“As a friend and as a musical partner, it has been my joy to know Christopher Basso for decades. Nobody can work it over lunch like Chris, and, as I've recently discovered, nobody can rip the Rachmaninoff Tarantella (from the Suite for Two Pianos) quite like him. My teacher Rosina Lhevinne, who knew Rachmaninoff so well, would have been delighted with his performance - so engaging, so urgent - and to that, I would add ... so interesting. Tarantellas with partners tend to make me nervous (what with that whole spider-bite thing and all). But with Christopher, I'm just along for a wonderful ride. He testifies, and he turns music-making into a thing of importance ... which is what we're here for in the first place.”
- Robin Sutherland, Principal Pianist, San Francisco Symphony
"Christopher is a consummate artist and outstanding pianist. Performing with him is always a treat for me, given his crisp rhythmic drive, utter command of touch, and artistic sensitivity. Christopher is a musician's musician, always bringing out the best in his chamber music partners.”
- Jodi Levitz, Professor of Viola and Chamber Music, Chair of Strings San Francisco Conservatory of Music
Christopher Basso is not only a superb pianist with poetry and virtuosity to spare, he is also a caring and deeply thoughtful artist who can communicate as a teacher. I have recommended him as a teacher to close friends and have always been gratified by their enthusiastic praise.
- Mack McCray, Chair of Piano Faculty, San Francisco Conservatory of Music
"Christopher Basso is an inspiring and motivating teacher, who makes lessons fun and enjoyable. He can relate with students of all levels and ages, as he believes the purpose of learning to play the piano is for the ultimate enjoyment of music. Befitting of a winner of the International Van Cliburn Piano Competition, his patient guidance and commitment to excellence is never intimidating, but always encouraging and stimulating.”
- Julia K. Cheng, Board of Commissioners, Asian Art Museum
“Chris is a wonderful teacher for a retired person like me whose goal is to enjoy playing the piano while exploring varied works - all with different challenges – and improving my technique, just for the satisfaction of doing these things. He has great suggestions on how to practice including improving my technique with exercises using the pieces I am working on. He has shown me how to play more musically by bringing out certain notes or chords, changing dynamics, being precise with rhythm, correcting my hand position and understanding the structure of the piece. As they say, if you don’t enjoy playing that means your teacher isn’t good enough. Chris is a great teacher and a genuinely nice human being.”
- Patricia B. Berkowitz, Board of Trustees, San Francisco Conservatory of Music
“When I first started working with Chris, I told him I wanted help with two things: learning how to better interpret the pieces I'm working on, and improving my technique. Chris will give his vision of the mood of a piece, such as an old couple dancing to a Beethoven minuet, or a smoke-filled bar with Poulenc at the piano, and then encourage me to try different phrasing and dynamics to see what might work. He pushes me to think, listen, and experiment. Technically, he is able to come up with a variety of exercises for improving a difficult passage. His guidance is gentle and specific, and he gives praise, encouragement, and assures me that I will eventually get it, which proves, miraculously, to be true. He is as delighted with my breakthroughs as I am. If sometimes I'm a bit wary about changing my practice habits, I'll try his suggestions, and they invariably help - so now I just think of him as Mr. Smarty Pants.”
- Doris Flaherty
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