The Stories Behind the Sonatas: A Journey with Beethoven
Celebrate Beethoven’s 250th birthday this season by discovering the human side of the great composer. Join us on a musical and spiritual journey through the phases of Beethoven’s life. Young artists from the Colburn Conservatory of Music perform his 32 piano sonatas in the order of Opus numbers. Pre-concert talks with Mark Travis provide insights into the time and place they were written, providing a new way of experiencing these well-loved works. A special lecture, "Beethoven's Place in The History of Humanity" by David Dubal, a world-renowned authority on piano literature, will take place on January 30, 2019 at Moorings Park at 3:00PM.
Founded less than 20 years ago in Los Angeles, the all-scholarship Colburn Conservatory has already made its mark on the world of music. Students have won international competitions, Fulbright Scholarships, and Avery Fisher Career Grants and graduates are found in orchestras from Shanghai to London to Florida. This season artists from Colburn perform for the first time on the Grand Piano Series.
Applauded by MusicWeb International for his “splendid playing…great skill and technical prowess,” pianist Dominic Cheli is First Prize winner of the 2017 Concert Artists Guild Competition. Earlier in 2017, Naxos released his debut CD, and he won the Music Academy of the West Concerto Competition, leading to a critically acclaimed performance of Prokofiev’s Piano Concerto No. 2 with the Festival Orchestra. His rapidly advancing career includes his concerto debut in Walt Disney Hall under the baton of Valery Gergiev this season, and his Carnegie Hall recital debut on the 2018-19 CAG Series at Weill Recital Hall.
In 2009, he established himself in Europe by winning the second prize at the 55th Maria Canals International Music Competition, where he was also awarded as the Best Contemporary Music Performer, the Best Spanish Music Performer and the Youngest Performer of the Year. In 2014, he was awarded the second prize at the 10th Seoul International Competition.
David Dubal is internationally known as a pianist, teacher, writer, artist, and broadcaster. An acknowledged authority on the piano literature, Mr. Dubalʼs highly acclaimed books include The Art of the Piano, The Essential Canon of Classical Music, Evenings with Horowitz, Reflections from the Keyboard, and Conversations with Menuhin. Recipient of the First ASCAP/Deems Taylor Award for broadcast journalism, Mr. Dubal has won numerous other honors, including the coveted George Foster Peabody Award for innovative broadcasting. His 1993 film, "The Golden Age of the Piano", has been seen worldwide in four languages, and won him an Emmy award.
Yanfeng (Tony) Bai
Pianist Yanfeng Bai, 20, is an international prizewinner, recently taking first prize at the China Shenzhen International Piano Concerto Competition，3rd Prize of the Gotrian International piano competition in Germany and the 1st prize at the Concerto Competition of the Morningside Music Bridge International Music Festival in 2017.
Nadia Azzi, Minhye Choi, Fabio Bidini
Fabio Bidini today is recognized as one of the most important pianists and pedagogues. Bernard Holland of the New York Times stated: “He is capable of an admirable simplicity…truly touching.” After winning top prizes in the most famous international piano competitions, his sensational success at the Busoni and at the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition opened him the door to a constantly growing international career.
HyeJin Kim, Paul Williamson
Praised by critics for her, “passionate…polished and expressive,” performances, pianist Hyejin Kim is one of South Korea’s most thrilling young classical stars. Born in Seoul, she began playing her instrument at age five, and later enrolled at the prestigious Yewon Arts School. She furthered her studies in Germany, earning her MA in Musical Art as a “Konzertexamen” (highest distinction) from Berlin’s Hochschule für Musik Hanns Eisler.