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Pianist Brian Ganz Sets Out to Perform All of Chopins Works January 22, 2011

North Bethesda, MD (PRWEB) January 3, 2011

Pianist Brian Ganz will begin his quest to perform all of Frederic Chopins works on January 22 at 8 pm at the Music Center at Strathmore. The recital, which begins the series Brian Ganz and the Strathmore Chopin Project, marks the start of his ambitious endeavor to perform the approximately 250 works of Chopin over the next decade.

Chopins music is the language of my soul, and I have dreamed since childhood of someday performing all of his works, said Ganz, who is widely regarded as one of the leading pianists of his generation.

The inaugural Chopin recital will feature solo works of the romantic master. Ganz will play several early pieces selected to showcase Chopins initial promise and then play more mature works in the same genres that demonstrate the fulfillment of that promise. For example, the recital will include a pair of polonaises composed by Chopin at age 7, his very first compositions, followed immediately by the monumental Polonaise in A flat ( Heroic), Op. 53, perhaps the greatest polonaise ever composed. Also included will be a similarly illustrative pair of mazurkas and a pair of waltzes; the rarely heard Rondo in C minor, Op. 1, written when Chopin was 15; and such beloved later pieces as the Scherzo No. 2, Op. 31, the two Nocturnes, Op. 55 and the great Funeral March Sonata No. 2, Op. 35.

Future recitals will include all the chamber works and songs as well as the complete solo works, including each version of every mazurka and waltz. Ganz will also play such obscure works as the little Fugue in A minor, the two bourr?es and the variation Chopin wrote for Hexameron, a rarely heard work initiated by Chopin’s friend, composer and pianist Franz Liszt, and carried out by multiple composers.

Ganz and the National Philharmonic are researching the question of whether every work has ever been performed before by a single pianist in a series. Of course, the important thing is not whether Im the first to do this. Im excited to share works with Chopin lovers that they may never have heard before, Ganz said. There are so many beloved works of great beauty and emotional power, but there are also quite a few buried treasures that deserve to be heard. Its fascinating to hear, for example, the different authentic versions that exist of some very well-known works. There are marvelous surprises in store for Chopin lovers.

Ganz will perform Chopins orchestral works with the National Philharmonic, led by Music Director and Conductor Piotr Gajewski, who has embraced the pianists ambitious endeavor wholeheartedly. Brian is the perfect pianist to play all of Chopins works–not only because of his great love for the composer, but also because of his intense connection with his audience, Gajewski said. Brians playing exudes incredible warmth and openness. He demonstrates an uncommon eagerness to bridge the distance between artist and audience.

Ganzs recordings have been released on the Accord label in Paris. He has begun a project with Maestoso Records to record the complete works of Chopin and has also recorded on the Gailly label in Belgium. In addition, he has been named an artist/editor for the Schirmer Performance Editions, which has already published his Chopin Preludes.

There isnt much about Chopin that Brian Ganz doesnt know, The Washington Post has written. The pianist has explored the nocturnes, the etudes, the sonatas and concertos and the rest in concerts, master classes and recordings for years now. His delight and wonder in this music seems to grow, apparently without bounds, as time goes on.

In January 2010, Ganz visited Poland, where he was invited by the renowned conductor Miroslaw Blaszczyk to play with the Filharmonia Slaska and Filharmonia Pomorska. The experience of visiting Chopins home country affected Ganz profoundly. Chopin is Polands national treasure. His face was pictured everywhere, sometimes with no name under it and no caption of any kind. It is almost as if he is the air people breathe. This was profoundly satisfying to me, because he has always been the air I breathe, Ganz said. I visited the church where his heart lies in Warsaw. I visited the monument where outside concerts take place under a graceful, sweeping statue of him. I took a taxi to his birthplace in Zelazowa Wola. The whole experience was a pilgrimage for me.

On numerous occasions, Ganz has brought his entire collection of Chopins music to a performance so that he can accept requests from the audience. “One of my lifelong goals has been to study every single note Chopin composed,” Ganz said. “This project gives me a lovely framework within which to reach that goal.” In an exuberant review of a Ganz performance, The Washington Post wrote, One comes away from a recital by pianist Brian Ganz not only exhilarated by the power of the performance but also moved by his search for artistic truth.

Ganz has shared First Grand Prize in the Marguerite Long Jacques Thibaud International Piano Competition and won a silver medal (third prize) in the Queen Elisabeth of Belgium International Competition. He has performed as a soloist with such orchestras as the St. Louis Symphony, the St. Petersburg Philharmonic, the City of London Sinfonia and Pariss LOrchestre Lamoureux and under the direction of conductors such as Leonard Slatkin and Mstislav Rostropovich.

He is a graduate of the Peabody Conservatory of Music, where he studied with Leon Fleisher. Earlier teachers include Yida Novik and Claire Deene. Gifted as a teacher himself, Ganz is a member of the piano faculty and Artist-in-Residence at St. Marys College of Maryland. He also serves on the piano faculty of the Peabody Conservatory. He has served on the jury of the Long Thibaud Competition in Paris.

To purchase tickets to Brian Ganzs all Chopin concert on January 22, 2011 at 8pm at the Music Center at Strathmore, please visit nationalphilharmonic.org or call the Strathmore ticket office at (301) 581-5100. Tickets are $ 34-$ 44; kids 7-17 are FREE through the ALL KIDS, ALL FREE, ALL THE TIME program (sponsored by The Gazette). ALL KIDS tickets must be purchased in person or by phone. Parking is free.

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