BIOGRAPHY: Richard Berman is a gifted pianist, songwriter, and entertainer...an "artist's artist." Having spent the last 14 years performing on Crystal Cruises, the world's most luxurious and prestigious cruise line, Richard has touched hundreds of thousands of fans who have appreciated his talent, his style, and his unique ability to create a memorable experience.
Classically trained since the age of five, Richard went on to study music at CSUN (Cal State University Northridge). Richard has never lost sight of the lesson instilled in him by his Russian concert piano teacher and mentor, the late Dony Bronston, to "make the keys sing." Richard takes these words to heart, making the keys sing with such fluidity, sensitivity, and grace that one wonders if there are actually four hands playing instead of two. He embodies a style recognized by some of the biggest entertainers in the industry. In September 2006, Richard was featured on stage in a dueling piano performance with Marvin Hamlisch and later accompanied Broadway star J. Mark McVey (Les Miserables).
Richard has performed for and/or accompanied Rod Stewart, Connie Stevens, Shirley Jones, as well as Broadway stars Dale Kristien, Michael Maguire, Sean McDermott, and Christina Andreas, among many others.
Other credits include: In-house pianist at Hotel Bel-Air, Bistro Garden, Ma Maison, Above Dublin (Los Angeles, California); Performer on Princess Cruises; Sheraton Copenhagen (Denmark) Black Beard's Castle (St. Thomas, Caribbean).
Richard has released four piano solo CDs to date: "The Glory of Love," "Strictly Broadway," "Movie Magic," and "Contemporary Classics." He also accompanies Lori Moran on five of the eleven tracks on her critically acclaimed CD, "On My Way To You," where his original composition, "The Stars Above the Stars" is debuted.
Richard's teaching emphasizes the process of going beyond mechanical and technical correctness to create real music in performance - bringing the fingers to "sing." He specializes in pop, jazz, and show tunes, although he also teaches classical music. He has a gift for teaching unique ways of expressing one's inner feeling, combined with scientific piano techniques, and enjoys tailoring lessons to meet the individual needs of each student.
TESTIMONIALS FROM RICHARD'S STUDENTS
"Dear Lori, You recommended Richard Berman to us 7 weeks ago. My son Charlie has had 7 lessons with Richard and is making some amazing music. I have played the piano all of my life, so I understand the painstaking, methodical progress expected. With Richard, it is not happening that way. At Charlie's second lesson, Richard gave him Beethoven's Sonatina in G - Charlie is playing it at performance level in 6 weeks.... amazing.
My 15 year old son is loving his lessons - and practices an hour a day without being asked! He loves the fast pace and fast progress. Thank you so much for sharing Richard with us - he is a perfect fit for my son - lots of fun, very inspiring. We are loving the sweet Christmas music Charlie is playing as well as the Beethoven." Most sincerely, Annie 'Happy Mom'
"The best thing I can say about Richard teaching my son piano is - WOW! My son had taken music lessons in the past and the teacher's lesson plan was so slow that my son quickly got bored and dropped out. Not with Richard. He is intuitive when it comes to how quickly his students can absorb and pushes my son to do achieve his potential. In three months my son is playing with both hands, playing songs and practicing without being told. Any student would enjoy having Richard as a teacher. He is an excellent musician with the ability to share his passion." —Robyn E.
"I love playing piano and I love having my piano lesson in the daytime. I have been taking lessons for more than 3 years. But in the last 6 months, Richard is the only piano teacher that I feel has taught me something. He has helped me become better at reading music and I am becoming a better musician. I know I could take a piano course at the highschool, but I like him a lot and can't imagine not being taught by him." —Nikki D. (14)
"Since I am a classroom teacher, I was looking for someone who was not only a talented musician, but also a talented teacher. Richard is both. He has a passion for music that clearly shows through his vast repertoire of songs that he enjoys playing. It is always a treat to listen to him. He also takes the time to get to know me as a person and this is such an important quality in a teacher.
Richard truly cares about my progress. He sets high expectations but is patient in helping me achieve my goals. His lessons are structured enough so that I know what to expect each time, but challenging enough so that I am constantly moving forward. I cannot believe the amount of progress that I have made in just the few months that I have spent with Richard. Learning how to read and play music has been my childhood dream, and Richard has been a positive, motivating force." —Lonnie N.
"Richard is so caring and personable. We just love him. He doesn't mince words when telling Nikki she needs work in a certain area. How will a child ever learn if they don't think they have anything to work on? At the same time, he never holds back compliments when she does succeed. When he's here, he makes me feel like Nikki is his only student because he is fine tuned into her progress and her needs. He is serious about her lesson, but light-hearted and fun. Nikki's love for the piano was waning and I was afraid she would want to quit because she never practiced. Richard has helped her renew her love and now she plays all the time! We're glad to have met Richard, both as a person and as a teacher." —Joelle D. (Nikki's mom)