PIANIST

Despite the volume of work Paul has done as a violinist in Hollywood, his primary instrument has always been the piano. He started his musical journey as a pianist with his grandmother's encouragement.  

 

"She owned a Conn Organ out on the farm, which all of the grandchildren would clumsily play.  She noticed that I was catching on and putting ideas together, so she recommended to my mother that I start lessons.  I did just that, and excelled.  I practiced without having to be asked and progressed quickly. After my first year in college I was learning to play difficult pieces like the Rachmaninoff 3rd Piano Concerto.  Not bad for a country kid who started on a Conn Organ."    

 

"Upon entering the Los Angeles freelance market after graduate school at USC, it became immediately apparent to me that there was a much higher demand for violinists, just purely based on the numbers. Most orchestras have 1 or 2 pianists, but need 24 to 32 violinists. The math works out better playing violin, especially in studio recordings, where only a handful of extremely talented pianists with strong improvisatory skills dominate the industry."

 

As a pianist, Paul still found opportunities in Los Angeles, and has had the good fortune to accompany artists such as classical guitarist Christopher Parkening and baritone Jubilant Sykes. He also served as a piano coach on the TV show "Boston Public," teaching the show's lead actors, Sharon Leal and Rashida Jones, to mime piano on camera.

Photo by Kenneth Selko

With his upcoming album Breaking ThroughPaul is returning to his roots and showing his skills as both a pianist and a composer.  

 

 

Composer and pianist Paul Henning recording "Breaking Through" at Capitol Records