I began studying the piano at the age of six. My first teacher was a very strict Hungarian woman who had studied with the great 20th Century composer, Bela Bartok. Surprisingly, she did not encourage improvising or composing, so I would pore through volumes of "fake books" and pop tunes on my own and began developing a style that incorporated many genres of music.
In college, I was a classical piano major, studying Chopin, Bach, Schumann, Beethoven, working diligently on classical piano technique, and also studying avant garde and electronic music. At this time, I also developed a strong interest in ragtime, stride, boogie woogie music and the music of Scott Joplin, Joseph Lamb, Fats Waller and Hoagy Carmichael. My love of the music of the Beatles, Cat Stevens, Crosby, Stills & Nash, and Joni Mitchell led me into my studies of the guitar and writing folk rock songs, as well.
After college, my first gigs were playing ragtime piano at Johnny's Old-timer in Buffalo, N.Y., and playing piano for a local dinner theatre troupe performing "Bye, Bye, Birdie." Later, I worked for a record distributor in Queens and in the evenings I would head into Greenwich Village to play music and hang out with other musicians. At that time, I performed mostly as a singer-songwriter, accompanying myself on the guitar and playing in coffee houses and small clubs in Manhattan, Queens and Long Island.
When I moved to Colorado, I decided to return to my first love and focus primarily on the piano again as my primary instrument. I began accompanying for ballet and modern dance classes and improvising live scores for vintage silent films at the University of Colorado in Boulder. I also began performing solo piano concerts consisting of totally improvised pieces. I eventually worked some of the themes developed in concert into more structured pieces and recorded my first two piano albums, "Portrait" and "Another Face" by improvising around these themes. My later concerts reflected the arrangements I had recorded in the studio. On my album "Blue Sky," I decided to go a different route and completely notated each piece and recorded them note for note. My latest piano album, "Quiet Moments," is a collection of softer pieces selected from these three albums as well as some pieces originally written for ballet.
In addition to these contemporary albums for solo piano, I also worked on other projects including composing the music for four ballets for Boulder Ballet, collaborating on several albums for children's dance with my wife Christy, and completing a collection of 24 Preludes for the Piano in Major and Minor Modes in the traditions of J.S. Bach and Frederic Chopin.