Andrew Nesler

Composer and Pianist

Author

About

Andrew Nesler is a young pianist, composer, and piano instructor from Fort Wayne, Indiana, U.S. His musical life began at the age of four, after hearing a recording of Vladimir Horowitz playing Tchaikovsky's first piano concerto. He remembers plucking out melodies of Bach on a small toy piano in his childhood home and begging his parents for piano lessons, which he finally began at the age of nine. He currently studies with Dr. Hamilton Tescarollo in Fort Wayne, and has participated in masterclasses with William Bolcom, Alessio Bax, Fabio Bidini, and Antonio Pompa-Baldi, among others. Nesler's interest in composition began at a very young age. He has been improvising at the piano for as long as he can remember, and still has in his possession manuscripts of short pieces that he wrote when he began taking music lessons. His biggest musical influences have included Schoenberg, Cowell, and Ustvolskaya, and he has a special interest in world folk music traditions. His goal as a composer is to express those things that are most human, and this is generally achieved with an intimate understanding of tonal systems and how they interlap. His music often includes complex polyrhythms and polytonality, and is typically scored for soloist or chamber ensemble. Recently, he has enjoyed scoring for silent film with the Hope Arthur Orchestra and performing at the IPFW Gene Marcus Piano Camp and Festival

Videos

Sheets

Interview

What does music mean to you personally?

All art comes from and aims to express what is true and natural; all human-made or human-witnessed art is inseparable from the human experience. Deliberate music is not unique in its passage through time, nor is it exceptionally close to the heart or tongue in its approximation of aural language. I could live without legs; I could live without music.

Do you agree that music is all about fantasy?

Even in mathematics, the most based is not without connotation and definition. That a creator or listener of music will bring the extramusical into their listening can be understood as a general truth, but that is not to say that all music inherently functions as a means to communicate the unreal. However, who’s to say that any experience isn’t fantasy?

If you were not a professional musician, what would you have been?

I definitely would have pursued visual arts as primary: either fine arts or architecture. If art were out of the picture, I probably would have gone into teaching.

The classical music audience is getting old, are you worried about your future?

Robert Schumann wrote that “In every time there reigns a secret league of kindred spirits.” I don’t think that art will disappear– the nature of art is a constant, it is truth– this will never change. Fashions come and go (now, faster than ever because of social media and other technologies), but there will always exist a fire that burns for longing and for life in people of every age. Someone wanting to capitalize on this may have to become more creative as time passes, but I am not worried about finding a future in music-making.

What do you envision the role of classical music to be in the 21st century? Do you see that there is a transformation of this role?

I am always excited to see what will happen in the new music scene! Granted, the accessibility of music nowadays allows for passive listening, and popular music reflects that, but as far as Art music goes, composers will always seek originality and innovation, and masterpieces will be created regardless of style or medium. The role of classical music will not change just because people like pop music.

When I say that classical music is searching for new ways or that the classical music is getting a new face, what would come to your mind?

Firstly, I think of the incorporation of electronic technologies (live mixing, instruments, effects, soundtracks, etc.) into live music. Again, I don’t think this affects the role of classical music: it simply allows for new media.

Do you think that the classical musician today needs to be more creative? What’s the role of creativity in the musical process for you?

In my opinion, music-making can only happen outside the ego. For me, the process of creating music is about stripping myself of myself and letting the sounds happen as they will. In this way, I don’t think that creativity is quantifiable. Music for me either happens or it doesn’t.

Do you think we musicians can do something to attract the young generation into classical music concerts? How will you proceed?

I am a huge fan of small, salon-style performances. I think support of local artists and individuals is essential to the fostering of both the arts scene and its values.

Tell us about your creative process. Do you have your favorite piece (written by you) How did you start working on it?

My favorite piece at this moment, I think, is the second piece in my suite ​ Music for Choreography entitled Contemplativo ​ I opened up my notation software and wrote until it was done.

We, Moving Classics TV, love the combination of classical music with different disciplines: music and painting, music and cinematography, music and digital art, music and poetry. What do you think about these combinations?

I think mixed media is great!

Can you give some advice for young people who want to discover classical music for themselves?

Use whatever resources you have: go to the library and read scholarship on artists you admire, use the Internet, talk to teachers and colleagues, listen to classical music on the radio. Find out what you like by yourself; don’t let others tell you what you like.

Now it is a common practice in the media to talk that the classical music is getting into the consumption business, do you agree? We are speaking about the supply and demand rules and how to sell your “product” in your case your compositions. How do you see it?

I think that anyone who wants to significantly profit monetarily with the publication of their own artwork is going to have to play by the rules of money-based society in order to have that happen. That may involve catering output to the demands of potential clientele, spending unhealthy amounts of energy advertising a product, or happening upon a wealthy patron who will offer unlimited and unconditional monetary and emotional support. Essentially, monopoly is designed to suffocate the individual.

Do you have expectations what regards your listeners, your audience?

I have to accept that people will continue to whisper and unwrap mints during performances; I anticipate that many people who hear my work will be passive listeners. That doesn’t negate my artistic experiences.

What projects are coming up? Do you experiment in your projects?

I’m very much focused on completing a suite for six performers that I am very excited about. I’m very much focused on completing a suite for six performers that I am very excited about. Meanwhile, I keep a notebook of idealistic sketches that are probably unrealistic in real-world application. In my experience, experimentation is crucial to learning.