Portland Piano International announces its 42nd season of its SOLO Piano Series, which launches its first-ever format of forgoing a continuous director and utilizing the unique abilities of guest curators, with this season welcoming pianist Marc-André Hamelin in that role.
This season will begin in October with Canadian pianist Marc-André Hamelin, who is much beloved by Portland audiences. In addition to performances, Marc-André also served as a distinguished member of the jury of the 15th Van Cliburn International Piano Competition in 2017. He is known worldwide for his unrivaled blend of consummate musicianship and brilliant technique in the great works of the established repertoire, as well as for his intrepid exploration of the rarities of the 19th, 20th, and 21st centuries – in concert and on disc.
Mr. Hamelin then curated five additional artists, each of whom will perform two different programs over two consecutive days throughout the season, from November 2019 through May 2020.
“We are so honored to have Marc-André Hamelin as our first guest curator for the SOLO Piano series!” exclaimed executive director Ellen Bergstone Wasil. “His selections are so varied and thoughtful. While some of the names are well-known to Portland audiences, others will provide revelatory performances. This season is a journey that music lovers should not miss!”
October 5 & 6, 2019: Marc-André Hamelin, Canadian
November 16 & 17, 2019: Inon Barnatan, Israeli
January 25 & 26, 2020: Dasol Kim, Korean (PDX Debut)
March 14 & 15, 2020: Anderson & Roe, American
May 2 & 3, 2020: Imogen Cooper, British (PDX Debut)
May 30 & 31 2020: Jonathan Plowright, British (PDX Debut)
Next in November is Israeli pianist Inon Barnatan, recipient of both a prestigious 2009 Avery Fisher Career Grant and Lincoln Center’s 2015 Martin E. Segal Award, which recognizes “young artists of exceptional accomplishment.” He was recently named the new Music Director of the La Jolla Music Society Summerfest, beginning this year. “One of the most admired pianists of his generation” (New York Times), Inon Barnatan is celebrated for his poetic sensibility, musical intelligence, and consummate artistry.
Korean pianist Dasol Kim, First Prize winner in the 2015 Young Concert Artists International Auditions in New York, starts off 2020. Among his many noteworthy engagements, Dasol Kim is currently performing the complete cycle of the 32 Beethoven Piano Sonatas in Switzerland and Korea over a four-year period. He is also a sought-after concerto soloist who has appeared with the New York Philharmonic in Seoul, Tonhalle Orchestra Zurich, Berlin Konzerthaus Orchestra, Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, Berlin Chamber Orchestra, MDR Leipzig Radio Symphony, Concerto Budapest, Belgium National Orchestra, and Korea’s KBS Symphony Orchestra, among others.
American duo Greg Anderson and Elizabeth Joy Roe, who are considered as “the most dynamic duo of this generation” (San Francisco Classical Voice), also join Portland Piano International in March. Known for their adrenalized performances, original compositions, and notorious music videos, Greg Anderson and Elizabeth Joy Roe are revolutionizing the piano duo experience for the 21st century. Described as “rock stars of the classical music world” (Miami Herald) and “the very model of complete 21st-century musicians” (The Washington Post), the Anderson & Roe Piano Duo aims to make classical music a relevant and powerful force around the world. Their albums on the Steinway Label (When Words Fade, An Amadeus Affair, and The Art of Bach) were all released to critical acclaim and have spent dozens of weeks at the top of the Billboard Classical Charts, while their Emmy-nominated, self-produced music videos have been viewed by millions on YouTube and at international film festivals.
For the month of May 2020, two British pianists welcome in spring: Imogen Cooper, considered one of the finest interpreters of Classical and Romantic repertoire; and Jonathan Plowright, Gold Medalist at the Royal Academy of Music and champion of Polish Romantic piano repertoire.
Imogen Cooper is internationally renowned for her virtuosity and lyricism. Recent and future concerto performances include the Berliner Philharmoniker and Sir Simon Rattle, Sydney Symphony with Simone Young and the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra with Thomas Dausgaard. This season she will perform lieder recitals with Mark Padmore, including at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam and a series of solo recitals at the Wigmore Hall in London, focusing on Haydn and Beethoven.
Hailed by reviewers as "a colossal musical mind" with a "transcendent technique", Jonathan Plowright is "one of the finest living pianists" according to Gramophone Magazine. A Fulbright Scholar and prizewinner in many competitions, Jonathan also won the Gold Medal at the Royal Overseas League Competition as well as first prize at the European Piano Competition. Critics, colleagues and audiences alike have since had unanimous praise for his many national and international performances and he has been in demand all over the world as recitalist, appeared with leading orchestras and ensembles and given numerous radio broadcasts. He has a hugely successful string of recordings on the Hyperion, BIS and Warner labels, all of which have been enthusiastically received with outstanding reviews in the worldwide media.
Recitals are performed at Portland State University’s Lincoln Hall, Saturdays and Sundays at 4pm. These also include a pre-concert conversation about 45 minutes prior to the performance.