Scott Joplin Piano Solo - Elite Syncopations Live - Great Performance

Hans Joerg Fink performs Scott Joplin’s “Elite Syncopations”. Fink is a marvelous performer, giving this Joplin piece a very lively and precise treatment. It’s a very amusing video, as his son enthusiastically runs and dances around the room, while his dad plays the keyboard without distraction.

Scott Joplin (1867/1868? – 1917) was an African-American composer and pianist. Joplin garnered fame for his many ragtime compositions, being known as “The King of Ragtime”. His career was brief, composing 44 original ragtime pieces, one ragtime ballet, and two operas. He is best known for his the “Maple Leaf Rag” which served as a model for other composers composing classic rags.

Joplin was a serious and ambitious student and took piano lessons after school. He had several teachers, receiving most of his music education from Julius Weiss, a German-Jewish music professor who immigrated to the United States from Germany. Weiss was greatly impressed with Joplin’s musical prowess and after noting his families financial distress, decided to teach him without charge, also helping his mother acquire a used piano. Joplin took lessons from Weiss from ages 11 to 16.

Weiss also taught Joplin to appreciate music not just as art, but as entertainment. This was instrumental in Joplin developing an excellent grasp of how to compose music that was commercially viable. Joplin never forgot Weiss’s tremendous contribution and years later, after achieving considerable fame as a composer, he sent his former teacher money to help him in his elder years.