Carol Comune

Pianist, Composer, Teacher Recording and Steinway Artist Spotify, Pandora and Apple Artist

USA

Author

About

The music of American pianist and composer, Carol Comune dances between the serious and the light, the traditional and contemporary, with strong influences from her Italian heritage, Impressionism to Romanticism. Her lyricism paired with technical precision have earned her a reputation as one of today’s premiere pianists, performing extensively throughout the eastern United States both as a soloist and a chamber musician. She has been a featured artist in Boston at the New England Conservatory of Music, Gardner Museum, Art Complex at Duxbury, and Longfellow National Historic Site; in New York City at Lincoln Center and Steinway Hall; in Palm Beach at Flagler Museum and Kravis Center; along with recitals featured on National Public Radio.

A multi-faceted musician, teacher, composer, recording artist and Steinway Artist, Ms. Comune founded, Elegant Entertainment & Co. (BMI) in 1985, producing ten, critically acclaimed albums ranging from original Contemporary to Classical. Her music is featured on National Public Radio worldwide; online stations such as Pandora, Spotify, Apple iTunes, and Amazon; Enlightened Piano Radio; and Whisperings Solo Piano Radio. Ms. Comune’s music has also been featured on the NBC Today Show. Since 2017, many of Ms. Comune’s compositions have been promoted exclusively by Double J Music - production company and record label based in the UK. She has recently released two EPs: Classically Yours (over 5 Million streams since its one year release, 2018) classical to modern and From the Heart (over 1 Million streams - 2019) original compositions. Ms.Comune has over 16 Million streams on Spotify, her recording of Arabesque by Claude Debussy was featured on a major Spotify playlist “Maksimum Konsantrasyon” (2018) and over 2 Million all time monthly listeners.

“Her touch is effortless and masterful, gracefully defying categorization. Her original compositions soften the lines between classical, pop, and ragtime, creating a distinctive style of her own.” Mainly Piano Review, 2016 .

Carol founded Comune Music Press, dedicated to producing beautiful, imaginative and expressive piano music in the Classical/Contemporary genre and New Age Contemporary genre for the serious student. Her compositions have been described as, “charming,” “bold,” “imaginative and colorful,” and “exceptional.” Her music was featured at the prestigious 30th Annual Contemporary Music for the Young, Weston, MA; Piano Teachers Forum, NJ; and performances by both professional pianists and students.

Ms. Comune is a faculty member at Westminster Conservatory of Music Honors Music Program, as a Chamber and Performance Coach, private piano and accompanist and Chester Piano Workshop, NJ. and has maintained active private studios since 1973, from Boston and Palm Beach to the Lehigh Valley. She has served as former faculty in piano, accompanist, and chamber with New England Conservatory Prep School; Berklee College of Music, MA and Palm Beach Atlantic University; Conservatory at Lynn University, FL. She is a member of MTNA (30 years): NJ, PA, NEPTA; BMI and a Steinway Artist. She is the recipient of The Steinway Top Teacher Award, 2016 and 2017. Since capturing her attention at age three, Carol Comune continues to be mesmerized by the piano’s sounds, touch. and the ability to express one’s sentiments, passions and love all in one instrument. This early affinity for music led to a scholarship for piano and solfege with alumnus of the Paris Conservatoire, Mme. Yvonne Combe at the French School of Music in Plainfield, New Jersey. She is a graduate of the New England Conservatory of Music, Boston, MA (BM in Piano Performance with David Hagan). She continued graduate studies in Piano Pedagogy with Jean Stackhouse (NEC); Composition with John Felice (NEC); and influential mentors Donald Waxman; the late concert pianist, Anthony di Bonaventura, a master teacher of international stature; and celebrated Russian teacher Madame Isabelle Vengerova.

Videos

Sheets

Interview

What does music mean to you personally?

Music is and always has been my passion and my love... it’s my lifeline. I never stop listening and learning from music- in all of the different forms it presents itself to me. It motivates me during my exercise and promotes positive thinking throughout my day. I play music in the background while I work at home and appreciate the silence of it when I have to commute for teaching jobs. And late at night, I practice, study, and learn new music. It is a full time job but it’s never boring!

Do you agree that music is all about fantasy?

I have never thought of music as fantasy. It is as real as breath, magical and while it may be transformative at times, it is real and living which to me, is grounding.

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

I have always enjoyed pen and ink sketching. I think that I would have chosen a field in the marketing world where I could use my sketches and create funny ads. Or, I would be a dancer or even a gourmet chef! I know that even if I was not a musician, I would still be involved in the arts, one way or another.

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

It’s funny, I don’t think about the classical music audience getting older- it’s just me who’s getting older! Everyday I see people ages 20-40 listening to my music on Spotify and it gives me great hope and pleasure for the genre. They seem to have a genuine interest for classical music and I am so humbled to know that they appreciate the fruits of my labor. I love to use YouTube to bring attention to the many different interpretations of music, when teaching my students repertoire. I love the creativity and the way many young professional musicians use to bring attention to their events. It’s thrilling and exciting!

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

Transformation is inevitable in any industry, and we see that through how social media has changed the world. There are streaming capabilities that we would have never thought possible, twenty years ago. But, as a teacher, it is great to see that while the venues and artists may change, parents still understand how vital music lessons are for children’s growth and development, as well as it can be a lifelong skill. I am also intrigued by the many cross-over styles that the public can hear with a broader sense of acceptance. They no longer have to feel boxed in to just classical, jazz, opera, contemporary, etc. It seems that all these forms of music have evolved to our fast pace contemporary lifestyle and are presented in a wonderful manner.

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

Creativity is very personal, individual and unique by character. My own creativity is often triggered by other artists whom I listen to as many genres and types of instrumentation as possible, on a regular basis. It is interesting to me what evokes artists to present themselves in the manner that they choose. I teach my students to study scores of the great masters to help open their ears and minds to all of the different sounds that they are capable of. Sometimes a great tool for me is to play through someone else’s music, in the hopes of it triggering a new idea, and the next thing you know, I’ve taken off with a new composition. Creativity for me has been an escape from everyday life. It’s like getting lost in a story, or a movie, being in your own world. It almost stops time…it’s my outlet to express my deepest, personal and intimate thoughts. It can be a direct response to how I react through the different experiences in life, and it has been. My music is my memoire.

Do you think we as musicians can do something to attract the younger generation to music concerts? How would you do this?

For the first time, the younger generation can interact with their favorite musicians and get to know them again in a more meaningful ways, through social media. We need to use these applications like Spotify and Apple Music to attract this generation, and lucky for us, it has never been easier. Companies likes Spotify make it easy for listeners to discover new music and learn as much as possible about the artists behind it, and streaming concerts live increase our audience pool exponentially. My upbringing with music was extremely broad so I always had a curiosity for popular, jazz, Motown , broadway , ragtime, etc. I always created my albums with one classical composition that I felt complimented my originals. It was my way of keeping the integrity of my musical training and appreciation to the great masters. It often seemed to me that they had too had a lighter side that was engaging during their time period as well.

Tell us about your creative process. What is your favorite piece (written by you) and how did you start working on it?

Most of my compositions have been created as an extension of a life event, good or bad, so they each have a special place in my heart. The others come from academia, reflections on other popular themes, and holiday music, which I love arranging. The actual process it takes for me to compose is as unique as the song itself, but everything that I write is my response to the environment around me. Whether it was my first love, or the tragic crash of the Columbia Space Shuttle in 2003, every one of my compositions holds a special place in my heart. If I had to choose a favorite, I guess it would have to be a piece I wrote about a cardinal that would sit on my porch when I was living in South Florida. My father had recently passed and this cardinal seemed to be his way of checking up on me. He was a passionate Italian man who loved all kinds of music, as well as food, family and life. He would always refer to cardinals as Mr. Cardinali, which I named my composition after. The song portrays my experience and story with this beautiful creature. I have reached a new stage in my life that allows me to concentrate and focus more of myself, on my compositions. While I am scoring one piece, I have a few others that I am working on, simultaneously.

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

Get involved with any and all of the music in your community. Or go online! So much music is available with the click of a button online. All it takes is 15 minutes a day for young people to discover new genres and artists. Make the time because there is so much out there worth listening to!

Do you think about the audience when composing?

Not really…though maybe I should. My music has always been an extension of myself which I think, only enhances the value of it. If listeners can hear the life that I put into my songs, it’s a bonus.

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


I have a concert coming up December and am thrilled to be joined by my daughter, who is also a pianist. On the program, pieces from my 1997 ‘Season of the Light’ will be highlighted, as well as “Appalachian Christmas Carols” for piano duet by Vincent Persichetti.. Aside from that, I recently recorded two albums similar to ‘Classically Yours’ (featuring works by Schumann, Mompou, Satie, Scriabin and Debussy) and ‘Pastiche’ (featuring all original works). My projects are all different and come about through extensive research of romantic/ contemporary composers, and pieces I can then use to blend a mixture of harmonies and melodies. As I mentioned before, I have been thinking about adding different sounds and instruments to my compositions to further expand my range. As the academic year at the conservatory continues, it gives me the opportunity to collaborate with all kinds of musicians through coachings, recitals, and performance classes.