist Artis Wodehouse has devoted her careeer to preserving and disseminating neglected but valuable music and instruments from the past, with an emphasis on American music. Cited by the NYTimes as “savior of the old and neglected”, she received a National Endowment grant that propelled her into production of CDs and published transcriptions of recorded performances and piano rolls made by George Gershwin, Jelly Roll Morton and Zez Confrey. Her best-seller, “Gershwin Plays Gershwin”, on the Nonesuch label has sold over 500,000 copies. Beginning in 2000, Wodehouse began performing on a representative group of antique reed organs and harmoniums a benside spinet harpsichord and an 1860 Steinway square piano that she had painstakingly restored and brought to concert condition. She founded the chamber group MELODEON in 2010 to present little known but valuable music from 19th and early 20th Century America, using her antique instrument collection as the basis for repertoire choice. Wodehouse has a BM from the Manhattan School of Music, an MM from Yale, and a DMA from Stanford.

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