gilmore keyboard festival

zoltanfejervari.com

Zoltán Fejérvári says he was drawn to improvising and games at the piano as a child. It provided a playground for the young boy, whose parents were serious orchestral musicians. On Sunday, Nov 4 at 4:00 pm in the Wellspring Theater of the Epic Center, Fejérvári will perform pieces that invite us to use our imaginations: Robert Schumann's Forest Scenes, Bartok's Out of Doors, Janacek's In The Mist, and the Sonata, D 894 by Franz Schubert, in a concert presented by the Gilmore Keyboard Festival.


Gilmore Keyboard Festival

Pierre Van Der Westhuizen has an appreciate for pianism born of his own career on the instrument, his familiarity with several generations of top pianists, and his direction of the Cleveland International Piano Competition. In an interview with Cara Lieurance, Van Der Westhuizen introduces the six Rising Stars and two Piano Masters of the 2018-19 season of the Gilmore Keyboard Festival, where he is now executive director.

Hailing from the four corners of the globe, the artists appearing on the Rising Stars Series represent some of the brightest young talent of today, from China, Russia, Hungary, Italy, and the United States - all tested under the glare of international competitions. The two piano masters - Gabriela Montero and Murray Perahia - have earned their places in the pantheon of legendary artists due to their unique voices, Van Der Westhuizen says. 


Yesterday afternoon in Stetson Chapel at Kalamazoo College, pianist Igor Levit played the final three piano sonatas of Ludwig van Beethoven, Opp. 30, 31 and 32. It was Levit's solo debut at the Gilmore International Keyboard Festival, which presented him with the prestigious Gilmore Artist Award in January. 

Levit and Cara Lieurance discuss the recital and the music of Beethoven, whose Concerto No. 4 is on the program Saturday for the Festival Finale concert. Warmth and improvisation are some qualities Levit sees in the concerto's writing, saying the piano part "almost disappears" at times in the ebb and flow of the orchestra. While sampling a 1942 recording of Artur Schnabel and the Chicago Symphony, Levit says he regularly listens to music of all kinds, which leads to a discussion of one-of-a-kind jazz pianist Fred Hersch.

Mr. Levit and the Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra, led by music director emeritus Raymond Harvey, will appear on Saturday, May 12 at 8 pm in Chenery Auditorium. Details are available at the Gilmore Keyboard Festival website.


Neda Navaee

Although the great American pianist-composer-conductor Leonard Bernstein died when Michael Brown was three years old, Brown came to know the maestro through his recordings, compositions, and his surviving circle of family and friends. At the Gilmore Keyboard Festival on Friday, May 2, Michael Brown performed a solo piano program of works by members of that circle, by Michael Brown, and by Bernstein himself. Brown spoke about the program with Cara Lieurance.


Xie Guichen

Nineteen year-old pianist Wei Luo, a 2018 Gilmore Young Artist, will perform Rachmaninoff's Rhapsody On A Theme of Paganini with the Battle Creek Symphony on Saturday as her final concert during the Gilmore International Keyboard Festival. In an interview with Cara Lieurance, Luo talks about her experiences this week at the festival, which included solo recitals in South Haven, Kalamazoo and Battle Creek. 

As they discuss her upcoming performance of the Rhapsody, Luo talks about the school she's attended for six years, the Curtis Institute of Music. They listen to a recording of her teacher, pianist Gary Graffman, performing the Rhapsody in a 1964 recording with his friend, Leonard Bernstein, conducting the New York Philharmonic. 

Wei Luo will perform the Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini on Saturday at 7:30 pm, in W.K. Kellogg Auditorium.


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