News: Kirill Gerstein, Igor Levit, Conrad Tao and Ingrid Fliter

November 26, 2014

Conrad Tao playing piano

Happy Thanksgiving! The holiday weekend begins today for some travelers, one of the top 10 worst travel days according to USA Today. As you finish up your last workday of the week, prep your Thanksgiving side dishes or maybe even dust off an early box of Christmas decorations, catch up with The Gilmore and check out our news of the week!

Rising Stars performers

On May 10 next year, The Gilmore is proud to welcome Igor Levit, a Russian-born German-raised pianist and recent winner of the Royal Philharmonic Society Young Artist Award, to The Gilmore Rising Stars Series. Fun fact: Both Levit and Rising Star performer Louis Schwizgebel were named “New Generation Artists” by the BBC, a distinct honor for promising and accomplished young pianists.

Levit will soon collaborate with Marina Abramovic, whom you may remember from a high profile performance at New York City’s Museum of Modern Art, as well as other performances where Abramovic blindfolds visitors in galleries as they venture through her work. They’ll perform a piece called “Goldberg” together at Park Avenue Armory’s Drill Hall in New York City. The piece is said to be an avant-garde reflection “on music, time, space, emptiness and luminosity,” according to the Armory. It involves ample blending and ambiguity between the roles of audience and performer, which seems fair given Abramovic’s history of interacting with audience members.

The addition of Levit’s take on the Goldberg Variations should be an interesting and worthwile combination. “For the first time in my life, I have the feeling that the way I play now is just right for me,” Levit said of his recent release of Bach’s partitas in an interview with Classicalite. “Everything comes together, inwardly and programmatically. I can see light at the end of the tunnel, and that’s where I want to go. Since then, I’ve felt immensely relaxed. It’s true that I had to struggle with every note from the Bach just like with Beethoven–but this time I enjoyed the struggle.”

Photo credit: dpa picture alliance archive / Alamy

Russian pianist Denis Kozhukhin visits Kalamazoo with the Rising Stars series a few weeks after Levit, on May 31. At 17, Kozhukhin won the Prix d’Honneur at the Verbier Festival, and now he continues his tour around the globe. This included a recent stop in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., where Kozhukhin stunned critics after a performance with the St. Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra. This past Friday, Kozhukhin debuted in Chicago at Mandel Hall to a spellbound audience. He’s now headed on a tour of China with the BBC Scottish Symphony. The Scotland Herald said of Kozhukhin’s 2013 performances with the BBC Scottish Symphony: “There are not enough stars in heaven to adequately express the caliber of the extraordinary musical experience.”

Critics also laud Kozhukhin’s solo ability on this US tour, which shows great promise for his solo performance at the Wellspring Theater in May.

Gilmore Young Artists

If you haven’t been following Conrad Tao, you’ve been missing out. The 2012 Gilmore Young Artist award winner (and 2009-10 Gilmore Rising Star Series performer) somehow balances his studies in the Columbia University/Juilliard School joint degree program with his world tour schedule in addition to various press appearances. Fun fact: Conrad Tao also raps. He recently performed in Boston, and you can catch part of that performance by clicking here.

Orion Weiss is involved in a new and creative project with a marionette theater in Salzburg, Austria (aptly named the Salzburg Marionette Theatre). The 1999 Gilmore Young Artist Award winner provided live musical accompaniment for a “charmingly low-tech” performance last Thursday, Nov. 20.

Lastly, a pianist from the first round of the Gilmore Young Artist awards, Christopher Taylor, has made headlines for a recent performance at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Like Igor Levit, Taylor offered his perspective on the Goldberg Variations, this time with a different instrument: a stacked set of keyboards. In this case, a picture is worth a thousand words – check out the Wall Street Journal’s coverage with accompanying photos by clicking here.

Source: Claudio Papapietro for The Wall Street Journal

Gilmore Artists

Kirill Gerstein has his opinions on program selection. But his recent performance – mixing Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue with Schoenberg’s Piano Concerto alongside the BBC Symphony Orchestra – speaks for itself in adventurous Hollywood tones. Hear the whole program here.

Gerstein, winner of the 2010 Gilmore Artist Award, recently spoke with the BBC World Service about tone. It’s an interesting listen – find it here. He’ll switch up his jazz/classical program blend for a performance with the Philadelphia Orchestra in their first appearance at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center in nearly a decade – coming January 29 of next year.

The 2006 Gilmore Artist Award winner – Argentina’s Ingrid Fliter, received high praise this month as her recording of Chopin Preludes was selected as Gramophone’s Recording of the Month. Says reviewer Harriet Smith: “No single interpretation of Chopin’s Preludes will ever be enough… [but Fliter] seems to be able to achieve individuality seemingly effortlessly, with cherishable and memorable results.” Pick up the magazine in print to find a guide to the disc’s most memorable moments.

Piotr Anderszewski – who won the Gilmore Artist Award in 2002 – spent an impressive period of time recording Bach’s English Suites 1, 3 and 5. The Guardian’s Andrew Clements gives his two cents on the recordings here. Here a preview of each track here.

Gilmore Artist Award winner of 1998, Leif Ove Andsnes, is currently on a self-proclaimed “Beethoven Journey.” He’s inviting fans to follow this journey on his website by reviewing the highlights on a map of performances and even creating a Beethoven Journey e-card. You can purchase the box set of Beethoven Concertos on his website and follow his journey through tour performances. He’ll visit the US in February with a Boston performance playing – you guessed it – Beethoven’s Concertos!

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