Prokofiev's Piano Sonatas:
A Guide for the Listener
and the Performer
Boris Berman, renowned concert pianist and teacher, is one of the world’s foremost authorities on Sergei Prokofiev. In this book, he draws on his intimate knowledge of Prokofiev’s work to guide music lovers and pianists through the composer’s nine piano sonatas. These cherished works, composed between 1910 and 1951, are today considered an indispensable part of the repertoire of every serious concert pianist.
The book, written with a deep appreciation of Prokofiev’s style and creativity, looks at the sonatas within the context of Prokofiev’s complete oeuvre. For each sonata, Berman provides general information about the work and a discussion of the composition’s details and features, and in a section entitled “Master Class” he offers suggestions for interpretation and specific advice for performing. Berman also corrects for the first time various misprints in published scores and includes a helpful glossary of musical terms. In May, 2017 Shanghai Music Publishing House issued the Chinese (simplified characters) translation of this book.
"This new book by Boris Berman is a must read for those who care about the music of Prokofiev. It is a very in-depth guide by someone who has obviously spent many years thinking about and playing the music of this great genius.
Bravo to Boris Berman!" —Yefim Bronfman
Notes from the Pianist's Bench
Named Outstanding Academic Title of 2001 by Choice Magazine
In 2000, the prestigious Yale University Press has published Boris Berman's "Notes from the Pianist's Bench". In this book, Professor Berman draws on his vast experience to explore issues of piano technique and music interpretation. Combining explanations and advice with anecdotes about his students, colleagues, and former teachers, he also provides many insights into the psychological aspects of musical performance and the teaching of music.
Berman thoroughly examines such practical matters in piano playing as sound and touch, technique, pedaling, and articulation. He gives tips on choosing editions, selecting the best fingering, memorizing, and making the most efficient use of practice time. He gives equal emphasis to issues of interpretation, discussing ways to decipher the inner content of a piece of music. And he offers suggestions how to prepare emotionally for a performance, how to confront stage anxiety, and how to adapt teaching approaches to the individual students.
The book has been translated into Chinese, Korean, Japanese, and Spanish.
"What makes Mr. Berman’s book so persuasive and enlightening is his understanding that there is no one ’method’ of teaching music—each relationship with a student is a process of discovery for teacher and student both."
Sonatas for Piano
In 2011, Shanghai Publishing House has published a new bi-lingual edition of the scores of Prokofiev's piano sonatas, revised and edited by Mr. Berman. Based on manuscripts and first editions, this is the most authoritative edition of this repertoiore available.