Two things I have observed after having co-directed a piano competition for several years and in working with young pianists of great promise in our Classical Pianists of the Future series is that, (one), few have professionally produced photographs of themselves, and, (two), fewer still have websites or good websites.
When you stop to reflect on these facts you have to ask yourself – why? Consider the fact that the young students and even older ones (OK, in most cases their parents), are spending many thousands of dollars in formal schooling, instruments, master classes and the like; yet few good high resolution photographs are anywhere to be found. Likewise websites (let alone good websites) are all but nonexistent.
All serious piano performance students live for their lessons, formal schooling, competition, recitals, and advanced degree opportunities (and the occasional party)! All this is fine except while living in this somewhat cloistered existence there are other groups of people such as agents, impresarios, admissions staffs, orchestra directors and the like seeking to find performance pianists, or, the performance pianists are seeking them.
One of the most discouraging things the first group of seekers has to contend with is a huge lack of information about even the most gifted younger performer. And where the pianists are seeking them, what is proffered as information is, in many instances, greatly inadequate.
It must be recognized that there are many extraordinarily accomplished younger pianists hoping to be recognized; and we live in the instant information age.
When impresarios, agents, or admissions people are asking for information, they want it yesterday and they want it up-to-date and good. When the young artist is seeking them, the information they send must be up to the minute and professionally presented.
Don’t “hide your light under a basket”. Get at least three professionally done photographs in high resolution, perhaps one or two at the piano and one head and shoulders. Newspapers and other publication people do not like snap shots and often will reject the (ever how good they may seem) to the casual observer.
What about a website? Are you really good?? People need to know of you, see you and hear what you can do. All these things can be accomplished by creating a website. Again, this is not something you approach lightly. Professionalism is a must. A half-baked website only shows you are not professional and that will automatically be ingrained in the mind of the person viewing it. You may consider this an expense you cannot afford.
I would suggest you cannot afford not to have it. You can start small, but professionally – and grow the site over time as your experiences and successes dictate. I will not get into the intricacies of website building as I am not a webmaster. But through such options as ‘linking’ your site with others in a cooperative manner the information you can provide and who sees it expands rapidly. Your pictures, live recordings, biographical information, (the list is endless) is yours to share.
Two websites I consider outstanding are ones for Karene Poghosyan www.karinepoghosyan.com and Anastasia Rizikov www.anastasiarizikov.ca. Each is linked to the site you are now viewing. Karene is a vibrant young artist with MM and DMA degrees, and Anastasia is an eleven-year old prodigy unsurpassed in her ability and potential. I know them both very well and each are extremely accomplished artists. Look at these sites to be inspired.
I can personally recommend www.kstweb.com for building or improving your next website. They are not out to empty your wallet and will conscientiously work with you to display your particular wishes.
I hope you find this information useful in building your career and reputation.
Alvin H. Williams III