Around the Globe Music & Arts

Newsletter September 2020

We are proud to announce that production of our new issue of
Around the Globe Music Magazine 2020 
Summer, Vol.3, No.1,
is now available online (free) and in print.

Read online at:

For a fabulous printed version (retail price £5) make a request via email to the Editor: or contact the organisers at

Please note that printed version is FREE to AGMA members.

You can support us in applying for AGMA membership via:

AGMA is always eager to introduce a different spectrum of musical ideas to all of our many supporters and musicians. We sincerely hope that this publication will give you much pleasure with interesting articles about modern composers and their piano works, covering a wide range of global cultures and piano styles.

After much research, we are thrilled to present talented music authors and their compositions from different parts of the world including China, Russia, Bulgaria and from the UK. Apart from featuring solo piano works,there are presentations of piano ensembles – duets for four hands suitable for pianists at all levels, such as Rosamund Conrad’s Delightfully Easy Piano Duets, Zhanetta Metallidi’s Beloved Tales and A Breeze from Bulgaria by Nikolai Aleksiev. The interview with pianist-composer Vladimir Titovis also of note, andthe articleExploring Early Pianos reveals the fascinating history behind this instrument.

There is also an introduction to many piano course books for early level (Get Set Piano! by Heather Hammond & Karen Marshall) and advanced pianists including jazz styles presented by Tim Richards, as well as articles offering advice and help to performers.

In addition, we recommend reading an enlightening and pedagogical study on memorisation written by renowned British piano composer Melanie Spanswick, whose new opus Simply Driven and other piano courses books (Play it Again PIANO) are featuring in this publication. 

On the topic on musician’s health, there are the brilliantly evocative writings of the late Carola Grindea, The Phenomenon of ‘Peak Experience’ or ‘The Flow’ in Musical Performancean article published in EPTA and ISSTIP journals a few years ago but still relevant today.

Newsletter August 2020

We want to announce that AGMA will be organising
as a part of the piano music festival in November/December this year.

The competition will consist of two rounds which will include applicant’s pre-recorded performance open to Junior and Adult pianists of all levels, as before. More information including guidance, dates and how to apply, will be published in our next September Newsletter 2020. Please note that the syllabus’ programme for 2020 will stay unchanged from the previous year, including contemporary classical and jazz style pieces. For more info on the syllabus’ programme visit:

In today’s publication, we are presenting extracts from the articles about famous Chinese pianist-composer Chu Wang-Hua including the introduction to his great piano music via YouTube links. In addition, we hope you will enjoy the melodious, beautiful harmonies of a new piano work The Little Prince composed by Vladimir and Svetlana Titov. 

Extract from ‘An Introduction to Chu Wang-Hua’ 
by Marina Petrov 

Not so long ago, I was introduced to the piano music of Chinese composer Chu Wang-Hua by one of my Chinese piano students. As I was raised in the western music culture, I wasn’t exposed to Chinese classical contemporary music at my music colleges and conservatoires, especially the work of pianist-composers. My student Yi has been learning to play Hua’s piano virtuoso piece Merry-Go-Round, which I found fascinating! This piece sounds like a fusion of Chinese and Western pianistic musical styles; it is unlike no other, unique and very exciting to hear! 

Chu Wang-Hua’s opus includes symphonies, string quartets, piano concertos and numerous piano works.  His Piano Sonatina was a prize winner at the 21st Century Chinese Children’s Piano Compositions Competition in 2000 and his compositions have been performed and recorded both nationally and globally.

I hope you will enjoy exploring his solo piano works, which are widely available to listen to on YouTube and other online platforms, and viewing many of his free music scores. 

Love Song

Days of Emancipation

The Jasmine Flowers

Extract from ‘The Little Prince Piano Suite’ 
by Vladimir Titov and Svetlana Titov

The four-part piano suite The Little Prince, was inspired by the world-famous novella by Antoine de Saint-Exupery. Initially written as a children’s book its strong philosophical and moral content has been appreciated and enjoyed by everyone. The story tells of a young prince who visits various planets in space, including Earth, and addresses themes of loneliness, friendship, love and loss.

The first part of the suite is called The Little Prince – an exploration of the character of the prince who is described by de Saint-Exupery as follows – ‘The proof that the little prince existed is he was charming, that he laughed and was looking for a sheep. If anybody wants a sheep, that is a proof that he exists’ . . . 

The second part is Journeys, the story of the Princes flight to distant planets, where he meets an array of unusual residents. The author wrote ‘As I understand it, he decided to wander with migratory birds’.

Somewhere There Lives My Flower… is the name of the third piece, in which the image of a rose, evocatively described by the author as – ‘ If someone loves a flower, of which just one single blossom grows in all the millions and millions of stars, it is enough to make him happy to look just at the stars. He can say to himself, ‘Somewhere, my flower is there…’  

The piano suite concludes with a fourth part titled Homecoming of The Little Prince an exploration of the following passages – ‘I’m going back home today, too. It’s much further. It’s much more difficult’ . . .; ‘And at night you will look up at the stars. Where I live, everything is so small that I cannot show you where my star is to be found…’

Listen on YouTube:

The Little Prince (part 1), Vladimir Titov & Svetlana Titova

Somewhere There Lives My Flower…, Vladimir Titov(part 3) 

To buy music scores got to:

The Little Prince (part 1), Vladimir Titov & Svetlana Titova

Somewhere There Lives My Flower…, Vladimir Titov(part 3)

Newsletter June 2020 (2)

Dear AGMA Supporters,

We are thrilled to your overwhelming response to our series of C-19 PIANO STUDENTS RECITALS and appreciate your enthusiasm in preparation for this event including students, teachers, parents and guardians.   
 These four concerts will take place on the popular social media platform ZOOM during the month of July, 2020. The dates for both, Junior and Adult amateur pianists are as follows:

Junior Pianists (16 years and under)
● Thursday 2nd July 2020 at 7 PM (beginners up to Grade 3 level)
● Tuesday 7th July 2020 at 7 PM (intermediate up to Grade 5 level)
● Tuesday 14th July 2020 at 7 PM (early advanced up to grade 8 level and above)

Adult Pianists (17 years and above)
● Tuesday 21st July 2020 at 7 PM (any level)
 All applicants will be notified by personal email about the programme, the date of their performance, and Zoom invitations will be sent well in advance.
Performers will be able to share the invitation link with friends and family who want to join as an audience.
In addition, independent listeners and other audience are also very welcome!

They can join by applying by email at:

* Please note to experience better sound and visual quality of performance on Zoom, the Listeners might be asked to switch off their cameras during the playing.

Around the Globe Music & Arts will be much grateful for your support and donations for our educational and organisational work, including putting together a series of C-19 PIANO STUDENTS RECITALS on the virtual concert platform.

In these uncertain and challenging times, your sustenance is essential for our organisation to keep going forward into supporting the idea of the musical educational enrichment through arranging affordable piano festivals, competitions, concerts as well as music magazines and regular AGMA newsletters. Despite the difficulties, we are determined to keep music culture alive, especially the flourishing of contemporary piano music from around the world, which we are eager to introduce to all our supporters and musicians of a different spectrum.

If you would like to make donation please contact us by email:

Extract from the article
About Zhanetta Metallidi and ‘Beloved Tales’ Piano Duet 

by Alla Levit- Anderson 

Zhanneta Lazarevna Metallidi (1 June 1934 — 7 June 2019) was a Russian Soviet composer and music educator. Originally from St Petersburg, Zhanetta Metallidi is widely known as she devoted her life to Children’s Music.

The creation of Metallidi became the inalienable part of Russian Culture. Although her serious chamber music works, vocal music, instrumental concerts (flute, violin, trumpet) and symphonies achieved top reviews, Metallidi’s music for children and about the children, is and still will be the most adored, most often performed and famous. Imaginative, energetic and lyrical with bright melodies, contemporary romantic music of Metallidi belongs in the same line of great Russian composers such as Stravinsky and Prokofiev…

The most important part of the constitute folk fairy tales, fantasies, literature heroes, games, adventures, impressions that left from seen during journeys and introductions of art. Metallidi’s artistic heritage includes children’s musical fairy tales – operas Teremok, North Story, Chicken Ryaba, Kolobok and piano suits such as  The House with the Bell, Musical Surprise, The Gold Ring of Russia, Hermitage’s Sketches and Forest Fairy Tale…

She also devoted a lot of attention to creating music for piano ensembles. The Beloved Tales piano duet is one of her last and best composition arranged for four hands. The work is based on the most popular characters from the Russian fairy tales. These include Ivan the FoolBaba JagaPrincessThe Little Humpbacked Horse and in the final part A Feast for the Whole World, Metallidi has recreated the colourful timbres of the Russian folk musical instruments (balalaika, horn)… Bright, imaginative characters, the mastery technical effects, lyrical, beautiful melodies and emotional content, opens up a lot of opportunities and, it enriches the repertoire of many concert pianists.

Ivan the Fool
The first piece of this great piano suite is Ivan the Fool(‘Ivan-Durak’), which portrays an image of a favourite character from the Russian fairy tale through bright musical expressions. On the surface, Ivan the Fool is shown as very lazy, slow way thinking and inactive person. He likes to lie on the bench or the Russian stove (‘pechka’), and enjoys doing nothing. Occasionally, he entertains himself by playing the accordion (‘garmoshka’ in Russian) and ‘balalaika’ – a traditional Russian folk musical instrument.

The music reflects Ivan’s thoughts and movements through a slower tempo, where we can clearly hear the sound impressions of these native Russian instruments. However, on the surface view of Ivan’s character, there is the hidden secret about his true potential! In effect, it is emerging that he is – the best, the cleverest, the hard-working, and energetic winner in all problematic situations and competitions. “Slow and steady wins the rush” is the phrase which truly represents Ivan the Fool.

The Little Humpbacked Horse The second piece The Little Humpbacked Horse is sharply contrasting with the previous one. The fast tempo, virtuoso elements, strong accents and jumps in the texture establish another beloved character…

Baba Yaga The music of the third piece is the bright picture of a frightening Russian witch, with her unaltered attributes as a bone leg, broom and a furious mood. Metallidi put a lot of interesting effects in the texture of this piece like sharp dissonance, the changeable time signature and even the real imitation of the noise-producing Baba-Yaga’s false bone leg…

The Princess in the Dungeon
 This piece is composed in a three-part form with a contrasted content in the middle part, which is the most lyrical in the whole suite. The image of the beautiful Russian fairy-tale princess, who is suffering from being hidden in the dark dungeon – far away from her family and all people, is presented by melancholic and beautiful melodies and heart-warming harmonies. 

A Feast for the Whole World The cheerful and colourful music of the final piece of the suite draws a real atmosphere of a Russian royal wedding feast…
By using the imitation of the sounds of Russian medieval block flutes and balalaikas in this part, Metallidi continues the same line as Fyodor Stravinsky with his famous Petrushka, where similar musical ideas are so masterly presented.

Listen to Ivan the Fool and Little Humpback Horse performed by Darina Piano Duo via YouTube link:

The link where it is possible to buy Metallidi’s piano suite Beloved Tales:

Newsletter June 2020

We have been informed by many subscribers that our Newsletter has been delivered to theirs Spam folder.
To avoid this happening we will suggest to check your Spam folder and remove our email to Inbox to insure that following emails are not missed. Also you should add our email address to your Contacts.

on the popular social media platform ZOOM for both,
Junior and Adult amateur pianists of any level. 

We hope that the new experience of performing piano live online will inspire and motivate piano students to bringing a sense of achievement and overall enjoyment. Joining this performance platform will keep you engaged with our music community, which may bring you feeling stimulated to be more creative and musically proactive at these challenging times.

So, let’s get together to enjoy performing and listening and have fun!

Proposed dates and times for performances for
C-19 Piano Students Recitals 
are as follows:

Junior Pianists (16 years and under)
● Thursday 2nd July 2020 at 7 PM (beginners up to Grade 3 level)
● Tuesday 7th July 2020 at 7 PM (intermediate up to Grade 5 level)
● Tuesday 14th July 2020 at 7 PM (early advanced up to grade 8 level and above)

Adult Pianists (17 years and above)
● Tuesday 21st July 2020 at 7 PM (any level)

Applications need to be made by an adult, teacher, parent or guardian by Monday 15th June 2020.
You should state:
– The name and age of the applicant
– The title of the piece(s) and name of the composer(s)
– Length of performance in minutes
– Name of applicant’s piano teacher
– Preferred date for performance
* Please note that advanced level pianists cannot perform longer than 15 minutes.


MARKSON PIANOS is reopening its showroom and workshop on
Monday 15th June and operating an appointment system.

Shop has a fabulous range of new and secondhand pianos for sale and hire all carefully prepared and tuned and ready for delivery. Shop has everything in place in the showroom set up for safe distancing and covid19 protection and the same applies for their delivery teams. An appointment can be made from the 15th June onwards on 0207 935 8682. 


Today we would like you to get acquainted with piano books of Rosamund Conrad and Lindsey Berwin. All books are aimed at piano beginners to intermediate levels and sight-reading books FunKey! till level 5. Often new methods and a different approach may help raise more interest in a daily piano practice, especially in young pianist and beginners. We hope you will enjoy exploring these new piano books!

Rosamund Conrad  
Fun, Games and Party Pieces for Beginner Piano

“A book with the creative exploration of musical concepts at its heart, packed full of ensemble possibilities and inspiring things to do. Fifteen solo pieces for the beginner which can be turned into duets, trios and beyond…

 Elements such as major and minor, modes, the pentatonic scale, improvisation and the Twelve Bar Blues structure are all featured in the pieces in this book, in a way which is easy to grasp and make sense of.
Tap a rhythm on the piano. Play chords. Try tunes in a different octave, key or dynamic. Make your own variations on a tune. Play with friends and swap over. Play things in different ways and have fun!”
“I love this book because it makes lessons fun.”
Piano Teacher Magazine

Rosamund Conrad’s Delightfully Easy Piano Duets
“Playing duets allows the learner to feel they are making a big sound and creating real music.

In her lessons, Rosa and her students devoured what truly easy material there was available and needed more. The result is her Delightfully Easy Piano Duets: Books 1 & 2…
Playing duets allows the learner to feel they are making a big sound and creating real music…
Even though they are in a range of keys, in each duet the beginner never needs to move their hands. They use very simple rhythmic patterns, as rhythm can often be the most difficult part of note reading…
The duets are not specifically geared to any age group, and they have been enjoyed by students aged five up to ninety-five.”

“These bright, tuneful works will no doubt capture the beginner’s imagination whilst supporting constant progress.”
Melanie Spanswick
“My Pupils have all sat down, played them and smiled. There are not enough duets like this”.
Music Teacher Magazine
Books can be purchased and each piece has been recorded in the ‘Videos’ section:

Listen on YouTube channel:

About the composer 

Rosa Rosamund Conrad

Encouraged by her musical granddad to play by ear from an early age, Rosa Conrad grew up playing and writing music. She studied composition at Middlesex University and postgraduate piano performance at Trinity College of Music.
In 2013 her first book of Delightfully Easy Piano Duets: Book One was published. Book two followed in 2014, alongside the first book in the Fun, Games and Party Pieces series, a collection of piano pieces which encourages students to understand and be creative with the music they play. Also, in 2014 Rosa began writing for the Accessible Choral Library.
Rosa loves bringing people together through music. As well as the more traditional aspects of music teaching, Rosa enjoys teaching harmony and improvisation, and encouraging collaborations between her students.

Lindsey Berwin  
FunKey! (Level 1-5)

FunKey! is a unique series of five books, each containing a variety of short pieces designed to develop students’ sight-reading skills and awareness of key. As its title suggests, all the material used is of a fun nature, but at the same time it supports the sight-reading requirements of the ABRSM board. The 20 pieces first appear in C major/A minor, then in a series of other keys according to the needs of the comparable examination grade. They are in a range of styles, notably rock, swing and Latin, increasing in difficulty from Level 1 up to Level 5. Each book comes with an accompanying CD, which contains a backing track for every piece and a track with melody incorporated for the first key.
Listen to selection of FunKey! pieces:
You can buy on Amazon:

FunKey! uses the ingenious notion of making its material available in a variety of exam-friendly keys. The composer’s thesis is that what works for scales is likely to work even better for short patterned pieces (especially in the lower levels), developing the young pianist’s ‘piano geography’ in much the same way that a jazz pianist would learn their craft.

The pieces mix together beautifully crafted original material with jazzy reworkings of familiar folk songs and nursey rhymes. The pieces cover a wide range of styles, but the vernacular language combined with familiar grooves and bass riffs will immediately appeal to and engage youngsters who are setting out to master this challenging instrument.”
Nick Meredith
Head of Music
Wakefield Girl’s Grammar School

About the composer  

Lindsey Berwinis a pianist, teacher and composer, and over the last 25 years she and her pupils have won many prizes in the EPTA annual Composers’ Competition. She has recently been given the job of updating the EPTA Composers Competition, together with fellow British composer Alison Mathews.
Lindsey has music published by Kevin Mayhew Ltd, EVC Music and Spartan Press, and pieces from her suite All the Fun of The Fair were featured on the 2018 Around the Globe Piano Music Festival’s repertoire lists. More info about the composer:

Newsletter May 2020 (2)

We are pleased to announce that during July 2020, AGMA will be hosting live performances online


on the popular social media platform Zoom for both,
Junior and Adult amateur pianists of any level.

At a time when all of us are going through unprecedented difficulties in many aspects of our lives, we think that learning and playing musical instruments including live performances, is of extreme importance for emotional and mental wellbeing. We hope that the new experience of performing piano live online will inspire and motivate you, thus, bringing a sense of achievement and overall enjoyment. Joining this performance platform will keep you engaged with our music community, which may bring you feeling stimulated to be more creative and musically proactive at these challenging times.

We are looking forward to your response and to seeing you there!

Proposed dates and times for performances for C-19 Piano Students Recitals are as follows:

Junior Pianists (16 years and under)
Thursday 2nd July 2020 at 7 PM (beginners up to Grade 3 level)
Tuesday 7th July 2020 at 7 PM (intermediate up to Grade 5 level)
Tuesday 14th July 2020 at 7 PM (early advanced up to grade 8 level and above)

Adult Pianists (17 years and above)
Tuesday 21st July 2020 at 7 PM (any level)

To participate, you need to apply by 15th June 2020 by emailing us to
As numbers of places are limited, you are encouraged to apply early.

Applications need to be made by an adult, teacher, parent or guardian.
You should state:
– The name and age of the applicant
– The title of the piece(s) and name of the composer(s)
– Length of performance in minutes
– Name of applicant’s piano teacher
– Preferred date for performance
* Please note that advanced level pianists cannot perform longer than 15 minutes.


DEADLINE for submission of articles and musical promotional material for the forthcoming Around the Globe Music Magazine, Summer 2020 Vol. 3 is on Sunday 31st May 2020. Please send your proposals by email to Marina Petrov:

Melanie Spanswick
Simply Driven & Play it again: PIANO Book 3

In this newsletter, we want to introduce you to new works of a British composer and pianist Melanie Spanswick, who is a close associate of Around the Globe Music & Arts. She is a teacher, adjudicator and writer, who has authored best-selling books on many aspects of piano playing. Her music is increasingly performed and recorded worldwide, and she is one of the few female composers to be published in the renowned Edition Schott Composer Series.
We hope you will enjoy Melanie’s newly published pieces from Simply Driven written for advanced-level pianists, whose authentic music is loved by many including professional musicians, piano students and the wider audience. We endorse hers Play it again: PIANO Book 3, whose methods can help piano students in achieving more advanced levels and enjoying to exploring a new repertoire.

Read more about Melanie and her many blogs and articles at

Simple Driven melanie Simply Driven, published in March 2020, appears in the renowned Edition Schott Composer Series, and is a collection of five pieces intended for advanced to virtuoso level pianists: Frenzy, Aisa: Sand, Silk and Love, Enigma, Chasm and Time.
Each piece proffers a completely different character, whilst still reflecting minimalist influences. Composed over a period of a year, four of the five pieces were written for friends who are all wonderful pianists; Aisa Ijiri, Yuki Negishi, Maiko Mori and Madalina Rusu, and each pianist has recorded their respective piece.
You might well ask why I chose this title for the volume; it was inspired by comments from several friends, who said my music often felt ‘driven’, or forward moving. These pieces will hopefully appeal to pianists searching for modern music with a distinctly tonal quality but with a slightly Contemporary twist. Frenzy and Aisa are approximately Grade 8 level, whereas Enigma, Chasm, and Time, would be more suited to those preparing for diplomas and beyond…

Aisa: Sand, Silk and Love was written in August 2018 especially for Japanese pianist Aisa Ijiri. The meaning of the title, Sand, Silk and Love, necessitates a slow tempo with a feel for the sentiment behind these words. Aisa is in the style of a power ballad; melodic, expressive and slightly sentimental…”
Enigma composed in February 2019 especially for Japanese pianist Yuki Negishi, this miniature programmatic work inhabits an atmospheric, dreamy sound world…
Chasm was written in September 2019 for Japanese pianist Maiko Mori. This work is a piano étude, or piano study, intended to hone or develop a pianist’s technical skills…
Time is a theme and set of variations. Composed between January and August 2019, for Romanian pianist Madalina Rusu, the structure of this work remains faithful to the traditional concept of a theme and variations…
Frenzy was written in December 2017. It’s the first piece in this volume, and is an étude, or piano study, written with the intention to hone and perfect articulation and note clarity, and it is featured in Play it again: PIANO Book 3 (Schott).”

Purchase the Simply Driven score as a download or hardcopy by clicking here
Or on Amazon, here

Play it again book 3
Play it again: PIANO is a progressive, graded piano course, published by Schott Music, intended for those who are returning to piano playing after a break. However, this course has also proved popular with students wanting to explore different repertoire between exam grades, too.
The course moves happily alongside the UK examination board system. Book 1 takes students from Grade 1 – 4 and Book 2, from approximately Grade 5 – 8 level. Book 1 features 28 mostly original pieces taken from standard (as well as more unusual) repertoire, and Book 2 contains 21 pieces. Each ‘level’ consists of a group of pieces focusing on different aspects of technique and musicianship…
Book 3 consists of 11 piano pieces, the majority of which are drawn from the standard repertoire (with emphasis on pedagogical works and those suitable for exams). Similar to Book 1 and 2, there is a ‘technique’ section at the beginning of Book 3, with practical exercises and suggestions; these are especially helpful for those with tension issues.
As Book 3 is a much more advanced level than that of Book 1 and 2, the repertoire is classical and the book is geared towards those who want, or are possibly considering, taking post Grade 8 exams. It’s possible to create a suitable post grade 8 diploma (ARSM/DipLCM) or Associate Diploma (DipABRSM, ATCL, ALCM) programme entirely from this book…

You can purchase Book 3, watch Melanie’s teaching videos, and find out more about the Play it again: PIANO series, by clicking here
Amazon UK
Book 1
Book 2
Book 3

Newsletter May 2020

Dear Reader,

On this occasion we want to introduce you to Nikolay Aleksiev, a Bulgarian composer, whose piano duet for four hands A Breeze from Bulgaria was performed by the Darina Piano Duo (Antonina Koleva-Lax and Alla Levit-Anderson), the winners of the Adult Piano Duet category at the 6th Piano Competition – Around the Globe Piano Music Festival 2019.
At these unapparelled times that we experience due to the global pandemic and physical distancing as the new way of life, we understand that playing and performing live ensembles such as piano duets for 4 hands, is at the moment not possible. However, we believe that we will be able to relish creating music together again, in the not very distant future. Perhaps in the current situation, we can learn to use various digital innovations and online platforms in creating various ensembles and to rejoicing in making music together this way.
We hope you will listen and enjoy the music of this stunning piece, which was masterly performed by the Darina Piano Duo. To listen to the music, follow the link at the end of the article.

For score please send us a request via our email at

Extract from the article
About ‘A Breeze from Bulgaria’ by Antonina Koleva-Lax

Nikolay Breeze from BulgariaA Breeze from Bulgaria was one of the winning pieces premiered by Darina Piano Duo at last year’s Around the Globe Piano Music Festival 2019. The duo has been collecting modern pieces from around the world to bring to new audiences. Today there is a wide range of modern music to choose from, but some of it is naturally closer to one’s heart and roots than others.
A Breeze from Bulgaria is the work of the composer Nikolai Aleksiev, whose music reflects traditional Bulgarian rhythms and harmonies whilst remaining authentic and novel. This piece, is in essence an experiment, as Darina Piano Duo challenged Aleksiev, who typically writes vocal and orchestral music, to write a four-hand piano piece…

This outlook is shared by the composer of A Breeze from Bulgaria
who tells us more about the piece and the inspiration behind it in the following note.
Nikolay Breeze from Bulgaria
“A Breeze from Bulgaria, written in 2017, is a three-part piano piece I composed for the wonderful the Darina Piano Duo. Taking its inspiration from the ethnic traditional music of Bulgaria, it represents my interpretation of these ancient melodies in a way I hope is relevant to a wider audience.
I admire work which stresses the melodic (whilst still being open to experimentation), and music that expresses emotional realities, making the listener want to explore a composition again and again, and to discover new images and connections…
The title of my three-part piece may be suggestive of a theme, but it is in fact an allegory. It is a reference to the listeners’ innermost feelings towards their own native country as well as being an allusion to identity, combining nostalgia without sentimentality. The name of the piece translated as Breeze, Breath or Aura, shouldn’t be taken literally. It is more of a general characterisation of imagery (in part provoked by the work of the Bulgarian 20th-century short-story writer Chudomir – Dimitar Hristov Chorbadjiev), evoking remembered native songs, natural beauty and everything which connects Bulgarians to their homeland…”

Listen to A Breeze from Bulgaria performed by Darina Piano Duo via YouTube link:

About the composer

Nikolay AleksievNikolay Aleksiev is a prominent Bulgarian musician and orchestral conductor, who has composed and arranged various works based on ethnic Bulgarian music motifs. His compositional oeuvre comprises both, choral and instrumental music for orchestra as well as ensembles. His music has been recognised not only in Bulgaria, but in other Balkan countries, where his work has been regularly included in many international music festivals.

He wrote numerous orchestral pieces and suites based on traditional Bulgarian music. Nikolay is a member of the Union of Young Bulgarian Composers and his compositions were recorded by Bulgarian National Radio with the participation of soloists and members of the orchestra of the Filip Kutev Art School to commemorate the school’s 25th anniversary.
For many years, until 2008 he was Director of the Byala Slatina company and Director of Nezhen Spomen (Tender Memory) choral group, which successfully won many awards in local and national music competitions in Bulgaria. With the groups’ performing many of his original compositions and arrangements they became the most popular ethnic/folk performers in the country. In 2002 Nikolay recorded a CD of his song arrangements dedicated to the 110th anniversary of the Cultural Centre, Razvitie. Since 2006 he has again broadened his achievements by working for various Bulgarian television companies.

Newsletter April 2020 (2)

Dear Followers,
In this publication we want to introduce you to piano books of various methods that we highly recommend. Exciting new books Get Set! Piano Tutor and Get Set! Piano Pieces by Heather Hammond and Karen Marshallmight be of interest to piano teachers and music educators who want to expand their horizons and perhaps, take different approach to teaching piano beginners. Intermediate level pianists interested in exploring different jazz styles and improvisation, might find Improvising Blues Piano and Exploring Jazz Piano books by Tim Richards, quite stimulating and educative.
Any feedback on these books would be much appreciated!


Get Set! Piano is an exciting course by Heather Hammond and Karen Marshall. Over the years, experienced piano teachers Karen and Heather had noticed clear changes in the piano pupils’ needs and tastes: they are keen to progress quickly, thrive on logical teaching progression, and want to play melodies that are relevant to their world, so this series has been specially written for the 21st century child. The series consists of 4 books: Tutor Book 1, Tutor Book 2, Pieces Book 1 and Pieces Book 2. The tutor books are systematic in developing sound technique and use a wide variety of learning approaches throughout, from active games to creative and aural activities. As well as traditional tunes there are engaging new pieces in contemporary styles.

Get Set Piano Tutor Book 1 inspires, entertains and builds confidence from the start and Piano Tutor Book 2 guides learners from around the Prep Test level to Grade 1.

Get Set! Piano Pieces Book 1 follows and supplements the tried and tested progression of Piano Tutor Book 1. It includes favorites like Alice the Camel, Hot Cross Buns and We wish you a merry Christmas as well as featuring new pieces with themes like wriggly caterpillars and scary pirates. Many of the pieces have straightforward teacher duet parts to encourage ensemble playing from the start.

Get Set! Piano Pieces Book 2 works alongside Piano Tutor Book 2, guiding the learner in their journey from Prep Test to Grade 1.
There’s a Teacher Guide to using the series, piano practice charts & printable certificates, scales & arpeggio resources, posters of the ‘Get Set!’ Characters, lots of additional pieces at all the various levels, longer concert versions of pieces, extra teacher parts to turn some of the pieces into duets & lots of theory quizzes.

Listen to:
Fun at The Fair, Get Set Pieces Book 1
Toot Street Blues, Get Set Tutor 2
Tight Rope Show-Off, Get Set Tutor 2

Buy at Amazon:

About the authors

Heather Hammond
Heather is an award-winning educational composer and piano teacher based in York, UK. She currently has over 100 publications (piano & woodwind) available with a variety of publishers.  She initially became popular due to her ‘Cool Piano’ series (6 books). Working in conjunction with Karen Marshall she co-authored the ‘The Intermediate Pianist’ (3 books which form part of the Faber Piano Trainer series) and the ‘Get Set! Piano’ series (4 books pub. Collins). Get Set Piano Tutor Book 1 was a finalist for the Best Print Resource at the Music Teacher Awards for Excellence 2014. Many of Heather’s pieces have been chosen for inclusion in exam syllabuses and for music festival performances worldwide.

Karen Marshall
Karen is a practising private, peripatetic, first access and classroom music teacher in York, UK. Her 19 publications include the Piano Trainer Series (Faber Music) including The Intermediate Pianist (with Heather Hammond), The Foundation Pianist (with David Blackwell) and recently The Advanced Pianist (with Mark Tanner). She has also written the ABRSM Piano Encore Series, ABRSM Piano Star Grade 1 (with David Blackwell) and Get Set! Piano Series with Heather Hammond (Collins Music). Karen has also written a text book ‘Instrumental and Singing Teaching’ (100 Ideas) with Penny Stirling (Collins Music). Specialising in multi-sensory music teaching, she is a member of The British Dyslexia Associations’ Music Committee, the EPTA management committee as well as being Kodály trained


Published in 1997 to wide acclaim, Exploring Jazz Piano is now acknowledged as the best blues piano instruction book on the market, and has been being translated into French, German, Italian and Spanish. It received the following write-up in the world’s largest circulation blues magazine: 
“I highly recommend the book… It’s the best I’ve seen yet… It’s almost like having your own personal instructor…”  BLUES REVUE magazine (USA).

The basic principles of blues piano are explained for the intermediate level pianist in an easy-to-grasp fashion.

  • All styles from the 1920s to the present day
  • Examples of boogie woogie, swing, jazz, funk, gospel, New Orleans & Chicago blues…
  • Authentic left-hand patterns & bass lines
  • Improvisation tips
  • Professional chord voicings
  • Blues scales, licks & riffs
  • Fingering
  • Co-ordination exercises for both hand
  • Explanations of all theoretical terms
  • Covers both solo piano and band playing
  • Suggested listening/discography
  • Twenty full-page photographs of blues pianists

Over 60 pieces to play, including many original compositions by the author, together with new arrangements of the following well-known standards:
Ain’t No Sunshine, Back in the Alley, Bag’s Groove, Blueberry Hill, Blue Monk, C Jam Blues, Got my Mojo Workin’ and many more.Each chapter is graded within itself, providing some challenging pieces towards the end. Improvising is encouraged at all stages, with assignments giving ideas & guidance. 
Schott Music ED 12504. 264 pages. Includes downloadable audio files for all pieces. RRP £27.99

The long-awaited follow-up to Improvising Blues Piano was published in 2005 in two volumes, and was voted Best Pop Publication at the 2006 MIA (Music Industry Association) awards. The overall level is somewhat higher, and would suit pianists of Grade 3-4 standard and above.

Vol 1 introduces the intermediate pianist to the basic chord-types used in jazz, from major and minor triads to seventh and ninth chords. Other topics include:

  • Chord/scale relationships
  • Mixolydian and Dorian modes
  • Broken chords and scale patterns
  • Pentatonic and blues scales
  • Walking bass lines
  • ‘Latin’ rhythms and bass lines
  • Horizontal & vertical improvisation
  • Tritone substitution
  • Two-handed voicings
  • II ­- V ­- I sequences
  • Rootless voicings
  • Technical exercises and fingering
  • Accompaniment styles
  • Ear-training
  • Suggested listening

28 pieces by the author appear in Vol 1, alongside well-known standards such as Autumn Leaves, Fly Me to the Moon, In a Sentimental Mood, Mannenberg, On Green Dolphin Street (part 1), Ornithology, Song for My Father, Straight No Chaser and Take the ‘A’ Train. Also included are transcribed solos by Thelonious Monk and Horace Silver, an invaluable source of authentic jazz techniques.
“There’s little that comes close in terms of practicality of approach.”Brian Priestley – JAZZWISE Magazine
The package is beautifully illustrated with many full-page photographs of piano masters past and present, informative mini biographies and a comprehensive ‘suggested listening’ section. The ‘lay-flat’ binding enables the books to lie flat on the music stand.
“The jazz process has been uncovered in the most comprehensive and welcoming way. Clear-cut, informative and easy to use, Tim Richards has given all comers to this music a way in – go and buy it.” Julian Joseph
Schott Music ED 12708, 256 pages. Includes downloadable audio files and play-along tracks for all 39 pieces. RRP £28.99
See the Schott website for further information, including preview scans + free instructional videos linked to each book:

Tim Richards
Critically acclaimed jazz pianist, educator and author who has produced numerous titles for Schott Music, including the best-selling two-volume Exploring Jazz Piano,  Blues, Boogie and
Collection and Improvising Blues Piano.
Visit his website:

Newsletter April 2020

Dear members and supporters of AGMA,

Due to the impact of the global pandemic, we are deeply saddened to announce cancellation of Around the Globe Piano Winners Recital, which was due to take place Saturday 9th May 2020 at St Cuthbert’s Church, London.

The 7th Piano Competition – Around the Globe Piano Music Festival 2020 is booked for 28th and 29th November at The Study Society, Colet House in London W14. We sincerely hope that we will able to go ahead with these events as planned, believing the ending of pandemic and crisis by then.

Due to these troublesome times, Around the Globe Music Magazine 2020
is extending its DEADLINE for submission of articles, advertisements
and other promotions till 31st May 2020. For guidelines visit:

We are thinking of you as we all pull together to adjust to current closure of concert venues, music services and schools to the vast majority, in this the rapidly changing times. AGMA team shares a passion and commitment to pianists of all ages and abilities, and the importance of their musical journey. We are working to develop alternative ways to deliver musical activities with the necessary safeguards in place as soon as we can. By working together and drawing on our combined experience and skills, we are confident in our ability to deliver alternative solutions to musical performance and other musical undertakings when social distancing.

As many of you are staying indoors for the most of your day, there might be more time for you to enjoying music, playing piano, listening and exploring different music styles and books.
Today we want to introduce you to Butterflies – from The Butterfly Suite written for advanced piano players. This stunning piece is composed by Marcel Zidani, British virtuoso pianist, teacher and author.

Butterfllies‘Butterflies signifies spiritually the end of something old and the beginning of something new. The fluttery sensation of fight or flight with a slight adrenaline rush induced by the ascent to the unknown.’
A beautiful etude nominated by legendary pianist Leslie Howard for the British Composer Awards, describing the composition as ‘an excellent piece, beautifully written for the piano’.
Butterflies is written very much in the style of a study and is sometimes called the Butterfly Etude. Although written before the two other movements, Broken Wing and Chrysalis, Butterflies is the last movement of the Butterfly Suite for Piano. It is written in the Romantic style and was appropriately characterised as simply ‘beautiful’ by Katie Derham on Radio 3.
You can purchase the score:
Listen via YouTube:

We care about you at this time as you come to terms with what is happening. Please do reach out for support if you need it by contacting us.
We wish you to stay safe, well and healthy.


Around the Globe Music & Arts Newsletter February 2020


We would like to announce that our next
AGPMF Winners’ Piano Recital
is scheduled for
Saturday 9th May 2020 at 7 PM
that will take place at
St Cuthbert’s Church
50 Philbeach Gardens, Earl’s Court
London SW5 9EB
St Cuthbert's Church outsideAll winning pianists will have
the great opportunity
to play at this exciting new venue,
an aesthetic church
in the stylish part of Kensington,
on the superb Yamaha Grand sponsored by Markson Pianos.

More info on Markson Pianos showrooms and services at:




To perform at the concert you need to apply not later than
via email at:

Your application you should state:

● Your name and the code of the category/class that you have won

● Your proposed programme. Please consider the style of your pieces which should relate to the category that you have won at the 6th AGPMF Piano Competition 2019.

● Name of your piano teacher

● Applicant’s entry fee for performing:
up to 5 min – £7; up to 10 min – £11; up to 15 min – £15

● Your preferred slot for a rehearsal: 5.20 – 5.50 PM or 6.15- -6.45 PM

● Please provide a copy of the music score of any contemporary work if published outside the UK and was not performed at previous AGPMF
St Cuthbert's Church


Due to a high demand
we advise you to book early
as the number of places
are limited!



We hope you’ll enjoy participating in this recital and would appreciate
any feedback regarding the whole AGPMF experience via our email.

Comments from teachers/parents/careers especially welcome!


Memo from the Editor of Around the Globe Music Magazine

The Around the Globe Music Magazine is preparing material for next issue Vol. 3 No.1 Summer 2020 and is offering an opportunity for contribution of articles and promotional material for the next publication to all profesional music writers and creators. All proposals will be evaluated and appreciated.


Around the Globe Music Magazine publishes an annual website and printed magazine. We focus on a variety of musical genres from around the world including contemporary classical piano music, jazz and beyond, devoting space to independent and emerging musicians alongside more established artists. Our magazine features articles on educational music subjects, which we strongly advocate as well as promoting music creators and their works, which might be lesser known in the UK. Furthermore, we cover interviews, book reviews, topics including festivals, concert series, cultural commentary and much more.

Around the Globe Music Magazine welcomes unsolicited articles from anyone who believe the piece is interesting for our readers. (Hint: The best way to figure out is to read our online magazine).

AGMM is one of the best opportunities for writers to come up with ideas for articles that perhaps we haven’t thought of! Do you have a piano music tie-in piece to art, literature or film? Know some great new ways for artists to share their music or work? Perhaps you want to share your personal music experiences good, bad or humorous? We hope you get the idea…


By developing your voice and expressing an opinion, your story or idea will personalize the writing and highlight the uniqueness of your experiences. Inject your life into the writing as appropriate and search for a sense of place or narrative.

Use italics for titles of recordings (albums/cd’s), concerts, videos, books or other literature. Composition titles, chapters and article titles should be placed in quotations; punctuation goes inside the quotation marks. Write out in words the numbers nine and under and numbers that begin a sentence, otherwise use numerals. Use numerals for decades, except at the beginning of a sentence. Use four digits for the first reference, with no apostrophe and then two digits with an initial apostrophe (e.g., 1990s then ’90s).


Digital magazines are produced and published annually. Submissions for digital and printed issues are due on 4th May 2020.


· Suggestion for articles should be submitted well before the deadline for editorial approval.

· Applications should include proposed subject, length, applicability and writer samples.

· Submissions may be edited and published with your permission.

· Writers will not receive any monetary compensation.

· All submissions to be send to:

Around the Globe Music & Arts Newsletter December 2019


AGPMF 2019 – 6th Piano Competition
has had another successful year with a very busy schedule due to the large number of participants.
Both days were full of impressive performances by many talented pianists in all categories, who were enthusiastically supported by a capacity audience, especially on the first day.

We were thrilled to welcome and hear our guest speaker Marcel Zidani, whose piano music from his book Hey Presto ! is extremely popular amongst early level pianists. There was a record number of entries for the Short Piano Recital with a number oMarcel smallerf participants performing works from our promoted contemporary classical and jazz piano composers such as
Melanie Spanswick,
Marcel Zidani,
Vera Milanković
Tim Richards.

The standard of playing this year was exceptional, and we were treated to fine performances from many talented pianists in all age categories.


We would like to congratulate our many winners on their achievements!
There was a standing ovation for the performance of professional pianists and pedagogues Antonina Koleva-Lax and Alla Levit-Anderson, The Darina Piano Duo, whose all 3 pieces were UK premières from contemporary classical composers from Russia, Bulgaria and Serbia.

You can view clips of our previous Winners Piano Recital on YouTube channel links: Darina Piano Duo & Junior Winners

Workshop marina ChloeOur newly introduced piano workshop Easing Tension in Performance by Marina Petrov had a great response and proved to be very popular amongst the younger pianists. We were pleased that so many teachers, musicians and parents found the talk so fascinating!

In addition, the masterclass presented by pianist and composer Lola Perrin on her IX piano suite Significantus was well-received and appreciated. It was interesting to gain insights to her journey from the initial inspiration to the completed piano work and beyond.


We would like to express our gratitude to our praised adjudicators, pianists Tau Wey, Olga Dudnik and Marina Petrov, for the valuable work including their constructive spoken feedback and objective assessments.




A special thanks to

Composers’ Association of Serbia
Global Media Publishing Ltd
Branco Stoysin
Markson Pianos
Brittens Music and Kensington Chimes music shops
as well as
followers of our Just Giving platform
for generously supporting this successful piano festival.
Aleks, Neb and others


Mr & Mrs Saric, Global Media Publishing Ltd