computer hand strain

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A dramatic car crash at the age of 21 which left him with four broken bones in his right hand at the start of his pianistic career is one of the reasons Alan Kogosowski has developed a unique understanding of the physiological processes of the hand.
This traumatic event inspired Kogosowski to work as hard as he could to not only recover full mobility of his hand, but to understand its inner workings in such a way that he could master all the intricacies of the virtuoso piano repertoire of Chopin, Liszt and Rachmaninoff, and not be limited in any way in bringing out all the beauties and nuances therein.
Another reason for Kogosowski's understanding of the physiology of the hand and arms is his lifelong dedication to this music, from the age of six, continuing through his teens, practising on average 8 – 10 hours every day. After winning numerous scholarships and awards, and touring the world at age 14, when he was invited by Ed Sullivan to perform on his TV show, Kogosowski was awarded the first Winston Churchill Memorial Fellowship
Kogosowski had a mission: he was determined to find the answers to the problems of strain and tightening of the muscles of the hands and wrists which inevitably develop in young pianists in their mid-teens, as they graduate to more strenuous repertoire, namely the big Romantic concertos by Brahms, Liszt, Tchaikovsky and Rachmaninoff. The need to project as a soloist over an entire orchestra, with the intricate as well as heavier style of piano writing, with thick chords and double octaves, nearly always brings a forcing of the body and arms, and with it a dangerous build-up of strain. It is at this age that the pianist who is to have a life-long career must break through the barrier from natural gift to intellectual mastery of the technical and musical processes involved.
Kogosowski was very aware of the need for this transition from gifted youngster to professional in full intellectual command of his physical resources. He travelled from academies in Philadelphia to New York, to Paris and finally London, where he met the superb pianist Michel Block, a protégé of Arthur Rubinstein.
Through the sensitive guidance of Block, Kogosowski was able to clarify and refine all the techniques for preserving the natural physical movements which had come so easily to him as boy – movements which come automatically to all so-called 'child prodigies', but which then dissipate unless matched by an analytical approach.


Michel Block was trained in the Russian school of piano playing, which scrupulously adheres to the 'natural' way of playing, incorporating unstrained physiological patterns and natural hand positions. This way of playing originated with Chopin in the first half of the 19th century, and the knowledge was transferred via Liszt and the great Russian pianist, Anton Rubinstein, to Russia in the 1860's, through the two great academies, the St. Petersburg and Moscow Conservatories.
Alan Kogosowski was also trained in the Russian school from an early age, by his adored mentor, the distinguished Leo Shalit, who came to Australia from Riga after the war, and who had studied in Moscow during the 1920s. Leo Shalit had inculcated in the young Kogosowski the loose hanging arm described in Kogosowski's books, the natural position of the hand and its 'dead-weight' drop when allowed to fall in this way.
When he found Michel Block, Kogosowski was able to acquire an intellectual grasp of the natural movements he had been brought up to follow, and from there to develop a scientific approach to the application of the physiological processes of the hand and finger movements in relation to the sounds required.
Alan Kogosowski is one of the few pianists in the world to have truly earned the special title 'Chopinist', in recognition of his dedication to, and understanding of, the music of the piano's greatest composer. The Chicago Sun Times declared that this was 'Chopin in the hands of a master'. Kogosowski has produced a TV series about the life and music of Frederic Chopin, in which he introduces and performs a wide range of the composer's key works. When first broadcast on television in America, the New York Times classed it as 'outstanding.' This series is now available on DVD, from
A favourite of the British royal family, Kogosowski's performances of Beethoven sonatas for Princess Diana and Prince Charles at the Royal Academy of Arts was recorded by Polygram, as was his concert for the Queen Mother in St. James' Palace.
Kogosowski is also recognized as an outstanding presenter of music. For ten years he hosted Schubertiades at Sotheby's in London.
Kogosowski has contributed two outstanding additions to the concert reperoire. Concerto Elégiaque, his orchestration of Rachmaninoff's Trio in D minor, was recorded by the Detroit Symphony Orchestra with Kogosowski as soloist. The CD was named Best Recording of the Year by the American Record Guide, and is a best-seller. This striking work was followed by his reconstruction and orchestration of Chopin's unfinished Concerto No. 3 in A major.
After his years of study of the anatomical aspects of piano technique, he has successfully adapted his knowledge of the correct positioning of the hands and fingers and posture at the keyboard to the prevention and remedy of this condition – which has afflicted pianists and violinists for years, but which has now come to much wider general attention.
He has taken this one step further with the creation of a special mouse attachment, the Kogo Mouse Cover, which moulds the hand to its natural position and promotes unstrained use of the mouse over unlimited periods of time. top

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