Robert Pritchard

Associate Professor

Relevant Degree Programs

 

Graduate Student Supervision

Doctoral Student Supervision (Jan 2008 - May 2019)
Breaking the sound barriers : extended techniques and new timbres for the developing violist (2018)

There was a drastic shift in the aesthetics of music from the twentieth century, and this placed new performance demands on musicians. These technical and expressive demands often include extended techniques, which are methods for producing novel timbres. This study undertakes an examination of these extended techniques on the viola. It is necessary for the modern violist to be familiar with extended techniques, but they are not part of standard training on the instrument, as the majority of the standard etudes come from the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries and do not address modern technical challenges. Because contemporary pedagogical literature is scarce for the viola and few etudes address extended techniques, six etudes have been commissioned as a practical application for this project. These etudes help to introduce and refine facility with extended techniques for students at an intermediate level. Extended techniques are often learned when a student is advanced, but they can and should be taught to younger students. The techniques are sometimes thought of as being unusual or challenging, but they are based on fundamental techniques and can contribute to and improve overall technical and musical abilities. This project begins with an introduction and a literature review, followed by the third chapter which provides a context for extended techniques with a brief history of the instrument and its pedagogy. The fourth chapter explores various extended techniques, the fifth chapter discusses the commissioned etudes, and the conclusion reiterates the importance of learning extended techniques.

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A pedagogical analysis of Dvorak’s Cello Concerto in B Minor, Op. 104 (2017)

I first heard Antonin Dvorak’s Cello Concerto in B Minor, Op. 104 when I was 13 years old. It was a memorable experience for me, and I was struck by the melodies, the power, and the emotion in the work. As I became more familiar with the piece I came to understand that it holds a significant position in the cello repertory. It has been praised extensively by cellists, conductors, composers, and audiences, and is one of the most frequently performed cello concertos since it was premiered by the English cellist Leo Stern in London on March 19th, 1896, with Dvorak himself conducting the Philharmonic Society Orchestra.In this document I provide a pedagogical method as a practical guide for students and cello teachers who are planning on learning this concerto. Using a variety of historical sources, I provide a comprehensive understanding of some of the technical challenges presented by this work and I propose creative and effective methods for conquering these challenges.Most current studies of Dvorak’s concerto are devoted to the analysis of its structure, melody, harmony, rhythm, texture, instrumentation, and orchestration. Unlike those studies, this thesis investigates etudes and student concertos that were both precursors to – and contemporary with – Dvorak’s concerto. Through an understanding of those works I present an approach that will assist players in achieving high technical and artistic standards for their own performances of the concerto.To do this, I focus on the methodological and technical aspects of cello playing in the concerto, exploring the history of cello techniques up to Dvorak’s time, and examining the contribution of Hanus Wihan to the composition of the concerto. I also explain the methodological and pedagogical value of cello exercises and repertoire that existed before and during Dvorak’s time, and show how those contributed to the development of techniques required for the performance of the concerto. Specific excepts are analyzed with reference to left- and right-hand cello techniques as found in the concerto, and strategies and explicit repertoire for developing these techniques are discussed.

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A performer's perspective on three works for pianist and moving images : analysis with performance and practice strategies for Michel van der Aa's 'Transit', Nicole Lizée's 'Hitchcock Études', and 'Surface Tension' by Eve Egoyan and David Rokeby (2017)

Interest in audio-visual works of art that are performed by a live pianist while integrating projected moving visual images has waxed and waned over a period of almost 300 years. The past twenty years or so has seen a re-emergence of this genre of classical music composition which places extra demands on the pianist performing these works. This dissertation explores the history of this genre, proposes a framework for analysis of these pieces, and examines from both analytical and performance perspectives three contrasting works for this medium: Michel van der Aa’s 'Transit', Nicole Lizée’s 'Hitchcock Études', and 'Surface Tension' by Eve Egoyan and David Rokeby. This research was conducted by examining sources on the history of this genre, investigating analytical methods for discussing works of multimedia (including the texts of film sound theorists), and through live, phone, and/or e-mail interviews with the composers of the works studied, performers of these works, sound and video technicians, and a concert producer. It is the goal of this research to provide a comprehensive overview of this genre for pianists who are interested in exploring works for this medium, while highlighting the difficulties in preparing and mounting these works in performance.

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Master's Student Supervision (2010 - 2018)
Compositions (2013)

No abstract available.

 

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