Roger Woodward gives some tips to seven-year-old Hayden Scott of Lismore during a master class at the Byron Bay Community Centre.
Roger Woodward gives some tips to seven-year-old Hayden Scott of Lismore during a master class at the Byron Bay Community Centre. Cathy Adams

Woodward hosts a master class

A TALENTED group of young pianists could not wipe the smiles off their faces this week after they had the exclusive opportunity to play for a world-renowned musician.

Australian-born pianist Roger Woodward hosted a master class for several Northern Rivers pianists on Wednesday night at the Byron Bay Community Centre.

The special event, organised by the Northern Rivers Conservatorium, saw kids between seven and 18 receive feedback - and praise - from Mr Woodward, a pianist with a never-ending list of international achievements, recognitions and appearances.

Mr Woodward commended 18-year-old Luke Rostin for his "sincere" performance.

"I have been playing for about nine years," Luke said.

"My Mum forced me to do it and I did not want to but after my first lesson I kept at it. My Mum is a music teacher and she thought it would be a good idea to carry it through.

"I am glad she did."

Before performing, Luke said he attended the master class in the hope of improving his playing and to learn to play songs like Mr Woodward.

After Mr Woodward handed down a few pointers, Luke returned to his seat in the audience with a huge grin.

Mr Woodward visited Byron Bay as part of his 2011 tour.

The critically-acclaimed pianist was recently appointed founding director of the School of Music and Dance at San Francisco State University and has performed at various international festivals and concerts.

He said some of the best music centres came from tiny towns throughout Europe.

"So why not in Australia?" he said.

"I don't like coming to a place and playing without having met the people and the students in these places.



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