Piano Music Docs Piano Courses – 25–28 August 2011 in Vienna – Conducted by Wolfgang Ellenberger – A Review

The Piano Music Docs Piano Courses took place 25–28 August 2011 in Vienna and were conducted by Wolfgang Ellenberger. About a third of doctors in world play an instrument. Many of them play piano, some of them at such a high level that their playing is thoroughly on a par with their medical profession.

Opening dinner in the new Bösendorfer Hall

It also turns out that there are many Bösendorfer enthusiasts in medical circles. What could be more natural than to offer a piano course especially for doctors, right in Vienna, the music capital of the world? Conducted by medical doctor and concert pianist Wolfgang Ellenberger, the first Bösendorfer piano course for doctors took place between August 25 and 28, 2011. The courses began with an opening dinner in the beautiful atmosphere of the new Bösendorfer Hall in the Mozarthaus Vienna on Thursday evening. Already on the first evening, every participant was able to demonstrate his or her current ability on a Bösendorfer grand.

Tour of the Bösendorfer piano factory

At the beginning of the master class, Wolfgang Ellenberger explained how the body’s motor function is transferred to the piano’s touch mechanism. The lesson methodology, based on a medical/scientific background, is deepened in daily individual lessons. In addition to the self-evident professionalism, the fact that Ellenberger was able to attune himself very personally to the participants’ prior knowledge was also convincing, and thereby highly encouraging and motivational. “Very personal mentoring (notes, level of knowledge),” “Highly dedicated, immediately realisable,” “The course did a lot for my piano playing and gave me enormous motivation” were some of the comments received as feedback.

Piano playing skills were polished during one-on-one lessons.

Yet the participants did not only receive renewed impetus from the intensive individual lessons and improve their playing. They also had the opportunity to try out the instruments and above all to practice undisturbed – at the Bösendorfer factory, at Bösendorfer Downtown in Vienna’s Musikverein, as well as at Konservatorium Wien University. While teaching and practising continued to take place non-stop over the two subsequent days, in between, and of course during the evenings, the cultural surroundings of the global musical metropolis of Vienna could be explored.

The closing concert on Sunday afternoon, which again took place in Bösendorfer Hall in the Mozarthaus, formed the unforgettable climax of the master classes. A couple of surprise guests amongst the field of musical medical doctors increased the unavoidable stage fright of the performance.
Happy and relieved, all participants enjoyed a farewell drink and resolved not only to recommend the course to colleagues, but to return to Bösendorfer and Vienna, etc., for the next course. A young doctor from Finland wrote in retrospect, “It was really great here. Everyone was so nice and interesting. The piano lessons were extremely helpful, and I am now highly motivated to continue playing the piano and also to practice. I already look forward to returning to Bösendorfer to see everybody again and to select my grand piano. As a matter of fact, since my return I’ve been telling my colleagues about the courses, and many of them are also very interested in coming.”