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This project was successfully funded on March 15, 2013.

Unique piano solo recordings of the American Popular Songbook

About this project

My Kickstarter Project

I have assembled a large repertoire of songs by the great Golden Age composers, including Gershwin, Porter, Berlin and Kern. The arrangements I've found are very special---made by pianists of the past and present---and I have had new ones written for me. Now I'm ready to record a new CD featuring songs I have never recorded before.

With this new CD, my intention is not to dazzle the listener with virtuosity but to communicate the essence of these great songs. I want to share their innate beauty and their simplicity by singing their beautiful lines through my fingers.  I will play them in a way that expresses something about the world in which, and for which, they were written. I think these songs are like windows on the past,  and they deserve to be heard---and loved---as much today as they were a few generations ago.

I’ve found a great venue to record in and a gorgeous Steinway to play. I have my audio engineer ready to fly out from New York. My record company is on board to distribute it.  All I need is the capital to make it, which I calculate at $5500.00

If you agree with me that this world needs more beautiful music, please consider a pledge of any size. I’ve put together a list of premiums for various levels of participation, but beyond that you have my heartfelt thanks. As I often tell people---and I truly believe---“We are all in this together.”

If you'd like to hear some of my performances click here.

Biography

I turned 50 this year, and I've loved the American Popular Song since I was 9 years old. I discovered this great musical tradition when I saw the 1943 film "Girl Crazy". Why I felt such an immediate and strong connection with the songs in it, by George and Ira Gershwin, remains a mystery to me, but some mysteries don't need to be solved. The point is that the music touched me.

Since I was an inquisitive child, I checked out books about the Gershwins and all the Golden Age composers. I listened to the songs and watched the movie musicals for which they were written. While I was falling in love with the music, I was also falling in love with the era. Again, why a 9-year-old would be captivated by the 1920’s, 30’s and 40’s is curious, but I’d always loved old things, like 78 records and sheet music, vintage photographs, movie posters and books.

When I realized that Ira Gershwin was still alive (this was in 1972), I wrote him a fan letter and we ended up exchanging letters for three years. When I was 12, he invited me to visit him in Beverly Hills. He asked me to play George’s piano for him and encouraged my interest in their songs. Did he know that some day I’d make music my life? Probably not, but he knew that I loved it, so one of his parting remarks to me was this: “You know, some people say my brother George played that piano, and Oscar Levant played that piano, and someday they’ll say ‘Richard Glazier played that piano.’”  With those words, Ira Gershwin set the course my life would take.

Education and Career

I’m classically trained. I got my Bachelor and Master degrees from Indiana University, where I studied with Menahem Pressler, and I earned my doctorate in piano performance from the Cleveland Institute of Music. I won a few competitions and made my classical debut in New York.  For my program, I played works by Schumann, Liszt, Debussy, Copland, Mozart and Scarlatti. As a homage to the American Popular Song, I also played two transcriptions of Gershwin songs: “Love Walked In” and “The Man I Love”.  The New York Times gave me a nice review on the classical pieces but my Gershwin songs were singled out.

When I started concertizing, I continued to play classical repertoire, but I kept the Gershwin songs in my programs, and more and more I found my passion for Gershwin was growing. Eventually I realized that my unique experience with Ira Gershwin, my years of studying the Gershwins and other composers of their era, had prepared me for a new path.  So I created a whole new program, centered on the Gershwins, featuring music, storytelling and audio/visual components. 

I'm proud to say I was a pioneer in using self-produced audio/visual materials in concert.  When I started in 1996, crisscrossing the country as part of Columbia Artists Management's Community Concerts roster, my show was completely self-contained. I took a slide projector with me then, and today I travel with a DVD player and projector. 

In 2002, MacWorld named me a Mac Personality for creating  the multimedia materials I use in my concerts.  Since then I've become a documentary filmmaker and editor, creating video presentations for use in my programs and elsewhere.

I've developed several different shows over the years and I’ve played in nearly every state of the union.  I've also played in London, in Rome, and in Paris at Salle Cortot at the Paris Conservatory of Music. I've also played at Carnegie Hall, the National Portrait Gallery, Chautauqua Institution, the Smithsonian and Alice Tully Hall, to name but a few.

Recordings/Television

I've recorded five CDs.  In 1996, I released my first, Gershwin: Remembrance and Discovery (Centaur Records). For this CD, made to commemorate the Gershwin Centennial, I chose many pieces that are rarely recorded as well as rare transcriptions of Gershwin songs created by great pianists of the past.

In 1997, at the request of my record label, I recorded Scott Joplin: Collected Piano Works, Vol. 1 (Centaur).  In 2000, I recorded Gershwin: Remembrance and Discovery, Vol. 2 (Centaur), featuring more rare repertoire and transcriptions, and ending with the complete solo piano version of Rhapsody in Blue.

In 2002, I released A Salute to the Hollywood Musical (Centaur), my tribute to music written for the movies by composers like Jerome Kern, Richard Rodgers, Hugh Martin, Johnny Green and Harry Warren. In 2005, in celebration of the Harold Arlen Centennial, I recorded Harold Arlen: Hooray for Love (Centaur).

In 2010, I made the first of my two musical specials for television (PBS), From Gershwin to Garland - A Musical Journey with Richard Glazier. In 2011, I was filmed live in concert by the San Francisco PBS affiliate, KQED.  In 2012, inspired by the success of my first PBS show, I turned that concert film into my second nationally-aired PBS special, From Ragtime to Reel Time – Richard Glazier in Concert. The shows have received several awards and I'm currently working on my third show.

For more information, please see my website.

Risks and challenges

I've made five CDs and two television shows. I've been involved in every step of their production from recording to editing to licensing music to writing liner notes to printing, etc. In fact, I released the DVDs myself. For my CDs, I've used the same record label, Centaur Records, each time and Centaur's owner has agreed to take my new project. If, for some unforeseen reason, he weren't able to take it, I have the expertise and resources to release it myself.

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Rewards

  • You selected
    Pledge $25 or more

    10 backers

    One copy of the new CD

    Estimated delivery:
    Only ships to: United States
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    Pledge $50 or more

    16 backers

    Autographed copy of the new CD

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  • You selected
    Pledge $100 or more

    9 backers

    Autographed copy of the new CD and the DVD, "From Ragtime to Reel Time - Richard Glazier in Concert"

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    Only ships to: United States
  • You selected
    Pledge $200 or more

    5 backers

    Autographed copies of the new CD, the DVD "From Ragtime to Reel Time - Richard Glazier in Concert", and your choice of Vol. 1 or Vol. 2 of the CD series "Gershwin: Remembrance and Discovery".

    Estimated delivery:
    Only ships to: United States
  • You selected
    Pledge $500 or more

    3 backers Limited (7 left of 10)

    Acknowledgment in the CD cover booklet; autographed copy of the new CD; the 2 CD series "Gershwin: Remembrance and Discovery" and the DVD "From Ragtime to Reel Time - Richard Glazier in Concert",

    Estimated delivery:
    Only ships to: United States
  • You selected
    Pledge $1,000 or more

    0 backers Limited (2 left of 2)

    House concert anywhere in Northern California on date to be determined; no time limit; acknowledgment in the CD cover booklet; autographed copies of the new CD and the DVD, "From Ragtime to Reel Time - Richard Glazier In Concert"

    Estimated delivery:
    Only ships to: United States
  • You selected
    Pledge $2,500 or more

    0 backers Limited (2 left of 2)

    Concert anywhere in the continental US (airfare to be provided by bidder), no time limit; acknowledgment in the CD cover booklet; autographed copies of the new CD and the DVD, "From Ragtime to Reel Time - Richard Glazier In Concert"

    Estimated delivery:
    Only ships to: United States

Funding period

- (30 days)