Photo Credit: Jay Mallin
ST. MARY’S CITY, Md. – Pianist Brian Ganz will perform a selection of nine Chopin etudes including the “Revolutionary Etude” as part of a virtual performance for St. Mary’s College of Maryland’s River Concert Series Friday, July 24, at 7 p.m. EDT. “The Sheer Virtuosity” free concert will also feature mezzo-soprano Olivia Vote and The Chesapeake Orchestra Strings. The concerts will available online at St. Mary’s College website – http://www.smcm.edu/river-concert/
Ganz will discuss how Chopin took piano music in new directions in the first half of the 19th century and took piano technique in new directions too. Ganz said, “In his late teens, Chopin began writing what are quite simply the greatest etudes (French for ‘studies’) ever composed for the piano. I’ll be playing a selection of etudes from the 12 Chopin published as Opus 10, among them the wild (and wildly popular) ‘Revolutionary’ Etude. Tune in to watch and hear how Chopin set out to help young pianists the world over develop and hone their technical virtuosity, and ended up creating works of stunning beauty and emotional power.”
This is the first year the River Concert Series has been performed virtually. Music Director of the Chesapeake Orchestra and Chair of the Music Department at St. Mary’s College of Maryland, Jeffrey Silberschlag, explained, “For the safety of our audience and our artists, it is the only reasonable alternative. However, the resulting programs are a lot more creative and fun than one might have imagined at the onset of the change.” The final concert of the series will take place on July 31. All video performances will be archived for viewing anytime at the SMCM River Concert web site.
Brian Ganz is widely regarded as one of the leading pianists of his generation. A laureate of the Marguerite Long Jacques Thibaud and the Queen Elisabeth of Belgium International Piano Competitions, Ganz has appeared as soloist with such orchestras as the St. Louis Symphony, the St. Petersburg Philharmonic, the Baltimore Symphony, the National Philharmonic, the National Symphony and the City of London Sinfonia, and has performed with such conductors as Leonard Slatkin, Marin Alsop, Mstislav Rostropovich, Piotr Gajewski and Yoel Levi. Recently, he performed at the Freer Gallery in Washington, D.C.
In January of 2011 Ganz began a multi-year project in partnership with the National Philharmonic in which he will perform the complete works of Frédéric Chopin at the Music Center at Strathmore. After the inaugural recital, The Washington Post wrote: “Brian Ganz was masterly in his first installment of the complete works [of Chopin].”
Ganz is on the piano faculty of St. Mary’s College of Maryland, where he is artist-in-residence, and is also a member of the piano faculty of the Peabody Conservatory. He is the artist-editor of the Schirmer Performance Edition of Chopin’s Preludes(2005). Recent performance highlights include Chopin’s Piano Concerto No. 2 at the Alba Music Festival in Italy, Mozart’s Piano Concerto K. 466 with the Virginia Chamber Orchestra and the Annapolis Symphony, Beethoven’s “Emperor” Concerto with the Billings Symphony, and a solo recital for the Distinguished Artists Series of Santa Cruz, California.