If you were to ask me to name some of the greatest mathematicians of all time, one of the first people that would come to my mind would be J.S. Bach.
"What?" You may ask. "He was a composer and a musician!"
But, you see, I think of music as one of the purest most wonderful forms of mathematics. It's based on intervals, progressions, and combinations that can be expressed numerically as much as by lettered notes. I can see a work of music as a fantastic equation which deciphers some of life's deepest meanings. Listen to one of Bach's many works for keyboard and you might begin to understand what I am saying.
Mozart was an early showman who might be compared to being the Elton John of his day, if I may be so crass in saying. As a youngster, Mozart toured with his father throughout Europe and was famed for his keyboard wizardry.
Some later more serious composers such as Beethoven, Schubert, or Schumann were keyboard kings in their own right composing some of the greatest works for piano of all time. Then of course, there were the keyboard specialists like Chopin and Cesar Franck and the heralds of the romantic age of music, Brahms and Rachmaninov. There were the mystical sounds of the impressionists such as Debussy, Ravel, and Eric Satie.
Any discussion of keyboard kings would be incomplete without mentioning Franz Liszt, one of the first superstars of music. When Lisztomania swept Europe this popular artist played hundreds of sold out concerts during which women swooned and fought for articles of the musician's clothing. Some have said that Liszt would sometimes play the piano with such ferocity that the instrument would sometimes break, while other times he would play with such rapturous beauty that audiences would be entranced.
With the advent of the age of jazz many wonderful keyboardists came onto the scene. Artists such as Dave Brubeck, Erroll Garner, and Keith Jarrett have had illustrious careers playing their popular styles. The rock era has also seen many fine keyboardists like Keith Emerson, Rick Wakeman, and Nicky Hopkins.
A dear friend of mine has established himself in the Southern California area with his self-taught keyboard artistry. Sebastian Sidi has gained a sizable following playing concerts and other venues over the past decade. With seven CDs and two live concert DVDs, Sebastian has sold hundreds of thousands of copies without distribution from a record label. He is the equivalent to a self-published author and doing extremely well at it. He is certainly a Keyboard King in his geographical realm and he would love to take his musical message to the rest of the world.
Here is a sample of Sebastian in concert as he plays his own composition, "A Moment in Time":
Here is a promo video for his composition "The Ride":
For more information about Sebastian, his tour schedule, or purchasing his CDs and DVDs, you can visit his website.
And of course let us not forget the other royalty of the keyboards--me and all of you as we type away at our blog entries for A to Z. How are your fingers holding out so far?