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Cory Hall (Piano, Arranger)

Born: 1963 - Davis, California, USA

The American classical piano virtuoso, recording artist, and independent scholar, Cory Hall, began piano study at the age of 6. He earned a Bachelor of Music in Piano from California State University, Sacramento, a Master of Music in Performance and Literature from the Eastman School of Music, and a Doctor of Musical Arts in Piano as well as a Master of Music in Musicology from the University of Kansas. His primary teachers have included Louise Savage, Gene Savage, Thomas Gentry, David Burge, and Richard Reber. In addition, he has participated in master-classes by some of the world's leading pedagogues, including Abbey Simon, Claude Frank, John Perry, Nelita True, and Daniel Pollack.

Cory Hall leads a unique professional life unlike that of any of his peers. He has established himself as the world's leading authority on J.S. Bach's tempo practices, and is quickly becoming one of the most prolific classical recording artists of our time. He currently serves as organist at Anona United Methodist Church (in Largo, Florida), a post he has held since 2001. In addition, he produces YouTube videos and recordings on his own BachScholar Productions label, currently available at CD Baby as well as Amazon's MP3 Downloads. Hall also has CD contracts pending for Cokesbury Publishing, in which he will record beautiful piano music composed by some of the most popular and sought-after sacred piano music composers of our time.

Cory Hall has served as adjunct professor of humanities at St. Petersburg College (1999-2010) and adjunct professor of music at Eckerd College (2006-2009). Prior to resigning from teaching in 2010, Hall taught piano for a total of 25 years, including in the private studio, at two colleges, and for three years at the Musikschule Wilhelmshöhe, a community music school near Kassel, Germany. Hall no longer teaches piano and, with the exception of church on Sundays, seldom performs publicly. Instead of pursuing the traditional route of a concert pianist and studio teacher/professor, Hall prefers the solitude of his living room practicing and recording on his unique vintage 1929 Steinway. In 2010 this self-proclaimed "living room pianist" resigned from 11 years as a college professor in order to share his insights and talents with a wider audience through the internet via videos and recordings. Tweed coats and ivory towers had miraculously morphed into Hawaii shirts, a video camera, and a Steinway! Hall's first YouTube videos were uploaded on September 21, 2008 - a complete memorized performance of Bach's 15 Inventions recorded and uploaded all in one night.

In a little over two years Hall has produced almost 300 piano performance videos (all memorized) as well as tutorials which have garnered a total of over 3.4 million views with a current average of 12,000 views daily from the USA to Japan, and in this time his BachScholar channel has attracted over 5000 subscribers. In addition, in January 2010 Hall's keen insights into learning piano and technique inspired him to begin adding tutorials, many having been critically acclaimed as being the best piano tutorials on YouTube. Hall accomplished all this while working full-time in other capacities - as a humanities professor at one college, a piano professor at another college, and serving as church organist.

Cory Hall's repertoire is vast, his work ethic untiring, attention to detail meticulous, and is renowned for his prodigious memory and rapid learning skills. He is especially noted for his ragtime and novelty music interpretations, described by critics as "second to none" and "the best Joplin playing ever". Although he delivers historically insightful and technically impressive performances of the classic composers like J.S. Bach and W.A. Mozart, it is ragtime and novelty music in the era of 1900-1930 in which Hall feels most at home and has the greatest affinity. His love of ragtime was sparked at the young age of 10, a love which has never ceased.

Cory Hall currently has 9 albums and over 160 MP3s for download on CD Baby as well as Amazon, including most classical styles from Baroque to Ragtime. Some of his future recording projects include most of J.S. Bach's keyboard works, the complete works of Scott Joplin and Joseph Lamb, the complete rags of William Bolcom, as well as one or more albums of works by Zez Confrey. Hall continues to explore uncharted repertoire, such as virtually unknown works by Johann Nepomuk Hummel (a contemporary of L.v. Beethoven) and Erwin Schulhoff (a contemporary of Zez Confrey who fused classical with ragtime). Hall makes virtually all his recordings in one take and does not cut and splice and doctor-up his recordings as most recording artists do nowadays. Hall currently resides in Gulfport, Florida.

"Cory Hall played two works of towering artistic content and difficulty with a power and a finish that were startling. Hall was up to itóall over the keyboard, but always conscious of the magic the notes were designed to evoke. It was an impressive performance." - The Sacramento Bee

Source: Bach Scholar Website (January 2011)
Contributed by
Aryeh Oron (June 2011)

Cory Hall: Short Biography | Recordings of Instrumental Works | Piano Transcriptions: Works | Recordings

Links to other Sites

Bach Scholar (Official Website)


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