Who are you and what do you do?
Hi! My name is Marcel Zidani and I am a Composer, Concert Pianist and Piano Teacher.
I work much of the time from home, which means I am able to get a good work life/family life balance.
I have given concert recitals throughout the UK and abroad and have played many piano concertos with different orchestras. My performances and compositions have been heard on Radio 3 and local radio stations. Radio 3 compared my compositions to that of Liszt, Satie and Chopin.
I have a large private teaching practice and many of my students have won local and regional young musician competitions. I also coach other performers and piano teachers, which means I am lucky enough to work with the full spectrum of age groups and abilities.
I am currently working on a selection of pieces called “The Composers Odyssey” for Trumpet and Piano. These are pieces that I have written for local cornet player Paul Wood and are a fusion of Spanish/Cuban and Classical styles. They are soon to be published and have been really well received by audiences.
What do you use?
My piano is a reconditioned Model A Bechstein and around 90 years old. I did some of the reconditioning myself, and a friend who is also a piano restorer helped me to install premium hammers from Germany onto the piano action. I carefully selected many of the individual parts and the strings that I wanted. The result is that my piano has an incredible bass section and quality tone!
To record my music I use Tracktion music editing software with my macbook pro and a Mackie Onyx Satellite sound system. The software is relatively easy to use and the results are high quality recordings which you can hear on my website and on YouTube. Most of the recordings are done on a Steinway Model D concert grand.
When I compose music I often find inspiration whilst improvising. Improvising often keeps my approach fresh as there is no right and wrong. I’m essentially just mucking about on the piano, however having said that, this mucking about has years of scales, arpeggios and knowledge of harmony behind it which helps to produce and formulate ideas. The trick is to forget what you have learned in formal lessons and study whilst applying your musicianship freely. Once I have an idea I use manuscript paper and Sibelius software to notate it. This is the hard part, making sense of it on paper and turning your idea into a well structured and finished article, rather like a good book.
My music is available from various sheet music publishers, “The Composers Odyssey” is at the editing stage and will soon be available. On youtube you will be able to hear the first part of “The Composers Odyssey” “Beethoven in Cuba”.
What would be your dream set up?
I am considering a Steinway Model B as my next purchase. I will probably go down the reconditioned route again as I am told that the methods of making instruments today are not as they used to be.