Lecture-Recitals Part 2, UNCA Humanities Videos with Children

Next is modernism. The First Piano Concerto by Shostakovich is really a concerto for piano and trumpet. Listen to the excerpt below from the slow second movement. The beginning chords sound like a "Church Hymn." A gentle theme with innovative harmonies follows.

Shostakovich Excerpt: Frances (13), Christa (11) and Dad

Modernism in Literature, Music and the Arts, HUM 324, April 4, 1997

The Ruiz lecture-recitals also include jazz.

Christa and Dad: Charlie Parker's 'Donna Lee'

Humanities 324 The Modern World, UNCA, April 1997

Christa, Frances, and Dad: Charlie Parker's Billie's Bounce

Humanities 324 The Modern World, UNCA, April 1997

Ruiz studied jazz piano for a year under Ron Elliston at the University of Maryland. Ruiz also studied jazz for a semester with Tom Coppola at UNCA.

Michael J. Ruiz Plays the Chopin Polonaise in A Flat

Elderhostel Concert, UNCA, June 2, 1988

Ruiz started piano at the age of 12, mostly self-taught during the early years. He worked a couple of years with Mildred Morrell (Somerdale, New Jersey), six months with Trudi Reim in Haddonfield, NJ until she became ill and passed away (1919-1971), and one year with Anthony Cesario at the Conservatory of Musical Arts of Haddonfield (Haddonfield, NJ) before attending grad school for physics. He then studied under renown author and pianist Stewart Gordon at the University of Maryland for over 5 years. Gordon now teaches at the Thornton School of Music, University of Southern California. Ruiz studied classical piano a few months with Suzan Fehr (c. 2005), with Hwa-Jin Kim at UNCA for three semesters, and for a few years off and on informally with his friend Frank Iogha, who holds a Masters from The Julliard School. Ruiz is also a member of the Asheville Area Piano Forum.