"Your neighborhood piano teacher was never this fabulous. Raised in Squirrel Hill, Margie Balter made her way to Hollywood, and over the past decade, her work has been featured in many a blockbuster -- not that you can see it. Which is kind of the point: Balter helps actors look like they know how to play the piano on film, coaching numerous stars including Holly Hunter (in The Piano) and Scarlett Johansson (in The Man Who Wasn't There)."
I wrote the blurb above in August 2007, when Balter visited Pittsburgh to promote her solo piano album, Music From My Heart, and it works well enough now, too. (Balter still uses it in her online press kit, although it apparently didn't survive City Paper's transition to a new Web archive.) More recently, she's coached Greg Kinnear (The Last Song), and one of her compositions turns up in the new Date Night film starring Tina Fey and Steve Carell.
Now, on Fri., April 23, Balter is back in town at the University of Pittsburgh, her alma mater, for a conversation, Q&A and signing. The talk, entitled "Pitt in Hollywood Presents a Conversation with 'Piano Teacher to the Stars' Margie Balter," is 3 p.m. in the Cathedral of Learning G24. The event is free and open to the public -- check it out, and maybe learn a thing or two about pursuing your artistic goals, both behind the scenes and in them.