Chess on the Keyboard – The Time Curve Preludes

“It’s okay to use rubato.  Think Milhaud.  As sensual as possible.  Sounds great.”

Bill

While preparing for a performance of some music by William Duckworth (1943–2012) in New York this coming weekend, I want to record some thoughts about the music and relate some experiences I had with the composer. I’ll be playing a selection extracted from Duckworth’s concert-length piano cycle The Time Curve Preludes as part of a recital I am performing at the Frick Collection on October 8, 2017. The other pieces on the program are Debussy’s Études and Beethoven’s Appassionata sonata.

I knew Bill personally and worked with him on several occasions at Bucknell University, where he taught from the 70s until not long before he passed away. Continue reading

Väyläfestival – a dream come true

For two years, we’ve been dreaming of it. Actually, even before that I was often discussing casually with friends in the north about a wish to create an arts festival in western Lapland. And since one gorgeous July evening spent with the photographer Jaakko Alatalo in Kätkäjärvi, Muonio in 2015 when the specific idea hit […]

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Obsessed with names

I’m performing two recitals for Portland Piano Solo series this weekend. I don’t believe a pianist couldn’t imagine more sublime repertoire: the two concerts feature works by Beethoven and Debussy. Each concert includes a book of Préludes by Debussy and two sonatas by Beethoven, the Moonlight and the Les Adieux on the first, and the Sonata Op. 54 […]

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Debussy–Bartók–Boulez

I recently completed a three-concert cycle of these composer’s works in the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston. By now classics, the three composers could just as well be described as modernists, although both definitions impoverish the perspective. Boulez always insisted on portraying Debussy and Bartók as torchbearers of modernism, but as early as the […]

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Orpheus

This from the midst of yet another study-period with Beethoven’s lyrical Fourth Concerto, this one in preparation for a couple performances this week with Finland’s Kymi Sinfonietta. Once again, as my my fingers have been exploring the paths laid across the Concerto’s score, my mind has wandered to the old story of Beethoven having drawn his […]

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Take-1

Volume 3. of my recording of the complete Beethoven Piano Sonatas has been released. This selection contains sonatas from the turn-of-the-century, a time when Beethoven had truly found his voice, some of them among my very favorite, e.g. the Moonlight Sonata. During the process of recording the complete 32, eight weeks of sessions spread over […]

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Farewell, two big Bs

Pierre Boulez and David Bowie passing away within less than a week from each other seems like a doleful coincidence. Neither would ever compromise in their art, and, in return, both were received with utmost dedication. Their music was available equally for people in search for an identity or just beauty.

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Piano music takeover!

The full program and concert schedule for the upcoming PianoEspoo Festival is launched! We held an opening event last weekend in Sello Hall as several of my colleagues joined me for performances previewing the “piano takeover” taking place in Espoo and Helsinki in the coming autumn.

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Sounds of the world rumbling: Schumann and Stockhausen

I recently finished a concert cycle at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum (ISGM) in Boston focused on the music of Schumann and Stockhausen. Picking this (seemingly) odd couple resulted in a year of discovery and toil. Their music has tremendous depth and both composers are representative of their respective eras in Europe. Beyond obvious differences, […]

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