After performing for over twenty years, I am looking forward to traversing the US to orchestras in a variety of repertoire. I always feared that new music would lose a place in society due to inaccessibility amongst the wary audience. Fortunately, there are composers aplenty who have revived the lush neo-Romantic style coupled with a breath of fresh air in harmonic, melodic and rhythmic textures.
In addition to recording Ellen Taaffe Zwilich works for piano and orchestra in 2009, this season will bring out a remarkable piano concerto by Keith Emerson, who was the electrifying keyboardist of Emerson, Lake and Palmer, plus many performances of Lowell Liebermann’s Third Piano Concerto. The Liebermann project began in 2003, and it is only now that I will be able to sit at the piano and enjoy the performances with the co-commissioning orchestras.
At long last, Leroy Anderson’s 2008 centennial is upon us. Since 1992, I have embraced his delightful piano ‘Concerto in C’, and the Naxos recording I did with Leonard Slatkin and the BBC Concert Orchestra will be jubilantly released in January 2008. On a personal note, I cannot begin to express the utmost pleasure and distinct honor to have worked with Maestro Slatkin. We met over twenty years ago–all I can remember was that I played the ‘Islamey Fantasy’ for him in a room at Lincoln Center’s Avery Fisher Hall. I had only dreamed of working with him, and the reality of that dream was well worth the long wait. Earlier this season, after another long wait, I had the pleasure to work with Andrew Litton and the Colorado Symphony with Liebermann’s Third Concerto. As a pianist as well, Maestro Litton grasped the score and understood every nuance and every move I made, which made for a wonderful first collaboration–and, he is one heckuva guy and musician!
Naturally, a fear is always to become stereo-typed, and fortunately, I have made sure not to allow myself to lose my love for the standard repertoire. I will include the Rachmaninoff Third Concerto and Prokofieff Third Concerto this season, along with Beethoven’s ‘Emperor’ Concerto.
I look forward to meeting new people throughout the US, and will be better at posting new blogs during the season.