Archive for March, 2012

The NY premiere of WIZARDS went really well, and there’s an appreciative write-up of the piece within a review of Young-Ah Tak’s solo debut recital of last Thursday night at Weill/Carnegie. (Posted by independent critic Mark Greenfest in the online arts magazine SoundWordSight.)

Young-Ah’s playing was at a high level indeed — her delivery of the Kirchner Sonata was the finest I’ve ever heard. The Celementi, Schubert-Liszt transcriptions, and especially Schubert’s great C minor Sonata were well-sculpted and intelligently thought-through.

The whirlwind trip was chock-full of meetings. Now, though, I’m glad to be back home in AZ and back to the Symphony tomorrow. (84 degrees today – yummmm.) And also looking forward to next weekend: NAMA at ASU. ( Lydia Artymiw and the Zagreb Saxophone Quartet tackle Shostakovich – should be good.)

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“WIZARDS” This Thursday at Carnegie

I’ll be in NY for a day this Thursday, March 8th when my solo piano piece WIZARDS – Three Magic Masters gets its formal New York premiere at the New York Recital Debut of acclaimed Korean pianist Young-Ah Tak. The concert, 8:00 PM at Weill Recital Hall/Carnegie Hall, is presented by the Korea Music Foundation.

—- I’m always surprised at the pieces that catch on. Especially the piano pieces, which have different ‘flavors’ of appeal, some reaching pianists who are more poetic, others pianists who are more power-forward players. WIZARDS wraps both aspects into its compact length – and Young-Ah Tak (no stranger to the S21 community!) is a competition winner who enjoys all sides of what the piece proposes. (She’s played it on many recitals already.)

Young-Ah has had considerable international exposure. Her collaborative New York debut was at Alice Tully Hall with the Juilliard Symphony, and she has appeared at the Kennedy Center, Jordan Hall in Boston, Ravinia Festival, Music@Menlo, the Wharton Center in Michigan, Banff Centre for the Arts, and at major concert halls in her native Korea. She was recently named a Steinway artist, has already recorded on Albany and a current solo disc for MSR Classics, and is assistant professor of piano at Southeastern University in Florida.

(Quite a few players have ‘chimed’ with WIZARDS. Its 2nd recording is just out, and within the past 5 months has been done – by a number of pianists – several times in Florida, in Georgia, in the Chicago area, in Mississippi, in various South American cities, and elsewhere. )

The interesting March 8th program also includes Leon Kirchner’s Piano Sonata No.1 (1948), Muzio Clementi’s Sonata in B-flat Major, Op.24 No.2, the Schubert/Liszt Zwei Lieder Transcriptions and Schubert’s Sonata in C Minor, D. 958.

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This performance follows one day after the University of Minnesota’s Symphonic Band led by Jerry Luckhardt presents my “Israeli Rhapsody”, a big-framed 2007 piece with good history so far (selected 2 years back for Collegiate Honor Bands in both Virginia and MN).

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