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Give Us a Song, You’re the Piano Man


“Astonishing.” “Cutting edge.” “Unbelievable.” These are just a few of the words that Myra Garvett used to describe her piano student of six years, Jake Landau ’13. Landau’s original music has already been performed by the New York Philharmonic and the New York Youth Symphony as well as the InterlochenCenter for the Arts, the Boston University Tanglewood Institute and Avery Fisher Hall.

“I was flabbergasted when I first heard his pieces,” Garvett said.

His friend Jacqueline Devine ’13 agreed that he is a great music-maker.

“He often just fiddles around on the piano and makes incredible music,” she said.

Landau, however, stressed his passion for composition. “I can’t not compose,” Landau said. That’s why I compose.”

Garvett also emphasized Landau’s extensive knowledge of music.

“I don’t think there’s a piece of music he hasn’t examined,” she said.

In fact, Landau tested out of Music Theory in the JuilliardPre-College program, something no one else had done before. “He knew everything,” Garvett said.

Landau’s passion and talent has paid off, as Landau will be attending Juilliard in the fall and will be trained by the classical composer John Corigliano.

Landau said that he was very surprised when he learned he’d be studying with Corigliano, as Corigliano has never taken a freshman before. “I just [signed up for Corigliano] as a whim to see if I’d get in because that would be a huge deal,” Landau said.  “And I did.”

Corigliano has won many awards, including a Pulitzer Prize for Music for his Symphony No. 2, an Oscar for Original Music Score for “The Red Violin,” and a Grammy for Best Classical Contemporary Composition for “Mr. Tambourine Man: Seven Poems of Bob Dylan.”

But Landau was also attracted to another quality of Corigliano’s: he has been able to make such a success from his music.

“Ultimately, I want to be able to live off my pen and paper just as he has,” Landau said.

Given the success that Landau has already enjoyed from his music, it seems likely that Landau will accomplish his goal.

“I see Jake accepting Oscars,” Devine said.

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About the Contributor
Ben Goldschlager
Ben Goldschlager, Web News Editor

Ben Goldschlager ’14 is an involved member of the Staples and Westport communities. He’s the president of the Model UN and Artists’ Club, the web news editor for Inklings and is involved in Debate Team, Junior States of America and Young Democrats.

Goldschlager has also spent time volunteering at the library working with the new 3D printers. He gets to train people from the ages of 7 to 60 on how to use them, and he can print things for fun and for practical reasons.

“We have a bookcase at my house that uses these little plastic pins to support the shelves,” Goldschlager said, “but we’d lost two, so I designed and printed two replacement pins and they work.”

After writing his favorite piece, “5 Ways to Seem Like You Get Pop Culture” last year, Goldschlager is excited to come back for a second year of reporting for Inklings.

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