Sunrise over the Matterhorn

Catherine Rollin


Katherine Rollin (born 1952) 

  1. Catherine Rollin was born in Detroit, USA. She studied at the University of Michigan and at Oakland University.
  2. She also studied Baroque performance at the Northwestern University in Chicago.
  3. She has travelled to more than 50 cities in the United States presenting piano workshops and masterclasses as well as to Canada and Japan.


Catherine Rollin is a pianist, composer, and teacher of prize-winning students. She has published over 200 compositions many of which are designed for students to compliment their learning.

Sunrise over the Matterhorn is written in a CONTEMPORARY style and depicts the sun rising above the Matterhorn mountain in the Alps. This is one of the highest mountains in Europe and sits on the border of Switzerland and Italy. This can be called programmatic music as it depicts a scene or event in music.


  • Capturing the image conjured up by the title is essential when performing this piece.
  • Keep the quavers even as you cross your hands with the dramatic arpeggio pattern and with a slight crescendo leading to the top. Then hold the chord in bar 2 for a full 4 beats. Make sure the melody which follows is bright and clear:
  • Balance the hands carefully from bar 9. Differentiate the dynamics  so that the left hand accompaniment is not too loud:
  • Pace the ritardando and the crescendo evenly in bars 15 and 16, with a little breath before moving on into bar 17:
  • The dynamics from bar 23 goes up in steps leading to a dramatic pause at the end of bar 25 before the final arpeggio:
  • Take lots of time over the final two bars with the molto ritardando, diminuendo and the pauses to maximise the drama of the scene:

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