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Home > Author > Shirley S Kirsten
Shirley S Kirsten

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Member Since: May, 2007

Shirley S Kirsten, click here to update your pages on AuthorsDen.

  Shirley S Kirsten

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Piano blogger at Word Press, El Cerrito and Berkeley Patches plus Author's den. Add ONLINE/webcam driven piano lessons to my roster of activities over SKYPE and FACETIME using a MULTI-cam approach to the keyboard.

Background Information

A graduate of the NYC HS of Peforming Arts, Oberlin Conservatory, I obtained a Master of Arts Degree at NYU. Major influences: Murray Perahia, Lillian Freundlich, Daniel Barenboim, Leonard Bernstein, Dinu Lipatti, Rosina Lhevinne, and Elaine Comparone.

Blogging at http:/  (writings and embedded videos)

Two CD albums now on  Search under Music, Shirley Kirsten

Audio track samples, mp3s.

A MUSICAL JOURNEY: Scarlatti, Schubert, and Chopin is also at:  (audio samples, reviews)

Blogcritics review:

Scarlatti and Chopin album:

Blogcritics review:

My cds are sold on Amazon, cd baby, i tunes, tradebit, pay play, and other Internet sites. kirsten  has an audio preview of my second album, titled Scarlatti and Chopin.


Birth Place
Bronx, NY 

2009 JPF music awards nomination in the category of solo classical album for A Musical Journey: Scarlatti, Schubert and Chopin.

Published in the Piano Quarterly, Clavier Magazine, the California Music Teacher; former staff writer for Northview News: covered the Arts, Education, and Business; 4 "Valley Voices" essays (Fresno Bee) 4 classical CDs released, most recent acquired a favorable review in the California Music Teacher. Listen to the author's music at and

From the California Music Teacher, May 2007: "Kirsten has delved deeply into the complex music of Scarlatti and achieved a beautifully balanced and sonically colorful picture. Her playing is immaculate...The Scarlatti works are nicely balanced by Schubert and Chopin." Phyllis Villec, Editor, California Music Teacher
Numerous Fresno Bee Profiles in the Lively Arts Section; "Tune Town" review of "A Musical Journey" CD-
"Moonbeams and Other Musical Sketches," Kirsten's composed Intermediate piano album was praised in a Clavier Magazine review.

Additional Information

Internet Review of A Musical Journey: Scarlatti, Schubert and Chopin by C. Walter Bailey, Disk can be purchased at and (Latest CD release: Scarlatti and Chopin) as well as as well as Music Review: Shirley Kirsten - A Musical Journey: Scarlatti, Schubert, & Chopin Written by C. Michael Bailey Published September 26, 2007 Not only have the Internet, mp3s, downloadable music, and new compression methods revolutionized the production, marketing, and distribution of newly-minted popular music and jazz, they have also done the same for classical music. A case in point is Left-Coast pianist, maestro, and self-described piano finder Shirley Kirsten. Kirsten has just released her third self-produced recital of piano pieces, A Musical Journey: Scarlatti, Schubert, & Chopin that follows the previously released Musical Enchantment and Inspiration. While the combination and proportion of the eras represented on this disc is curious, multiple listening go a long way in supporting Kirsten’s method and vision Shirley Kirsten studied in New York City with Lillian Freundlich and in the Wild West with Ena Bronstein. One of her most significant influences has been pianist Murray Perahia with whom she attended Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts (H.S. 485) located near the Juilliard School in the Lincoln Center district of Manhattan. This high school is also noted for having produced the likes of conductors Gerard Schwarz and David Zinman, pianists Joshua Rifkin and Steven Lubin and jazz musicians Bill Charlap, Eddie Danials, Marcus Miller, and Shorty Rogers. Kirsten also participated with Perahia in a pianist Master Class. Kirsten is not only a concert performer and recording artist, but she has recently penned a tome entitled Dream Piano that documents an eventful series of piano finding adventures in the company of one character, York, a colorful, 81-year old "piana tuna." All that adds up to Kirsten being quite a character on paper which this writer can further validate through recent conversations with the pianist. Having established that Kirsten is a cross between Agatha Christi and Muzio Clementi transplanted into the 20th Century, what of her precious Scarlatti? Kirsten is beautifully sola scriptura, carefully respectful of Scarlatti’s scores without perform them in a boring or rote manner. Kirsten has no fear taking on the Vladimir Horowitz Scarlatti book, devoting special attention to Sonatas in "G Major, K. 146"; "D Major, K. 96"; "f minor, K. 466"; "D Major, K. 491"; and "E Major, K. 380." Of sensual delight here is Kirsten’s feather touch on the f minor sonata and her inclusion of the E Major Sonata, with which Horowitz opened his 1986 Moscow concert captured on Horowitz in Moscow. Kirsten acknowledges her peer, Murray Perahia’s Scarlatti output with the inclusion of the "sonata in b minor, K. 27", accentuating Perahia’s purist approach with a more fluid articulation and expression in a way flattering to both pianists. Kirsten perfectly captures the lullaby character of the "B Flat Major Sonata, K. 440". Overall, this is superb Scarlatti, played with grace and care. Kirsten’s Scarlatti recital is provocative but is made further compelling by the inclusion of a Schubert impromptu and three Chopin Waltzes. It would be simple, at first listen, to dismiss the inclusion of these Romantics with roundly Baroque Scarlatti… simple-minded, that is. Listening to this disc in one sitting brings into focus the history of pianism from mid-18th Century to mid-19th Century. Using the metaphor of confection, one could consider the Baroque musings of Scarlatti as simple, yet elegant bonbons coated with powdered sugar. Dip these bonbons in the early Romanticism of milk chocolate and one can imagine the transformation of Scarlatti’s notes into the sweetened and slightly dangerous vision of Schubert. Substituting the decadence and delicious bite of dark chocolate for Schubert’s milk chocolate and one arrives at the high romanticism of Chopin, his waltzes musical gospels teaching so much in so short a time. Shirley Kirsten’s choice and performance of these pieces is both educational and highly enjoyable. This is not music one fills up on; it is music of which one cannot get enough. It is a pleasure to know that A Musical Journey: Scarlatti, Schubert, & Chopin is to be followed by another Scarlatti/Chopin collection. A Musical Journey: Scarlatti, Schubert, & Chopin is available through CDBaby and Visit Shirley Kirsten on the Web. Selections Sonata in A Major, K. 113, D. Scarlatti; Sonata in G Major, K. 146, D. Scarlatti; Sonata in d minor, K. 1, D. Scarlatti; 4 Sonata in G Major, K 14, D. Scarlatti; Sonata in D Major K. 96, D. Scarlatti; Sonata in b minor, K.27, D. Scarlatti; Sonata in G Major, K. 391, D. Scarlatti; Sonata in C Major, K. 159, D. Scarlatti; Sonata in f minor, K.466, D. Scarlatti; Sonata in D major, K. 491, D. Scarlatti; Sonata in d minor, K. 77, D. Scarlatti; Pastorale in D Major, K. 415, D. Scarlatti; Sonata in E Major, K. 380, D. Scarlatti; Sonata in D Major, K. 492, D. Scarlatti; Sonata in d minor, K. 141, D. Scarlatti; Sonata in B Flat Major, K. 440, D. Scarlatti; Impromptu in E Flat Major, Op. 90, Schubert; Waltz in A Flat Major, Op. 69, Chopin; Waltz in b minor, Op. 69, Chopin; Waltz in D Flat Major, Op. 64, Chopin.

Favorite Links

You Tube
over 700 videos (performances, tutorials, lessons in progress

Word Press
Piano Blog in all its many facets

York's World War II Memoir
A touching story about Connell York, a piano tuner from the San Joaquin Valley who was desperately searching for the identity of a song he had heard school children sing in Japan, three days post war. A member of the 11th Airborne Battalion, York could barely recall the first lines in Japanese and only a semblance of the melody until a sequence of events brought closure to his quest.

My published review of teaching material in the CA Music Magazine
My published review of Irina Gorin's Tales of a Musical Journey

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