Married Ernest Taub (second marriage); children: two. Education: Queens College of the City University of New York, B.A. Also studied piano with Josef Fidelman and Angela Weschler, New York College of Music. Hobbies and other interests: Gardening, painting, birdwatching.
Home—Huntington, NY. Agent—c/o Author Mail, Amadeus Press, 512 Newark Pompton Turnpike, Pompton Plains, NJ 07444.
Concert pianist, piano teacher, journalist, and writer, 1976—. Recordings include Pianogarden. Recital artist in live venues and on radio stations WNYC and WQXR.
Anatomy of a New York Debut Recital: A Chronicle, Instrumentalist Co. (Evanston, IL), 1981.
A Pianist's Landscape, Amadeus Press (Portland, OR), 1998.
(And illustrator) Polly and the Piano (juvenile), Amadeus Press (Pompton Plains, NJ), 2004.
The Blue Piano and Other Stories, Amadeus Press (Pompton Plains, NJ), 2004.
Senior editor, Clavier magazine. Contributor to periodicals, including Piano Quarterly, New York Times, Newsday, and Keynote.
Carol Montparker has enjoyed a rewarding dual career as a pianist and author. Having trained as a classical pianist, Montparker made her concert debut at Manhattan's Carnegie Hall in 1976. Thereafter, she performed solo recitals at live venues throughout the United States and on radio programs. She moved into writing when she discovered that the stress of a performer's lifestyle did not accord her the time to enjoy her many other interests or the companionship of her family. She has served as a senior editor of Clavier magazine and has contributed to numerous popular and specialist periodicals.
Montparker's books seek to communicate a musician's love for her instrument, and how that love of one art form translates into a joy for painting, gardening, and teaching. In A Pianist's Landscape and The Blue Piano and Other Stories, the artist expands upon her journalistic pieces to create a picture of one musician's life and lifestyle choices. Montparker is candid about the pleasures and pains of recital performance, and she also reveals herself to be a capable interviewer in her essays on other musicians she has met. "Musicians very often have a difficult time putting into words what it is they do," observed Washington Post Book World contributor Ted Libbey in a review of A Pianist's Landscape. "Not Montparker. One of the chief delights of this book is that it is so engagingly well written." A Publishers Weekly critic similarly noted that A Pianist's Landscape "contains insights that will enrich practitioners in all the creative arts." Booklist correspondent Alan Hirsch found A Pianist's Landscape to be "thoroughly engaging … an honest and warm description of an artist's life."
The Blue Piano takes its title from the color of a piano Montparker once refused to play in a solo concert. The thirty-one short chapters in the book cover the author's life from her student years at Queen's College to her preparations for her debut, her most inspiring teachers, and her philosophy of teaching. A Publishers Weekly reviewer felt that the pieces collected in The Blue Piano "speak delightfully of the contentment of a musician" who has made peace with her decision to scale back her performances. In American Music Teacher, Steve Betts wrote: "Montparker's ability to bring matters of the heart to the printed page is evident throughout The Blue Piano."
Polly and the Piano is a book for children. Its heroine is a concert pianist preparing for an important debut, while her trusty dog, Polly, provides encouragement and companionship. The book contains a CD on which Montparker performs some of the pieces described in the narration, including a Mozart sonata and three short compositions by Chopin. The illustrations in the book reveal Montparker's other great love, painting.
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Montparker, Carol, Anatomy of a New York Debut Recital: A Chronicle, Instrumentalist Co. (Evanston, IL), 1981.
Montparker, Carol, The Blue Piano and Other Stories, Amadeus Press (Pompton Plains, NJ), 2004.
Montparker, Carol, A Pianist's Landscape, Amadeus Press (Portland, OR), 1998.
American Music Teacher, August-September, 2004, Steve Betts, review of The Blue Piano and Other Stories, p. 98.
Booklist, July, 1998, Alan Hirsch, review of A Pianist's Landscape, p. 1848.
Publishers Weekly, July 13, 1998, review of A Pianist's Landscape, p. 69; March 8, 2004, review of The Blue Piano and Other Stories, p. 65.
Washington Post Book World, May 30, 1999, Ted Libbey, "Tickled by the Ivories," p. 6.
Carol Montparker Home Page,http://www.montparker.com (December 16, 2004).*