Dear Friends of the Art of the Piano,

I hope the season finds you well. The leaves fluttering; sometimes rising, and all eventually falling, seem to be a metaphor for the moment which at times finds us feeling helpless.

However, as always, this too shall pass.

On the brighter side, some orchestras have found a way to play and present concerts, and I’d like to share with you some of the ones I’m involved in.

Out of the blue, there was a flurry of activity in late September which will result in me recording 3 concerts in 3 places in 10 days! Additionally, I’ll be performing Mozart Piano Concerto K.414  this weekend with a string quartet of musicians from the Indianapolis Symphony. There will be about 70 people in a venue that seats 500. My first in-person concert since March 6th! 

The first performance available to watch will be with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra (WA). That will be a performance of Mozart Concerto K. 414.  (As you know, Leon Fleisher, one of my former teachers, died this year. This concerto is a little special as it’s the concerto with which he revived his two hand career in 1995.  He played it for Art of the Piano in quintet version in 2019. I have a little tribute to him (from a piece for which he is famous!)) in the 2nd movement cadenza. See if you can hear it!)  I will also conduct a Mendelssohn string symphony and one of my favorite works, Richard Strauss’ achingly beautiful Metamorphosen for 23 solo strings.
Those concerts are broadcast Nov. 7, at 7pm and Nov. 8, at 3 pm (PST) (more info here)
The next concert performance will be Beethoven 4th Concerto with the Lima Symphony OrchestraThat concert will be broadcast by Drive-In movie!!!!!! on Nov. 28, and available thereafter online. 
The last concert is with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra of Mozart’s Piano Concerto K.414.  I’ve played often with the CSO over many years now, dating back to the the tenures of Jesus Lopes Cobos and Paavo Järvi, but I’m very excited for this,  as it’s my first opportunity to work with the current music director,  Louis Langrée.
That live performance recording will be broadcast Dec 5.
(You might  note that In a short period of time, I  will have played the Mozart Concerto in 3 ways; with string quartet, with conductor, and conducting from the keyboard. Not often one gets to do that!)

I now have a special story and treat to share. Back when I won the Naumburg Prize in 1992, while no longer a student at Peabody, had still been practicing there, as I didn’t own a piano. That 5k first prize did not afford me a piano!!!!  Somewhere in those first few months Steinway contacted me and said they had an anonymous donor who wanted to provide a Steinway D for me in my home in Baltimore. I was flabbergasted, and of course tried to find out who, but also wasn’t going to let not knowing keep me from saying “yes thank you, I’lI take it tomorrow!” 

I had that piano for about a year or so before I moved to New Mexico. I had been hoping it might travel with me, but my anonymous donor was gently disapproving–I think :)–of my move.  So I had to let the piano go.

Well, over the years, I had always wondered who that had been, and I had some ideas. I called Steinway at some point and asked if the donor was prepared to identify themselves now. To my surprise and joy, he said yes. It turned out not to be who I thought it was, but it was her two -piano partner!!! And, it turned out that I was about to play in North Carolina very close to where she lived. So began a truly joyous friendship.

That woman was Dorothy Shuford, who is also one of our board members. Dorothy and I  had charted some of the same course of study through Peabody where she received her DMA with Mr. Fleisher, having found her way there through Juilliard and studies in Paris. She is an amazing pianist, recently having recorded the Rachmaninoff 2nd Piano Concerto, and the Rhapsody on a theme of Paganini.   She has a wonderful home in the mountains of North Carolina, and has just recorded a performance of the 1st movement of Beethoven Op. 109 which I think is beautiful, powerful, and elementally expressive, and I’d like to share it with you all. It also has a video component, which of course brings us full circle to the leaves of fall.  Another wonderful part of the full circle is that this summer an anonymous donor, through Art of the Piano, was able to provide a piano to a very talented student who didn’t have access to one… 

 Please enjoy and take care, my friends,



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