exceptional pianists at a recital hall near you!

Van_CliburnSo I’ve been laid a bit low with a cold this week – how low? No updates here, for one thing. And I’m writing this at 6:50 Friday evening, knowing that a terrific recital is starting in a little over a half hour, and I won’t be there. I’ve been looking forward to it for over a month. I even had tickets, which I gave away earlier today. That’s how low.

This season the UVM Lane Series is featuring the top three winners from the recent Van Cliburn International Piano Competition. It’s a rare opportunity to hear the musical voices of tomorrow, before these young players have recording contracts and extensive touring obligations that might prevent them from coming to some of the more intimate venues, like the UVM Recital Hall.

Early in October the first of the three recitals took place as silver medalist Yeol Eum Son took the stage for a brilliant performance that included the stunning Samuel Barber piano sonata. If you’re not accustomed to thinking of that piece as stunning, you haven’t heard it in the right hands.

The next recital is tonight (starting in about 28 minutes now…), with competition finalist Di Wu. Her solo program will include Ravel’s Miroirs (a replacement for Gaspard , which was on the original program – too bad!) and Schumann’s highly inventive, deceptively difficult Davidsbundlert√§nze. She’ll go on to another full concert tomorrow night, this time with the Burlington Chamber Orchestra: Beethoven’s second concerto.

We’l have to wait until March 5th for the third and final recital in the series, with gold medalist Haochen Zhang. At 19 he was the youngest performer in this year’s Van Cliburn competition.

If this cold isn’t gone by then, this is fair warning: I’m going anyway. I’ll sit in the back, keep the sniffles to a minimum, and promise not to get too close to you. But I’m not missing another one of these.

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