I have been alerted to an Indiegogo campaign to crowdfund a book of the Keyboard Magazine columns of pianist David Burge (1930–2013). A great champion of new music for piano, Burge wrote more than 100 monthly columns for Keyboard Magazine (originally Contemporary Keyboard) between 1975 and 1989, in what must comprise a rich document of its time.
The campaign, organized by Burge’s widow and their granddaughter, is seeking $7,000 dollars to research, produce and print 500 copies of the book. At the time of writing, 30% of that has been raised, with three weeks to go. Contributions come with a range of perks, including a CD of no longer available recordings by Burge, copies of his autobiography, and copies of the final book. Please visit the campaign page for more details.
Forty years on what strikes me about Burge’s first column, a copy of which is reproduced below, is how undated it seems. Not only for its theme – that serious pianists (all performers) have a responsibility to contemporary music as much as to the historical repertoire – which probably needs saying almost as much now as it did then; but also for its language, which seems to me a model of clarity, unburdened by pretence or trendiness. A complete book of Burge’s writings strikes me as valuable not only to pianists and those interested in contemporary music, but also to students of musical criticism and writing.