I'm speaking about George Winston and John Herberman.
George Winston literally put New Age piano music on the map. Of course, there were other's before Winston who specialized in this genre (namely Steven Halpern) but it was Winston's album "December" that skyrocketed this style of piano playing into popular culture.
To say that this music was and is different than what most people usually listen to is an understatement. And really, this kind of music shouldn't have been as popular as it was, but when this album came out in the early 1980's it captivated a large audience.
I think it may have to do with its accessibility. So many people are afraid of classical music because they think they have to "figure it out." It is, for the most part, much more organized and subtle than what most people listen to on a daily basis.
Then along comes Winston with "December." Here was music that sounded classical, yet wasn't. It was more atmospheric and easily digestible. In short, it gave listeners an experience of something profound. Yet it was easy on the ears.
My next favorite New Age pianist/composer is John Herberman. Now most of you probably don't know who he is. He records for the "Solitude's" label. Solitude's combines nature sounds with music.
When I first heard Herberman's music, I was in a Images of Nature store in La Jolla CA. And I have to tell you that I was immediately spellbound. It literally put me in a trance. So poignant and beautiful were these simple melodies. And played with the hands of a master.
Herberman's style is very different than Winston's. A much lighter touch is employed, yet the music that comes out is sublime.
If you're into the New Age piano music genre, I highly suggest listening to "Forest Piano" by John Herberman and "December" or "Autumn" by George Winston. You won't regret it.
Edward Weiss is a pianist/composer and webmaster of Quiescence Music's online piano lessons. He has been helping students learn how to play piano in the New Age style for over 14 years and works with students in private, in groups, and now over the internet. Visit http://www.quiescencemusic.com now and get a FREE piano lesson