January 6, 2013 at the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall
Hailed as “a poet among virtuosos,” Marc-André Hamelin brings his keyboard brilliance to Sarasota’s Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall for the Sarasota Concert Association’s first Great Performers Series concert of the 2014 season.
“Perhaps the most elegant and least ostentatious of virtuosos, Mr. Hamelin produces prodigies of sound seemingly without effort or concern.”
–James R. Oestreich, The New York Times (July 2013)
(Sarasota, Florida) The Sarasota Concert Association (SCA) opens its 69th season with the acclaimed piano virtuoso Marc-André Hamelin on Monday, January 6, 2014, 8 p.m. The concert, part of SCA’s “Great Performers Series,” is at the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall, 777 N. Tamiami Trail, in Sarasota. Individual tickets are $40, $50, $60, and $70. Subscriptions for all five Great Performers Series concerts are $255, $225, $185, and $145. Tickets and information for the Great Performers Series are available by calling 941-955-0040 or visiting www.scasarasota.org.
Marc-André Hamelin’s startlingly original blend of musicianship and virtuosity has earned him legendary status as a true avatar of the piano. A musician of broad musical interests and curiosity, Hamelin is recognized worldwide for his fresh readings of established repertoire and for his tackling of extremely difficult and rarely heard works.
“As I traveled through southern Germany and Austria this summer, I kept running into news of Mr. Hamelin,” says Joy McIntyre, president of the Sarasota Concert Association, and formerly a leading soprano with major opera houses throughout Europe. “The superlatives just keep rolling in. We’re very fortunate to open our 2014 Great Performers Series with a performance by this remarkable pianist, composer, and overall virtuoso.”
Music critic Anne Midgette of the Washington Post called Hamelin, “one of the smartest pianists playing today,” adding, “if this description conjures up the image of a pedantic professorial type, think again: Hamelin has established himself as the thinking man’s virtuoso, and virtuosity is his main hallmark. He just employs it more interestingly than most.”
According to McIntyre, Hamelin’s Sarasota performance will be inspired—and challenging. His program will open with his own composition, “Barcarolle,” which will have its New York premiere at Carnegie Hall shortly after the Sarasota concert. Following that is Liszt’s “Sonata in B minor,” and selections from “On an Overgrown Path” by Moravian composer Leoš Janáček. The concert will conclude with Ravel’s technically and artistically demanding, “Gaspard de la Nuit,” a piece McIntyre deems “devilishly difficult and certainly a monumental challenge for any pianist. “It is rare to find a pianist who is willing to play both the Liszt and Ravel works on the same program.”
Hamelin was nominated for Gramophone Magazine’s 2013 Artist of the Year and was also praised by The New York Times for his recent performance with the Pacifica Quartet of the monumental “Piano Quintet” by American composer Leo Ornstein. His breadth of repertoire and enthusiastic advocacy of little-known works for piano is evident in his extensive discography. Under the Hyperion Records label, Hamelin has recorded concertos and works for solo piano by such composers as Charles-Valentin Alkan, Leopold Godowsky and Nikolai Medtner. An album of his own compositions, “Hamelin: Études,” received a 2010 Grammy nomination (Hamelin’s ninth), and a first prize from the German Record Critic’s Association.
All concerts are at 8 p.m. at the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall, 777 North Tamiami Trail in Sarasota. Subscriptions for all five concerts are $255, $225, $185, and $145. For subscription information, call 941-955-0040. Forms for subscriptions can also be downloaded at wwwscasarasota.org.
The season continues on January 27 with the Kalichstein-Laredo-Robinson Trio with guest violist Nokuthula Ngwenyama. Since making their debut at the White House for President Jimmy Carter’s Inauguration in 1977, pianist Joseph Kalichstein, violinist Jamie Laredo and cellist Sharon Robinson have set the standard for performance of the piano trio literature. Nokuthula Ngwenyama came to international attention when she won the coveted Primrose International Viola Competition and the Young Artists International Auditions at age 17. Her performances as orchestral soloist, recitalist and chamber musician continue to garner great attention and critical acclaim.
The next concert features the East Coast Chamber Orchestra (ECCO) on February 5. ECCO’s fresh interpretations of new and old works coupled with passionate and joyous playing have earned the ensemble critical acclaim and an enthusiastic following worldwide.
The season continues on February 19 with the historic St. Petersburg Philharmonic, Russia’s oldest symphony orchestra. The Sarasota performance will be conducted by Nicolai Alexeev and feature pianist, Denis Kozhukhin.
The 2013 season concludes with the Detroit Symphony, conducted by Leonard Slatkin, with piano soloist Olga Kern on March 3. The symphony, which celebrated its 125th anniversary in 2012, is known for trailblazing performances, visionary maestros and collaborations with the world’s foremost musical artists. Slatkin, who was named “America’s Music Director” by the Los Angeles Times, became the symphony’s 12th music director during its 2008-09 season.
The SCA also presents “Munchtime Musicales,” a series of free concerts featuring performances by high-caliber, area-based artists. The series is designed to offer a wide variety of musical genres, including classical, folk, and jazz, featuring both vocal and instrumental performers. The 2013-2014 concert season continues with “American Troubadour” Bill Schustik (December 11, 2013); the Jerry Eckert Jazz Trio (January 15, 2014); Lee Dougherty Ross and Joseph Holt in “Piano Duets” (February 19, 2014); Sarasota Opera Studio Artists (March 19, 2014); and the Gloria Musicae Singers (April 16, 2014). All performances are at noon at the Beatrice Friedman Symphony Center, 709 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota. Seating is open; no reservations taken. For more information about Munchtime Musicales, call 941-351-7467 or visit www.scasarasota.org.
About the Sarasota Concert Association
The Sarasota Concert Association (SCA) exists to foster the development of an appreciation for the musical arts by sponsoring professional presentations that are not otherwise available in the community, through a not-for-profit, organized-audience plan. SCA aims to set reasonable fees for all performances. The organization is not designed to make a profit but does intend to be self-supporting. It provides outreach to all members of the regional community by offering a series of free concerts, Munchtime Musicales, held every year. For more information about SCA, visit www.scasarasota.org.