My name is Corte Swearingen and I'm a pianist living in St Augustine, Florida. While I've been playing for close to 50 years now, I only started recording myself in 2018, once I moved to Florida. My current focus is on researching, playing and promoting the piano works of American composers.
ABOUT THIS SITE
This website is an exploration and celebration of American piano music. You're invited to get to know some of these amazing American composers and their unique styles, from ragtime to boogie-woogie, the blues, jazz and classical forms. Each composer section will include a biography and selected video piano performances of their works. New composers are being added all the time so come back and check often!
The piano you hear in my video recordings is the legendary 1951 New York Steinway D Concert Grand that was hand-picked by Steinway & Sons for artist promotion and concert hall duties. This massive 9-ft instrument was signed by Glenn Gould, Rudolf Serkin, and other legendary pianists and has an exceedingly pure tone, clarity, and extraordinary dynamic range. It's been described by numerous concert artists as among the finest they've played.
So how am I able to play and record on this 1951 Steinway grand? I'm playing the piano virtually - through the use of sampled technology. This Steinway piano was meticulously sampled by Synthogy and recorded in the Françoys-Bernier Concert Hall at Le Domaine Forget in the Charlevoix region of Quebec. Through the use of a virtual piano keyboard controller (The Kawai MP11SE), I am able to bring you performances of these American composers as voiced by this iconic Steinway. I hope you enjoy the sounds of these incredible American composers as played on this amazing American instrument!
CHOOSING THE MUSIC
While it is important to showcase well known American composers, I also wanted to introduce composers that are more obscure. You may find some composers on this site that just produced a handful of piano works. It's not the quantity that is important, it is the quality. In addition, you'll find music representing all types of genres from classical to ragtime to boogie woogie to jazz. At the bottom of each composer section, I'll list out all of their solo piano compositions and the dates they were composed. In addition, I'll provide links on purchasing the music you hear in case you'd like to tackle it yourself!