Discovering his talents at an early age, John Eaton has been a pianist for over 70 years. His renowned performances have provided entertainment to the Reagan White House, Supreme Court, Smithsonian Institution, and other notable audiences. His specialty is performing classics from the Great American Songbook, which include timeless favorites from Irving Berlin and George Gershwin. This year he will celebrate his 25th season at the Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performing Arts where he teaches courses and performs regularly.
John has a gift for humor, which has allowed him to develop his own personal style of performing. His ability to use wit and knowledge to give background on the music keeps fans coming back for more. “I’ve been lucky that this type of music is still relevant today. Back in the 1960’s it seemed as if a new musical era was emerging after such a long period of popular American classics. But today I see more and more young people coming to see me perform at Wolf Trap, which shows me that this music can be enjoyed by all generations.”
While John finds incredible value in pleasing an audience, he also dedicates time to teaching courses and private lessons to many eager learners. He takes pride in his ability to connect with students, especially those experiencing the changes of aging. “I have encountered several older students who are fearful that it’s too late to keep learning. My advice to them is to just do it. Take the plunge and don’t be afraid to ask for help.” He attributes a lot of his own success to his teacher, Alexander Lipsky, who introduced him to classical music after studying only American music for several years. “A good teacher can be everything. Find one who is sympathetic to your needs, who will encourage you and excite the music impulses in you.”
John explains that the adrenaline rush from being on stage has not dissipated since he began performing so many years ago. “It’s not just the ego boost,” he says, “but the gratification you feel from being able to connect with the audience. Especially when you’re scared or nervous, there’s nothing else like it.” Fortunately for the fans, this is John’s motivation that will keep the music playing for as long as he can.
Find out where John Eaton is performing near you! http://www.eatonpiano.com/Concerts.html
Written by: Robyn Casper