Two Significant Beethovens include the Grandfather

Two Significant Beethovens include the Grandfather. Most have read of Beethoven’s father. Mostly, about how he was alcoholic and beat his son on his ears.   Before turning to drink, the father was a gifted musician. He sang tenor in chorus and in opera. His name was Johann Beethoven. As a result of the father’s drinking, the family lived in abject poverty. His small salary was wasted at the ale-house. With such unfortunate circumstances his oldest son, Ludwig, became the breadwinner of the home.

Image result for DSOworks picture of Beethoven at the piano
Piano in Beethoven’s attic given to him as a present from Count Waldstein

Two Significant Beethovens Were Originally Dutch as was the Father, of Course

The Beethoven family were singers at the cathedral at Antwerp. The grandfather was also named, Ludwig. In Germany, the  grandfather held many important positions in the musical establishment of the Archbishop-Elector of Cologne. He was at first a solo bass singer in the opera and choir. Later he was appointed stage director. Finally he became the musical conductor at the church.   He had moved earlier in the 18th century to Bonn on the Rhine.

File:Pitstone-windmill.600px.jpg two significant Beethovens had roots in Holland
Holland was the original home the family.

 

Some significant chronology on L.v. Beethoven:

  • At age 11 he was playing viola in the orchestra.
  • At age 12 he was the assistant organist with the orchestra at the church.
  • 6 months later he was the assistant conductor. His duties included conducting the sub-rehearsals. He arranged the music for the singers and orchestra. Also when an opera did not have a suitable aria for a great singer, he would write one. However, he never received a salary for his work until after 17 years of age. But Beethoven still laid the foundation for financial support.  Here’s how:

He made a number of connections at the church. This included a wealthy lady, Frau von Breuning. He taught her son and daughter. He also befriended members of the Vienna aristocracy who were in their university days in Bonn. This included the young Count Waldstein. Beethoven dedicated his Waldstein sonata to him. Finding that the young Beethoven lacked a suitable instrument on which to practice, Waldstein had a fine grand piano sent to Beethoven in his attic room (see picture above).  He also befriended Count Lichnowsky and many others. They became life long patrons.

I enjoy blogging about Ludwig van Beethoven for several reasons:

  1. I trace my own teachers back to Beethoven. Here’s how. I studied with Mischa Kottler. Kottler studied with Emil von Sauer. Sauer studied with Liszt. Liszt studied with Czerny. Czerny studied with Beethoven. Many of Beethoven’ s innovations were shown to me by Kottler. These included the principle of the prepared thumb.
  2. I have just finished my 8th yearly season as pianist at the Gasparilla Inn on the isle of Boca Grande. Management had the Steinway concert grand in the dining room rebuilt. I now play it in season. It has the finest Steinway parts. They were ordered directly from Germany.
  3. I also enjoy composing. Here is a sample of my own music entitled El Nino in Sarasota. Oh yes, I am available for piano lessons in Sarasota.

    Moonlight on the Lake by composer/pianist David Ohrenstein – YouTube

    Conclusion: Here is one formula for success for aspiring musicians and composers. It is based on this blog: (1) Get the audience. Be a church or by any other means. (2) Appeal to everyone, even the elite. Young musicians and composers need as much help as possible. I encourage all to be kind to composer/musicians that you believe could have potential. You just might have a great work dedicated to you.

 

 

 

 

 

 

piano accompanying of a singer is quite different than an oboist

Piano Accompanying from Singers to Oboe Players

Piano Accompanying from Singers to Oboe Players. Talk about maximum contrast. A competent accompanist needs to be like a chameleon. Chameleons or chamaeleons (family Chamaeleonidae) are a distinctive and highly specialized clade of Old World lizards with 202 species described as of June 2015.[1] These species come in a range of colors, and many species have the ability to change color. Likewise, a good accompanist must have the ability to change styles like a chameleon changes color. This, of course, depends on who he’s accompanying. I have been fortunate to work with oboist Edmund DeMattia.  He is an incredible oboe player and conductor. He is also  into his 80’s. I have been receiving a wealth of much needed knowledge from him. Among his accomplishments:

Oboj.jpg piano accompanying
This humble, quiet looking instrument can be quite powerful,Much more than most singers.

 

  • The idea for a “national concert band” began in 1973 with discussions among retired and former members of the four major military service bands in the Washington, DC area. The organization’s two main purposes were to provide a way for area military musicians to continue to play after retirement, and to preserve the  concert band tradition of music in the United States, so prominent in the first half of the twentieth century.It was during conductor DeMattia’s tenure the Band participated in making the epic series of historic recordings of “The Heritage of the March,” produced by Robert Hoe of Poughkeepsie, NY.
  • The first conductor chosen was Edmund DeMattia, formerly principal oboist with the United States Navy Band. He was one of the founding members of the American Concert Band Association (ACB) and the National Concert Band became a member of this professional organization.

Ed and I are rehearsing regularly for an upcoming concert. We will do well known and established works for oboe.  My wife,  Sharon Ohrenstein, will also sing. Much of our music is original. I write the music. Shes does the lyrics. However, I must mention, Ed will also be performing also be playing one of my original works. It is called the Iguana Farm. Audiences go wild over it.

I will be piano accompanying for my oboe music called Iguana Farm
An real, genuine Iguana farm

Now here’s the difference between the voice and the oboe:

Piano Accompanying for Singers

  • Singers need  more of a background accompaniment. It is essential that lyrics be heard. Use the soft pedal on the piano. When music is marked forte, bring it down to mezz0 piano. If something is marked mezzo piano, bring it down to pianissimo, etc.
  • When the singer is tacit in  a piano solo section, then release your soft pedal. Play it full out.

Piano Accompanying for Oboe Players

Ed tells me “I need a full sound.” There is no concert band with us. We do not have 50 players. You are the only one. Contrary to the singer,  when the music is marked mezzo forte, play it full forte. When it is full forte, play it doubly loud. The bass must always be strong and solid, even with syncopated passages in the treble. Without these directions, the music can easily turn to chaos.

I have been so fortunate to work with experienced older musicians. (1) Piano lessons with Mischa Kottler (2) Accompanist to world renowned violinist, David Rubinoff (3) Work with Edmund DeMattia. I’ve continually built on my Master of Music degree from Wayne State University. Since I myself am becoming older, I wish to keep the tradition going.  I offer piano lessons in Sarasota; but for those who are interested the possibility of a career. Our concert date and place will be announced shortly.

 

Learning piano with the Best Piano Instructor, Mischa Kottler

Mischa Kottler Student Endures on the Piano

Mischa Kottler Student Endures on the piano.  My father had a sense about me. We grew up in Detroit. I immediately took to the piano and composing. At age 12 I wrote  a piano concerto. I had only been playing the piano for 3 months.  I also played the complete Beethoven Moonlight Sonata from memory.This was at my first year piano recital.  We soon arranged for auditions with the best Detroit instructors.  Julius Chajes was the director of music at the Detroit Jewish Community Center.  Chajes suggested to go to Mischa Kottler since he was quite busy. Chajes also mentioned Karl Haas.  Haas was the creator and host of the nationally syndicated program, Adventures in Good Music.  Haas also suggested that I audition for MischaFinally, I went to Mischa Kottler. He is a brief description of him in Keyboard Magazine by one of his students student.

Haas suggested I become a Mischa Kottler student
Karl Haas also Referred Me to Mischa Kottler

Another notable Mischa Kottler student –  Greg Philliganes

From work with Stevie Wonder while still in his teens, to tours and recordings with Quincy Jones, Michael Jackson, Eric Clapton, and Toto, Phillinganes’ massive discography reads like a “Who’s Who” of pop music, encompassing four decades.

From Greg Philliganes’ interview in Keyboard Magazine

“Sensing that I needed discipline more than anything else, my Mom managed to hook me up with a wonderful teacher named Mischa Kottler.  He was a no-nonsense Russian Jewish guy who could crack a pane of glass with one finger. He was a complete badass, and he cooled my attitude out immediately. I studied with him well into my teens.

What kinds of things were you studying with him?

I was studying technique and classical repertoire. He taught me a certain way of playing that I still use to this day: a sense of evenness where your wrists aren’t loose or moving up and down. It’s a totally linear way of playing, where there’s even movement in both hands so your wrists stay perfectly still. Misha would take two fingers and weigh them down on my wrists to keep them from moving. He instilled a sense of dexterity and definition in my playing. If I’m known for my speed and precision, it’s probably due to Mischa more than anything else. 

As a Mischa Kottler student

So, how did Mischa impact my career. I am playing my 8th season at the Gasparilla Inn on the exotic isle of Boca Grande. Management  thinks of me as part of their corporation. It’s amazing how well you a liked when you are good for business and morale. Management just reconditioned a vintage 1924 Steinway grand. What a difference it makes! “Beautiful, lovely, most enjoyable” …are a few of the positive adjectives. Very few people walk by the piano without patting me on the back. They invariably say, “Good job.” I play 6 nights weekly. This is through April 16. Earlier I  had been playing for some 15 years in the Catskill Mountains of New York. This was  at Scott’s Oquaga Lake House. Another demanding job: Seven nights a week! Through the training of Mischa Kottler and the generousity and backing of my father, I’ve been enjoying a remarkable long career. I offer piano lessons in Sarasota. Below is a picture of the Gasparilla Inn.

As a Mischa Kottler student, I am proud to play at Boca Grande at the Gasparilla Inn for my 8th season
My piano playing has continuously taken me to the finest locations thanks to Mischa Kottler
Pianist David Ohrenstein will play for diners on the isle of Boca grande

Pianist David Ohrenstein to Play at the Gasparilla Inn

Pianist David Ohrenstein to Play for Diners on a newly rebuilt Steinway Grand at the Gasparilla Inn. He is scheduled 6 nights weekly in season on this island resort.

Pianist David Ohrenstein Will Begin his 8th winter season at the Famous Gasparilla Inn on December 20
David to Be Featured on a just completed and rebuilt Vintage Steinway Grand Piano at the Gasparilla. Inn.  This year will mark his 8th consequitive winter season.
The Gasparilla Inn & Club – Photo courtesy of Gasparilla Inn

The Gasparilla Inn and Club in Boca grande is wonderful for that special occasion. Here are just a few of the highlights that the dining room has to offer:

  • Great food by master chefs
  • Great service and wonderful decor
  • A newly rebuilt vintage Steinway grand piano
  • The Steinway is played by David Ohrenstein

David is particularly excited about playing this year. Famed piano technician Larry Keckler from Sarasota Florida was called to recondition and fine tune the dining room Steinway.  It dates back to the early 1920’s. Mr. Keckler loves this Steinway. He told me that after he worked on it, he is bowled over by its incredibly sweet and  beautiful tone. I can’t wait. My piano playing is all about melody and singing tone.

PIANIST DAVID OHRENSTEIN PLAYS LONG TERM ENGAGEMENTS

This year David’s contract in Boca Grande spans approximately four months. He plays six nights a week. The timing corresponds with the peak busy season in Florida. He has also worked as the pianist at Scott’s Oquaga Lake House in upstate New York.  For some 15 years his contracts were for almost five months at the time. Most often, in New York he worked seven days a week. He and his singer-actress wife Sharon would also perform two featured shows weekly. So many say there is little work for musicians. On the contrary, David knows musicians can pick and choose. He offers piano lessons in Sarasota for aspiring students.  Meanwhile, see you at the Inn! Yes, I take requests. Sample of David’s playing below:

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Career - here is where Beethoven wrote many great works

Career – Circumstances that Bolstered Beethoven’s

Career – Circumstances that Bolstered Beethoven’s. Here is a brief summary of his accomplishments from Wikipedia: Ludwig van Beethoven (baptized 17 December 1770 in Bonn[1] – 26 March 1827 in Vienna) was a German composer. He wrote classical music for the piano, orchestras and different groups of instruments. His best-known works are his third (“Eroica”), fifth, sixth (“Pastorale”) and ninth (“Choral”) symphonies, the eighth (“Pathetique”) and fourteenth (“Moonlight”) piano sonatas, two of his later piano concertos, his opera “Fidelio”, and also the piano piece Für Elise. When he was a young man, he was a talented pianist. Beethoven was popular with the rich and important people in Vienna, Austria, where he lived.

So, What Bolstered His Career?

Obviously, he played for rich and important people. But, he also held his music in the highest of esteem. Higher than even the royalty,  At the time he lived in Vienna. It was the day of the amateur pianist. Aristocrats played the piano. They had a conception of how difficult mastery was. Prince Ferdinand Josel Lobkowitz was one of three that guarenteed him a life long income as long as he stayed in Vienna. This Prince had his own quartet. He played music all day long. Archduke Rudolph was a pianist who took lessons with Beethoven himself. He contributed to his income. The 3rd was Prince Ferdinand Kinsky. He loved vocal music. The times, Beethoven’s location and his incomparable genius launched his carrer. You could say, the right person at the right time. If the times are not quite right for you, be patient. Times also change in cycles. We are over due for lots of wonderful new happenings in the arts.

Beethoven drawing his inspiration from nature around the woods of Vienna

I have a special connection to Beethoven. It is being 5 generations removed by teaching lineage. Beethoven taught Carl Czerny. Czerny taught Franz Liszt. Liszt taught Emil von Sauer. Sauer taught my piano teacher, Mischa Kottler. I studied with Kottler for some 15 years. One of Beethoven’s inventions, I was told, was the prepared thumb. Also, the 2 note phrase was used to “divide and conquer” many difficulties. Enjoy my youtube presentation called the Paris Piano connection. You can hear me play 6 nights weekly at the Boca Grande Gasparilla Inn. I have a just newly reconditioned 1924 Steinway concert grand. This will be my 8th year of 6 nights  weekly from Dec. 20 – April 14, 2017. I also have a couple of openings for piano lessons in Sarasota. The Beethoven tradition of my lineage of teachers must be kept alive!

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In meekness Bach said he wrote music for instruction

Meekness of J.S. Bach v. Performer/ Composers of Today

Meekness of J.S. Bach Contrasts Composers of Today. In the 21st century many composer/performers have superstar status. For example we have artists with  with extremely high net worths and fame. These include

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The front profile, from the waist up, of a middle-aged blond woman. She is wearing a white, sleeveless coat and white pants. Her hair is parted in the middle and is in locks around her face. She is holding a microphone in her right hand while her left hand is placed behind her head. She is smiling looking down. Behind her a video screen is red.

Paul McCartney, thanks to a successful solo career, the music legend is worth an estimated $660 million.

McCartney_rich_recording_artists

 Celine Dion

Celine__rich_recording_artists

The Canadian singer known for belting out love songs is worth an estimated $630 million, according to Wealth-X.

Paul David Hewson (Bono)

Bono__rich_recording_artists

The lead singer of U2 (and his sunglasses) is one of the most recognized faces in the music industry, and has a net worth $590 million.

Now let’s take a look at J.S. Bach. First, he wrote no “free works of art.” Everything was written for immeadiate use. Such works included: cantatas, his Passions, High Mass, and his Magnificat. He bore the title of court composer in Dresden. Be it his chorale preludes or organ preludes and fugues- all had their fixed place in the liturgy.

Meekness,relative poverty and humility were part of Bach's life.
J.S. Bach did not enjoy superstar status.

Meekness of Bach Shows Up in the Autograph of His Works

Alfred Einstein, in his Music of the Romantic Era, states that the  title page of the manuscript of the Well-Tempered Clavicord reads: “for the use and practice of young musicians who are eager to learn, and as special means of passing the time for those who already have some facility in this study.”  Perhaps Bach’s greatest work was his now famous Goldberg Variations. It was written for simply “passing the time” at night. The nobleman he wrote it for suffered from insomnia. The variations on Bach’s original theme would invariably put this noble count to sleep. Many of Bach’s works were inscribed as being written “for the greater glory of God.”

The differencebetween then and now: Bach created for his own time. He wrote for the nobles he served. He wrote for the congregations he worked for. I say, simply, listen to and play the kind of music you love. Whether you are rich or poor, music soothes the soul. It makes you feel good. Perhaps you’ll be rich and famous?  Just enjoy music. That will help you to find happiness and satisfaction in your own life. In the meanwhile, I have a few openings for piano lessons in Sarasota. This hopefully is also “for the use and practice of young musicians.”

 

Learning piano with the Best Piano Instructor, Mischa Kottler

Happiest Unplanned Moment of My Life and Mischa Kottler

Happiest Unplanned Moment of My Life and Mischa Kottler.  For some 17 years I studied piano with a great master, Mischa Kottler. He prepared me, as a pianist, to play for heads of state from around the world as well as Presidents of the United States.    Among his students were counted; Ruth Loredo, Cynthia Raim and Seymour Lipkin.  One of his students was Greg Phillinganes.  From work with Stevie Wonder while still in his teens, to tours and recordings with Quincy Jones, Michael Jackson, Eric Clapton, and Toto; Phillinganes’ massive discography reads like a “Who’s Who” of pop music, encompassing four decades. Mischa defied time. At age 93 he paid us a surprise visit in Sarasota home. There he played Chopin’s Minute Waltz.  So what, you ask? He played it with double notes in the right hand.  Instead of single notes he played 3rds, 4th, and 5th in with one hand. The tempo of its fast pace was never lost. Fortunately, this feat can be witnessed on youtube. Single notes at that speed a difficult enough, Alfred Cortot, his teacher also plays it but  with single notes. Many students feel the compulsion to outdo their teachers. Mischa did.

From Greg Philliganes’ interview in Keyboard Magazine and his Quote of Mischa Kottler 

“Sensing that I needed discipline more than anything else, my Mom managed to hook me up with a wonderful teacher named Mischa Kottler.  He was a no-nonsense Russian Jewish guy who could crack a pane of glass with one finger. He was a complete badass, and he cooled my attitude out immediately. I studied with him well into my teens.

Many of My Happiest moments were my piano lessons with Mischa Kottler
I studied with Mischa in Detroit from age 14. The same year I was ready to go to college, he was appointed head of the piano department at Wayne State University. I studied with him through my Master’s Degree.

Happiest Moment Comes With an Unplanned Visit by Mischa

In 1993 I get a phone call. In context, I had no contact with Mischa for some 16 years. I thought he was no longer with us. The voice on the phone said: “David, this is your piano teacher, Mischa Kottler.” I was sure it was a joke. The heavy Russian accent went on to say: “I hear you have more children than I know piano concertos.” At that moment I nearly collasped. It was him. I recognized his dry humor. Guess what? He visited our home and gave me piano lessons “in exchange” for hospitality. Naturally, he would have been most welcome even without the piano lessons.

Mischa with our children in one of our happiest moments
Certainly, Mischa knew more piano concertos than I had children!

My advise to children. Learn to play the piano. It will allow you to someday talk about the happiest moments of your life. We are about to enter an era where beautiful is once more in vogue. Beautiful piano playing will lead the way. I still have a couple openings for piano lessons in Sarasota. Also, I am about to begin my 8th year playing a wonderfully  reconditioned Steinway Concert Grand at the famed Gasparilla Inn on the isle of  Boca Grande. It probably has the sweetest sound of any  piano anywhere. See you there December 20th-April 14. I play 6 nights a week.  And yes, Mischa stays with me, in my heart.

Where to stay for the happiest moments of your life!
The Gasparilla Inn.

 

Chopinesque also includes baroque techniques

Chopinesque Includes a Love of J.S. Bach

Chopinesque Includes a Love of  J.S. Bach. My piano instructor was Mischa Kottler. In the 1920’s Kottler went to Europe. He had a recommendation from Sergei Rachmaninoff to study with Alfred Cortot. From Cortot, Kottler  learned  about the influences on Chopin’s compositional style. These influences  included Polish folk music, the classical tradition of J. S. Bach, Mozart and Schubert.  Mischa also emphasized how crucial study of J.S. Bach was for playing Chopin properly. So how this affect my musical education?

My Chopinesque Education at Wayne State University

I received both  Bachelor of Music and Master of Music degrees from Wayne State University. While at Cass Tech High School, I began my studies with Mischa Kottler. Before I even graduated high school, Mischa was appointed head of the piano department at the university. They gave him a studio right next door to the head of the Liberal Arts Music Department’s office. In this manner those applying could hear the most wonderful music issuing forth next door. You could always tell when the student was playing and when Mischa was playing. Mischa used a phrase for good piano instruction. He called it: “going through the mill.” The “mill” included a continual stream of J.S. Bach. As soon as you completed one book of Bach’s works, he took you to the next level. These volumes included:

Works for keyboard (BWV 772–994)
  • Inventions and Sinfonias
  • Four Duets from Clavier-Übung III
  • English Suites
  • French Suites
  • Miscellaneous suites
  • Partitas for keyboard (published as Clavier-Übung I)
  • French Overture, from Clavier-Übung II

Properly playing baroque counterpoint was key to effective Chopin. Cortot felt this was mainly to be acquired by playing Bach. When Kottler gave his lessons excercises came first, They would include finrst  finger independence exercises, then Czerny, Cramer etc. Then came Bach. Afterwards  came classical sonatas, romantic works and something 20th century-ish. Chopin was Mischa’s favorie composer. Below is a sample of him playing the minute waltz by Chopin. As you listen to the work, his virtuoso counterpoint is simply incredible. Who today could play it like Mischa? In the meanwhile, I am available for piano lessons in Sarasota until the season in “kicks in.” A vintage Steinway grand from 1924 was just rebuilt by management for my 8th year at the Gasparilla Inn on the isle of Boca Grande. See you there starting Dec. 20 Through April 14. I play six nights weekly.

Where you may hear the Chopinesque playing of David Ohrenstein
Home of a magnificent just rebuilt vintage Steinway Grand from the 1920’s. Larry Keckler, a master technician, just rebuilt it. David plays here 6 nights weekly starting Dec, 20th.
Relaxation is Now as Close as Your CD Player.

Relaxation By Listening to Our Music for Dancing

Relaxation By Listening to Our Music for Dancing. Sharon, myself (David) and family lived for about 15 long summer seasons in New York’s Catskill Mountains. Ballroom dancing took place every evening. Before the evening fun, classes were given at various times of the day on the dancing styles.Guest artists gave demonstrations before the festivities began at 7:00 pm. People literally decked themselves out “to the max” at nightfall.  I was part of “The Lakeshore Four” For years they included:

  • “Scotty” with vocals and on drums
  • Gary Holdridge on vocals and the organ
  • Ronnie Drumm on the trumpet
  • Myself, David, on the piano.
  • We often had a guest singer (Chuck Williamson) and sometimes other instrumentalists.
Relaxation by Dancing or Simply Listening
Our Daughter Has Her Picture on Our New Ballroom Dancing CD. It is available by the song or Album. Free Samplings on our front page banner of DSOworks.com

FOR RELAXATION WHY NOT TRY BALLROOM DANCING?

For years in season this went on 7 nights weekly for 5 months straight! Where can musicians get such employment today?  In this regard, I’m lucky I had a wonderful piano instructor, Mischa Kottler.  He showed me how to play so as to avoid injuries   (Currently am offering piano lessons in Sarasota to pass on his knowledge).  Oquaga Lake was a special for relaxation.  I wrote most of the music for our ballroom dancing CD at Scotts. Sharon had the time our fabulous instrumental arrangements for the CD. I was also inspired to write a book of poetry. I sense that an Indian spirit from the Lennie Lenape tribe dictated the poems. At one time one of their tribes lived around the lake. It is also available as a product on DSOworks.com. Indeed, many creative artists were inspired by the Catskills. Irving Berlin had a home at Lou Beach about 50 miles down the road. Washington Irving (April 3, 1783 – November 28, 1859) wrote in the Catskills. He was an American short story writer, essayist, biographer, historian, and diplomat of the early 19th century. He is best known for his short storiesRip Van Winkle” (1819) and “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” (1820), both of which appear in his book The Sketch Book of Geoffrey Crayon, Gent.  The Catskills is simply wonderful for creativiity and the simple life. I, for one, hope it makes a comeback. Beautiful is now chic.

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Roatan has a history of pirates.

Roatan is the Place That Gave Rise to My Roatan Suite

Roatan is the Place That Gave Rise to My Roatan Suite.

Here are a dozen  descriptive piano pieces that I wrote in the Summer of 2000. I was part of a theatrical troupe that toured the island. Wife, Sharon Ohrenstein, was one of the entertainers. We played at 3 different hotels.  It is located off of the coast of Honduras.on the Gulf of Mexico. One of my piano students inspired me compose “something that kids could play.” This exotic island was the perfect setting.

Story for each Selection of the Roatan Suite

  1. Roatan Rhumba: Offers a sense of the Latin rhythms and melodies heard the island by local bands.
  2. Island Dreams: For natives, the main avenue to  better life was being a “diving captain” for tourists. Pay was excellent. Another avenue was working on a ship.They all wished and aspired to improve their position.
  3. The Iguana Farm is a life altering experience. Hundreds of giant iguanas running around while a 5 year old was feeding them. Thank heavens iguanas are vegetarians.

Picture of an Iguana hanging on to a tree branch at Shermans Iguana Farm on Roatan Island.My Roatan Suite features the Iguana Farm in the music of the same title. Every student of piano wants to learn it, regardless of age. In plain English, its “too cool.”

     4.  Children on the Beach: Who can have more fun than children on the beach splashing and playing in the sand.

    5.   Crazy Taxis on the Island: There’s really nowhere to go but the drivers ride like every trip is an emergency. Their small cars usually stuffed atleast 10 to 15                       people.

    6.  Sunrise Worker With Machete: My wife and I were out early walking. What seemed like an  army came toward us with drawn machetes. We thought we were as              good as dead; however, they are very peaceful. Cutting grass on the mountain sides is how they make their living. In their other hand they held a large jug of                    water. My music suggests the swishing sound of their blades.

    7.  Sauntering on the West End. Wow! You haven’t experienced life until you’ve done this. It is a beautiful stretch of  art galleries by local artists, dining done right              on docked ships, fortune tellers, fun, fun, fun.,,etc

    8.  Fishng Fleet Expedition: A dozen large fishing ships left harbor in full gear. The island fishers provide fish to many American markets and major chains.

    9.  Deep Sea Diving: Natives and tourists relish the beautiful coral reefs and colorful aquatic life in the depths of the Gulf. There is an early morning dive and                         evening dive. Yes, they have whale sharks! They also are said to be vegetarians.

    10. Town of Coxen Hole: Coxen was the pirate that first landed on the island with his cutthroat crew. The “Hole” is a term for where the pirates would drink. They                didn’t drink milk! Roatan is famous for rum.

    11. Stroll on the Beach: Was written while my wife and I were strolling on the beach. The vista was  vast, peaceful and beautiful.

12. Shimmering Water on the Gulf: The waves of the ocean are depticted by the arpeggios that run up and down the piano keyboard. I think this piece would even                  offer any concert virtuoso a challenge. Below is a dolphin communicating the latest sea news to folks at the local station.

Image result for Picture from Archie's Iguana Farm in Roatan

Off season, I, David Ohrenstein,  offer piano lessons in Sarasota and a chance for you to try to master the Roatan Suite. Especially the Iguana Farm. The recording will  available for purchase on DSOworks,com