Tucson provides two pianists after COVID-19 debuts

Concert pianists Vladimir Feltsman and Avery Gagliano are debuting their first post-COVID-19 concerts this month, and this debut will take place in Tucson.

They are both excellent prize winners, both feel comfortable in orchestral performances and both love Mozart.

That’s almost all for similarities.

The 69-year-old concert veteran Gluzman is working on a book that analyzes Bach’s series of preludes and fugues. 19-year-old Gagliano is still studying at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia and writing pop songs as a hobby.

What’s happening:Rescheduled, canceled events in Naples, Fort Myers

He is at a point in his life where he has laid a foundation for young pianists. She studies with stars like Gary Graffman because of a foundation – the Chopin Foundation has awarded Gagliano four consecutive scholarships.

There is one more important similarity, however. Both promise a fascinating approach to music in their upcoming performances:

Vladimir Filzmann

Filzmann has earned a position as a high-ranking statesman among concert stars. But he lost eight years of his recording and performing life when he applied for an exit visa from his native Russia, then head of the former Union of Socialist Republics of the Soviet Union.

The star pianist, who brought home performance awards and touring fame, was banned from playing in public. Melodiya, the state-sanctioned record company, put its works on the back shelves. (Some of these old recordings, like the Mansurov Kabalevsky Piano Concertos 2 and 3, now fetch around $ 25-35.)

After the union fell apart, Feltsman was able to emigrate and appeared for the White House less than a month after arriving in the United States. Since then he has played with the major American and European orchestras, founded a summer music festival and established a foundation to support young artists.

A respected chair of piano professor at New York State University, New Paltz, and a member of the piano faculty at the Mannes School of Music in New York, he has still found time to advocate for Russian composers who have buried works under the Soviet regime . His recordings – around 60 – include a CD with “Forgotten Russians”, all of which he considers worth listening to.

Filzmann is not here for the five performances in which he plays: the Mozart Piano Concerto in C minor with the Naples Philharmonic on Friday and Saturday; and again for the Sypert Salon series on February 14 and 16 with a Schubert Impromptu and the Mozart piano quartet in G minor (for details see information field). He is actually here because he and his wife fell in love with Naples and bought a winter home here.

“It takes about 18 to 20 minutes from my home to Artis – Naples. So I’m kind of a local,” he joked.

Filzmann offered his thoughts on the music he plays, his current project and his year of the pandemic:

Naples Daily News: You lived in artistic exile in Russia for eight years. Did you experience a sense of déjà vu during the pandemic last year?

Vladimir Filzmann: There is a big difference. Whatever happened to me and my position in Russia was not caused by natural disasters, but by the government (laughing). (It was) ideology, so it was kind of personal, and COVID has nothing personal about it.

It’s been exactly a year since the last concert I played at Stanford University on February 6th. … I hope it’s like a bike that you don’t forget how to do it (laughs). But there is additional excitement.

NDN: This is your first concert since last March when all performances were canceled, but COVID-19 is still with us. What precautions do you take while traveling for your performances?

Felt man: Well I was vaccinated yesterday. I was lucky. My wife, who worked on several computers, got me a place in a Publix pharmacy and I got it. And I’ll get another one in three weeks.

For me, and I play more or less with every orchestra in the United States and definitely all of them in Florida, Naples is very special. In addition to the New World Symphony in Phoenix, which Michael Tilson-Thomas has directed for many years, it is at the top of all orchestras in Florida.

The credit, of course, goes to Andrey Boreyko, who is chief conductor here for quite a while. He took this orchestra to a completely different level.

NDN: During the pandemic lockdown, did you draw your attention to a project you always wanted to do?

Felt man: Well, it was that one big project on the backburner, front burner, side of my mind, whatever – it’s the performing edition of Bach’s “Well-Tempered Clavier”. I’ve had it in my head for many, many years. …

So I’ve written quite a bit about it, with an analysis of 48 preludes and fugues, but I’ve never actually done any actual editions of what phrasing, articulations, dynamic tempo and so on mean.

So I’ve been doing this for four or five months. I don’t know how long it will take me It’s quite a monumental endeavor that is interesting – fascinating! – and at the same time quite humble.

NDN: Of all these works, is there a personal favorite that you find particularly gratifying?

Felt man: With all due respect, I don’t work that way. … It’s more for people who love music and they love one piece more than another, but it’s a little different for a professional musician. You look at things from a slightly different angle than from a more objective point of view.

You can see the structure of how it’s done. … It’s a different level of experience.

Avery Gagliano

When the Chopin International Piano Competition, the final word on who is best among the composer’s new performers, opens in Washington, DC on October 2nd, native Avery Gagliano will be in attendance as the US winner.

Southwestern Floridians can preview their talent; She will perform in Bonita Springs on February 15 for the Grand Piano Series, mixing works by Chopin with Mozart and the contemporary composer Thomas Ades (known for his opera “The Exterminating Angel”). Further information can be found in the information field.

Sing to the stars:Opera Naples is creating an outdoor opera in Baker Park

Gagliano will be in Warsaw a year later than planned; COVID-19 fears delayed competition until October. It may have given Gagliano more time to rehearse, but then she has to learn two versions of some of the Chopin works that she is playing.

Chopin edits profusely and often. He published the same works in three different countries and with slightly different versions everywhere. He even changed some marks on the manuscripts his students played.

This could drive pianists and conductors crazy, admitted Gagliano. At least it has created a solid field of interpretation by musicians and music publishers.

The best-known editions both come from Polish composer-pianists: one by IJ Paderewski calls itself without excuse “the most famous and popular”. The other, edited by the Polish pianist Jan Ekier (Polish national edition), is called “complete”. Even the Chopin Competition tries both; Gagliano had to perform some from every canon for the American competition.

There has been no curling of a young pianist who is under 20 and has won prizes in the 2019 Cliburn International Junior Piano, Aspen Music Festival Concerto, and MostArts Festival piano competitions. She discussed this and appeared on the Daily News during a pandemic:

Naples Daily News: How has the pandemic affected you?

Avery Gagliano: For me, the pandemic was initially a welcome opportunity, as I had just finished the Chopin competition. Of course I was looking forward to the upcoming performances. But it was such a stressful experience that I was really looking forward to having some time.

However, that quickly subsided. (laughs)

It was definitely an opportunity to learn new repertoire I will say. And it was just nice to have that time, although I’m definitely ready to perform again and just go out into the world.

NDN: I see the music competitions indicate which version of a Chopin work you should perform. Do you have a choice when working with orchestras in the United States?

Gagliano: There are just a few small details and nuances. I would say that the concert has more differences among the pieces I play for the competition (Chopin International). And that’s really small, but it’s something important that can affect a note or two that can be different from the orchestra.

I haven’t had any problems working with conductors so far, but it’s always a good idea to check in advance.

NDN: Are you looking forward to the upcoming international Chopin piano competition?

Gagliano: I’ve heard so many wonderful things – especially about the atmosphere, that the whole country comes to life at festivals for the competition and celebration of Chopin. I hope the pandemic doesn’t have much of an impact on this.

NDN: What do you think of a pandemic that’s still with us?

Gagliano: I think the biggest caution is to stay healthy, socially distant, and wear a mask throughout the process. The biggest exposure I could get is when I’m traveling.

I always have hand sanitizer with me. I also have disinfectant wipes, so it would be a good idea to wipe the keys down before and after using the piano.

NDN: I understand that one of your external interests is writing pop songs.

Gagliano: It’s a hobby of mine. Singing is something I’ve always loved. I grew up with “The Sound of Music” and sang all over the house. I think that at some point in my life led me to write my own songs.

I would call them modern pop: easy chords. And I love telling stories.

I’ll say I love Taylor Swift. I listen to a lot of Camilla Cabello, Charlie Puth too – and I listen to the Beatles because my father hears that. So I’ve got old pop in there!

Harriet Howard Heithaus reports on arts and entertainment for the Naples Daily News / naplesnews.com. Reach them at 239-213-6091.

Vladimir Filzmann at Artis – Naples

Appearance 1: Associate Conductor Radu Paponiu conducts with the Naples Philharmonic; on the program – Schubert’s overture in Italian style in C major, Mozart’s piano concerto in C minor and Mendelssohn’s Symphony No. 4 “Italian”

Appearance 2: Sypert Salon Series with members of the Naples Philharmonic; on the program – Schubert’s String Quartet in G minor and Schubert’s Impromptu in F minor, Op. 142, No. 1; Mozart’s piano quartet in G minor

Appearance 1 time, dates: Friday and Saturday, February 5th and 6th, 8pm

Appearance 2 times, dates: 3 p.m. February 14 and 16; 7 p.m. February 14

Where: Hayes Hall, Artis – Naples, 5833 Pelican Bay Blvd., Naples

Tickets: Appearance $ 1.59; Appearance 2, $ 55

To buy: artisnaples.org; 239-597-1900

Something else: Filzmann talks about 20th century Russian composers who received little attention because they weren’t heard on YouTube outside of the Soviet Union.

Avery Gagliano

What: Guest artist on the Grand Piano Series, replacing Barry Douglas; on the program – Mozart’s Sonata, K. 533; Ades’ Mazurkas for piano, Op. 27; and Chopin: Sonata No. 2 in B minor op.35

When: 7.30 p.m. February 15

Where: St. Leo the Great Catholic Church, 28290 Beaumont Road, Bonita Springs

Tickets: $ 64.99; Reserve in advance only

To buy: www.grandpianoseries.org/buy-tickets

Information: www.grandpianoseries.org or call (646) 734-8179

Something else: More about the Chopin competition at chopin2020.pl/de/

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