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rada neal: Press

Click the links button to pianopassions on pgs. 128-128 in the March issue of the NewAgeRetailer magazine for a review on Rada's 'un-folding fifth" cd.
HUMANE SOCIETY BENEFIT Another special feature at last year's fashion show will also return this year. Local pianist Rada Neal will again treat guetss to beautiful strains of piano presentations at the beginning of and throughout the fashion show. Many Pagosans have experienced Rada's beautiful piano passions at the Community Choir concerts where she has contributed as an accompanist, and at other performances where audiences have delighted to her classically-influenced music. All of you fashio fans, mark April 26, 2008 on your calendars for the local humane society's benefit luncheon "Reigning Cats & Dogs."
frank shiro - pagosa sun (Mar 16, 2008)

A prolific and talented pianist, Rada Neal began her life in an immigration camp in Germany as the daughter of Yugoslavian refugees. Her family survived and her parents realized their dream of moving to a safe and prosperous environment, settling in Indiana soon after World War II.

Rada has always loved music. She began playing violin in the third grade, but soon started the piano when her neighbors moved away, leaving their upright grand piano as a gift to her family.

Rada's biggest inspiration is her mother, who had a love for music but never the chance for study. Rada received her B.A. in Music at Indiana University. She was taught in the classical style, but always preferred finding her own way.

In the 1970's, Rada taught music in Merrillville, Indiana, and then became an accompanist for the US Steel Choir, Gary Indian. She has also served as a pianist for the Guadalajara National Philharmonic, performing at the Sheraton Airport Hotel in San Diego.

She enjoys writing melodic and romantic compositions. While most feature solo piano, Rada appreciates how good lyrics will set the tone of a piece. In fact, on her latest release, she is delightfully accompanied by her daughter Sasha's angelic voice. Rada's favorite lyricists include Marilynn and Alan Bergmann together with Michel Legrand's gorgeous melodies.

Rada is quite fond of musicians with a "beautiful touch". Listeners often comment that her touch represents a unique personal and intimate style. This signature sound is consistent across her collection of six albums.

Rada and her husband live in Pagosa Springs, Colorado, where she performs locally, teaches and continues to compose and record beautiful piano music.

Discography -
A Beginning
Second Steps
Timeless Third
Fourth Finesse
Un-folding Fifth
Whispers of Winter
Local Pianist Rada Neal Releases New CD Oct.25, 2007

Pagosa Springs pianist and composer Rada Neal this week announced the release of her fifth all original CD, Un-folding Fifth.

Rada's latest release is a collection of 11 original pieces, 2 ragtime selections and an all time favorite "Send in the Clowns". Three of the songs are set to original lyrics. One, entitled "Pink Sleep," is sung by Rada's daughter, Sasha. Rada refers to her original music as "thought provoking and captivating."

Nature is the inspiration as the music unfolds from the piano in Rada's studio overlooking the scenic beauty of Pagosa Springs and the Colorado Rockies. When she is not recording, Rada performs locally and teaches a new generation of piano students.

"I like to write lyrical, melodic and romantic melodies," Rada says. "I don't need to have lyrics, yet I love how a good lyric will set the tone of a piece. My favorite lyricists would probably be Marilynn and Alan Bergmann, together with Michel Legrand's gorgeous melodies."

Rada's music has been described as beautiful and emotional with strong classical influences, and her melodies as memorable and contagious.

"I am fond of musicians who have a beautiful touch on the piano. I had the great fortune to hear Henry Mancini play and I loved his touch. People often comment on my touch, and I feel I have found my personal, unique and intimate style."

Rada Neal began her life in an immigration camp in Germany, the daughter of two Yugoslavian refugees. Her family survived and her parents realized their dream of moving their family to a safe and prosperous environment, moving to Indiana soon after World War II. Rada has loved music all her life. She began playing violin in the 3rd grade, but soon began playing the piano when her neighbors moved away, leaving their heavy upright grand piano as a gift to Rada's family.

"My mother was my biggest inspiration. She obviously had a love for music but never had a chance for study. I'll always remember her gentle reminder to get me to practice, and how she made me feel like I was on 'cloud nine' with her positive reassuring words." Continued...
Pianist and composer Rada Neal with daughter Sasha, who sings on Rada's just released fifth CD. Photo courtesy Rada Neal.
Rada was trained at Indiana University, where she received her B.A. in Music in 1973. She was taught in the classical style, but always had a preference for finding her own way, and creating her own style. She recounts the experience...

"'What will YOU do with a degree in music?' ... as my professor was saying. Well pardon me! I will share my love of music with anyone I encounter. I will put my heart into each and every song I play and write. I will try to make people feel good when they listen to me play."

For more information about Rada and her music — and to hear clips of her previous four albums — please visit her website
" I've always been a fan of your CRISP, CLASSICALLY INSPIRED SIGNATURE SOUND. I have to say-FOURTH FINESSE is just absolutely stunning!"
"The music is beautiful with STRONG CLASSICAL INFLUENCES.
Rada's playing is emotional, strong and expressive."
......Kathy Parsons/Solo PIano Publications
kathy parsons - solo piano publications (Feb 1, 2006)
"Your music is melodically solid, memorable and the piano is SUPERB. You play and write with feeling that is CONTAGIOUS."
Taxi - Taxi (Jul 20, 2005)
" Rada plays with HEART-ON-HER-SLEEVE feeling. Her pieces exhibit a warmth and flow that is easy to enjoy."
Bill Binkelman - Wind and Wire (Apr 13, 2005)
" Your compositions and playing are EXQUISITE."
Alex Machaskee - Cleveland Plain Dealer (Nov 15, 2005)
Beverly Durfee..DAILY SENTINEL..Grand Junction
April 20 , 2006
________________ REVIEW ___________________

Review: "Timeless Third" by Rada

OK, who can tell me what's been floating in the air of Pagosa Springs lately?

If you said the exquisite sound of Rada Neal's piano (and not something totally snarky), you win an exclusive invitation to be inspired and transported far beyond any run-of-the-mill, symphony-of-the-week piano solo collections.

"Timeless Third" is 45 minutes of pure relaxation and original inspiration I would call hypnotizing. Rada's music will flow into creases of your brain you probably didn't know you had and fire off some completely legal chemicals you will definitely enjoy.

Rada has a sensitive touch and a surprisingly creative intuition. The music seems to come effortlessly and it's hard for me to imagine that these songs haven't been being played and refined and interpreted for centuries in order to reach this level of sophistication and pure musician-to-listener communication.

And just wait until track four - "Haunting Memories." Wow. This composition is a trance-inducing trip and my favorite on the CD. I don't know what memories haunted Rada as she wrote this piece, but I hope they are as beautiful and expansive as the song itself.

I always appreciate the chance to support independent artists and when they are Coloradans, it makes it even better. I highly recommend you give Rada a listen and do your part to keep Pagosa Springs' atmosphere buzzing.

You can buy "Timeless Third" at Rada's Web site Twenty-five dollars for the CD and its songbook - why pass this up? Rada's other CDs are available there, too, and you can sample before you buy.

Beverly Durfee - Grand Junction Daily Sentinel (Apr 20, 2006)
Timeless Third
2005 / Rada
46.1 minutes

“Timeless Third” is Rada Neal’s third collection of original piano solos. Rada’s music is strongly classically-influenced but is very contemporary and accessible. Full of passion and elegantly played, the music suffers a bit from the limitations of an electronic piano. On a good acoustic piano, this CD would be stellar.

The CD opens with a gentle lullaby, “Rock-A-Bye Reese.’’ Played with tenderness and love, this is a very sweet beginning. “A Tender Moment” is a lovely minor-key waltz that is tinged with melancholy and longing. I really love this piece! “Haunting Memories” is another deeply emotional beauty. Reflective and a little sad, the accompanying strings bring out the poignance of the piece. “Winter Song” is a bit more abstract with shifting tempos and themes that intertwine, creating the feeling of a chilling wind. “For A Song” is much lighter and more carefree. “Mysterious Moon” is another favorite. Mixing keyboard sounds with the piano, this piece is especially rich and full. The mood is dark with the feeling of vast space and sparkling stars - gorgeous! “The Wonderful Man I Love” is a fascinating portrait. Sometimes kind of Baroque and sometimes more contemporary, the changing themes suggest a person who is complex but also fun to be around. “Choices” is another piece that really speaks to me. The themes seamlessly go from very dark to carefree to reflective. Evocative and deeply-felt, Rada really pours her heart out to great effect. “A Time To Go” is a gentle closing that conveys “see you soon” more than “goodbye.”

Rada is an outstanding pianist/composer, and her music is wonderful. I just hope that in the future she’ll use an instrument worthy of her music. “Timeless Third” is available from,, and Recommended!

Kathy Parsons
Solo Piano Publications

kathy parsons - solo piano publications (Mar 13, 2006)
Kathy Parsons
Solo Piano Publications

“Second Steps” is pianist/composer Rada Neal’s second CD, and is made up of original compositions played as piano solos with and without synth and accordion. The music is beautiful, with strong classical influences, and Ms Neal’s playing is strong and expressive. The piano sound on some of the tracks is the CD’s only weakness. I always feel a little disappointed when there is a gorgeous concert grand on the CD cover and then the piano sounds electronic. I know I’m a purist in that regard, and the untrained ear might not be able to tell the difference, but music of this high quality deserves a good acoustic piano.

The CD opens with “We’re Free,” an anthem that conveys feelings of relief and triumph. The melody line is so well-defined that lyrics could suit it well, although they aren’t at all needed. “A Solemn Beauty” has a lovely, gentle flow and a lighthearted mood. “An Irish Lass” is a charming dance-like piece that is carefree and swirling. “Remembering When” is much darker and more somber. The piece is almost conversational with a poignant theme in the upper treble and a repeated theme in the bass that alternate. Beautiful! “Tomorrow’s Dream” opens with synth and piano playing a lovely melancholy melody. The accordion comes in for a couple of stanzas, giving the piece an interesting French flavor. “Taken Away” has a feeling of tragic loss. This piece is incredible in its emotional depth - electronic strings are unnecessary when the pianist is this expressive. “Mystique” is another favorite. Bittersweet and haunting, it reminds me of waltzes from the Romantic period - perhaps some of Schubert’s poignant minor key pieces. “A Brave Journey” becomes determined and intense and clearly demonstrates Ms Neal’s considerable playing chops. “Summer Breeze” is as gentle as its title implies - warm and refreshing. “Another Place, Another Time” has a sense of sadness and regret. Deeply emotional and evocative, it goes right to the heart. “Lamenting” is despair set to music. Moments of hope are interspersed, but a feeling of tragedy prevails - a knockout of a piece. “Little Things” concludes the album on a much lighter note.

Rada Neal’s music is exceptional if you like piano music with a strong classical influence. For more about the artist, visit her site at Samples of her music are available there, as well as songbooks of her music. “Second Steps” is also available at CD Baby.
Your music is melodically solid and memorable and the keyboard work---particularly the piano---is superb. You play and write with great feeling and that feeling comes through and is contagious.
Taxi (Jul 20, 2005)
Second Steps
Self-released (2004)

Review by Bill Binkelman

Born in a Yugoslavian refugee camp in Germany in the years after World War II and immigrating to America with her parents in 1951, Radmila Jandrich (now Rada Neal) came to playing piano almost by accident. Neighbors of the Jandrich family in northern Indiana left them an upright model when they (the neighbors) moved away. Young Radmilla was fascinated with the instrument and her mother wisely found her a teacher. As the saying goes, "the rest is history." In this case, it's the history of a woman who developed her love of the piano into a career teaching students and passing on her love of the piano, as well as playing it professionally. The results of the latter, so far at least, are two recordings from Rada Neal of which this is her latest. Influenced by classical music, as well as the more romantically-themed new age pianists, Neal plays with heart-on-her-sleeve feeling and her softer pieces exhibit a warmth and flow that is easy to enjoy. Almost all of her compositions maintain a strong sense of structured melodic sensibility, sometimes quite stately in fact, hence the comparison to classical piano.

Second Steps contains thirteen instrumental tracks, some solo pieces and others featuring various electronic keyboard embellishments (strings and more new age-like textures). When Neal uses electronic accompaniment, it is usually sparsely applied and with discretion, such as the opening strings at the start of "We're Free" which serve more as a prelude to the main thrust of the muted but still powerful piano. The album's mood and tone varies from reflective and somewhat somber, such as on "Remembering When," to almost childlike and joyful ("An Irish Lass") to darker emotions, yet played out in faster than usual tempo (the haunting "Taken Away," which is another selection flavored with synth strings). I prefer the more optimistic tracks, purely from a standpoint of personal taste, such as the lively "My Mother's Garden" although some of the softer ones caught my fancy as well ("Summer Breeze" has a nice nostalgic glow to it, much like Jim Chappell's work on releases like Acadia and Living the Northern Summer). Neal even has a few tricks up her sleeve, as when she drops in some sampled accordion on "Tomorrow's Dream" which, for me, conjures up the image of walking down a small street in Paris, hand in hand with my wife, Kathryn. This track also features some of her better synth work with flowing new age style sounds offering the perfect amount of support.

It's always hard to come up with something to say about yet another new age piano recording so as to differentiate it from the many others out there without grasping for some obscurity. Obviously, after hearing as many CDs as I have, there are similarities between many of them. Rada Neal doesn't offer anything so revolutionary or original that I can state "You have never heard this before" However, she does play with solid technique and obvious feeling and her compositions are never trite or run of the mill, although her music is accessible and inviting. If your tastes run toward a blend of classical and traditional melodic new age styles in piano music, sometimes adorned with sparse keyboard accompaniment, Second Steps is going to please you and find a place on your shelf. It's perfect sunny afternoon or evening meal music, but also stands up to direct listening well enough.
Bill Binkelman - Wind and Wire (Apr 13, 2005)
A Review

Album: Second Steps

The latest discovery that I personally
would like to expose all of you music
Lovers who come to visit us here at
E.O.M. to, is a wonderful new
age/classical pianist by the name of
Rada Neal located in the Colorado
area, this unsigned treasure is sure
to catch the ear of a record executive
and win them over in the same
fashion Rada has won us over here
at the E.O. M. office.

Rada’s second release of original
compositions, Second Steps is an
enchanting and serene quest into the
world of romance. Full of passionate
and heartfelt melodies, the tone from
the very first note just instantly sets
the atmosphere, that will unquestionably
fulfill any intimate moment.

There are three pianists that come to
my mind when I think of simplicity
and intensity combined together. Bill
Evans, Bob James and Henry Mancini.
Rada has mastered these attributes,
but without a doubt has established her
own voice with the piano.

Since romance is the focus of
Second Steps, Rada records most
of the song selections with just solo
piano, and the occasional lite touches
of synthesizers. Second Steps opens
with a warm, Enya-ish “We’re Free”,
which brings back the essence of Enya’s
very first recording Enya then renamed
The Celts. Even though there aren’t any
vocals, you can vividly hear lyrics of
love, passion and remembrance through-
out songs like “A Solemn Beauty”,
“Remembering When”, “Another Place,
Another Time”, “Tomorrow’s Dream”,
and “Summer Breeze”.

Second Steps is a sheer beauty,
intoxicating and classic.

4. 0 stars reviewed by Maurice
@2004 Evolution of Media Entertainment
maurice edwards - EOM Entertainment
By Erin K. Quirk Thurs. June 30, 2005 [ The Pagosa Springs Sun}

There’s a famous adage that states: if you do what you love the money will follow.

Pagosa Springs pianist Rada Neal is counting on that every day as she sits at her piano, writes music and sends off a few more CD’s to radio stations from Texas to Singapore.

Rada Neal is a one-woman marketing team for her original solo piano work. She currently has 24 radio stations playing her songs and is on the verge of publishing her third CD of what she calls “new-age/classical piano.”

Upon hearing the term “new-age” it’s tempting to think of Rada Neal’s music as something accompanied by triangles or maybe chanting, but that’s not it. Rada Neals’ sound is far more Henry Mancini than Yanni. Deeply influenced by Mancini [ think “Moon River”] Rada says she can’t write a song without melody. Her work might be loosely compared to that of George Winston, and while she doesn’t bristle at the comparison, she doesn’t think it really fits.

“It might seem similar to what I am doing” she said “ But I am more cinematic than George Winston.”

Rada Neal was born in a Yugoslavian refugee camp in Germany in 1950. When she was seven weeks old her parents moved the family to America. A few years ago, Rada and her sisters uncovered a diary her mother kept from that time, written entirely in Serbian. They had the document translated and discovered that on the flight from Germany to Scotland to Canada and finally to the United States, her mother was ill and could not feed her. She fed her hungry child water on the planes to keep her quiet.

Rada is understandably proud of her immigrant parents who owned three properties free and clear in their lives and put four children through college without kin or English to help.

“My mother was an amazing woman,” said Rada, who said her mother was her greatest inspiration. “She spoke seven languages. She left home at 17 and never saw her family again.”

Rada Neal’s love of music was obvious early, but she claims it was a talent gifted by her mother. She was studying violin by age 7, but when some neighbors, who were moving overseas, left a giant piano behind, Neal got her start at piano. Her mother encouraged her.

Rada’s mother owned a small store and her father worked in a steel mill. Every Saturday her mother would pull $3.30 out of the register and give it to her to take a but to her piano teacher’s house.

“The going rate for piano teachers at that time was a dollar-fifty, so I had an expensive teacher,” Rada said, marveling at her mother’s commitment to helping her learn to play. “She knew I lover it. She had a passion for music too and I think she knew I could teach it to her.”

When her mother was 40 years old, Rada taught her to play the piano.

Rada graduated with a bachelor’s degree in music and taught music to elementary school children for 20 years in San Diego. Two years ago, Rada and her husband moved to Pagosa Springs. Her home and studio are situated in just the right place to guarantee unfettered, permanent views of Pagosa Peak and her attendants. Out of her kitchen window Chimney Rock stands in the distance. Her two Shi-Tzus, Romeo and Chico, are her constant companions in the tidy downstairs studio, which is home to a second grand piano, her keyboard, a computer and notes of encouragement from the radio station managers who have heard and played her music. Rada happily points out the utter silence in her studio.

“It’s just so beautiful and peaceful here, I just love it,” she said.

Like most artists in Pagosa Springs, Rada Neal is awed by the natural world just out the front door. She recalls heading out to cut down a Christmas tree one winter and the astonishment she felt at the total silence. Paraphrasing a friend she said “the snow was so heavy it muffled everything.”

Rada began expressing that wonder a few years ago by writing her own music. As a younger woman, she wrote very little as she believed there was so much good music already written. Now she feels the opposite.

“I didn’t know I’d be writing so much, “ said Rada who loves to find a good poem and set it to music. “The more I write the more I want to write. I didn’t realize how much I wanted to do this.”

As a result, her music is getting more complex and the emotion she feels from good poetry, found either on paper or out her front window, translate well. One piece entitled “At Nightfall” is alternately melancholy and sprightly. It bursts out of her piano like a soundtrack for little lovesick forest creatures
Who dart through dark rich ferns and dripping trees chasing one another.

One song, entitled “Mirror Set Me Free,” was based on a poem written by her sister, Sonja. It chronicles the struggle we face reconciling our inner lives to our outer ones. The song indeed sounds heavy with that

Rada has a log on her desk that lists all the radio stations she has contacted trying to get some airtime for her music. She spend s lot of time researching her market on the Internet. Like many local artists she has found that creating music is one thing and selling it is quite another. However, Rada is happy with her choices and assiduously works to expose her music.

“I just have faith I am going to do something,” she said. “Something in me tells me I have to do this.”

For more information about Neal visit her website @
Erin K.Quirk - pagosa springs sun (Jun 30, 2005)

 "Thank you so much for the sample as it offered me a breathtaking moment of contemplation and serenity during one of the most hectic days I've had in awhile!  I actually found myself drifting off into space surrounded by only your music, and I felt at peace..."

....regarding my piece 'Looking Back"


thank-you Brad for such a heartfelt review...

brad loss - fullydisclosedpodcast (Jan 2, 2015)