April 16, 2024
Annapolis, US 63 F

Pianist Brian Ganz to present Chopin in Annapolis

Pianist Brian Ganz opens the 2020 Arts in the Woods Concert series Sunday, January 5, at 3:00 p.m. at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Annapolis (UUCA), 333 Dubois Road. Ganz, who serves as artistic director for the series, will present “Musical Gardening,” in which he features examples of early works—including waltzes, mazurkas, polonaises and nocturnes—that contain the seeds of Chopin’s genius, followed by mature masterpieces in the same genres that demonstrate the full flowering of that genius. Ganz will also perform Chopin requests from the audience, which has become a popular tradition in the seven years that he has opened the Arts in the Woods series. Tickets are $20 at the door; youth 16 and under are free. Price includes a post-performance reception with the artist. For more information, visit www.uuannapolis.org or call 410-266-8044 Monday–Thursday.

The January 5 concert will preview selections included in Ganz’s solo piano performance at The Music Center at Strathmore in North Bethesda, Maryland, on February 1—the tenth installment in a multi-year journey in partnership with National Philharmonic to perform the complete works of Frédéric Chopin. In commenting on this year’s program, Ganz said, “I’m especially excited by this year’s theme of musical gardening. It is one thing to jump headlong into the masterworks of Chopin. But I find it incredibly interesting and satisfying to watch his genius grow before our eyes and ears, starting with charming early works that few people know, and culminating in works of great beauty, craftsmanship and originality. It’s a kind of musical ‘time-lapse photography.’”

Among the featured selections in the January 5 program at UUCA, Ganz will include the masterful Polonaise-Fantaisie, Op. 61, the brilliant Waltz in A-flat major, Op. 34, No. 1 and the beloved Nocturne in D-flat major, Op. 27, No. 2, along with charming youthful works in the same genres. “I have especially come to love the Polonaise-Fantaisie,” pianist Ganz recently stated. “It’s almost as if a polonaise lover falls asleep and has a highly colorful, even glorious dream about a favorite polonaise. It’s unlike anything else Chopin ever wrote. The waltzes are sparkling examples of his great gift for melody. I’m excited to play these great works and many others on the church’s gorgeous new Steinway.”

Ganz is well on his way with his “Extreme Chopin” quest to be the first known to perform all of Chopin’s approximately 250 works. “There’s something beautiful in everything Chopin wrote,” says Ganz. “In my journey through Chopin’s complete works, I will play every single note he composed, and this includes all the works he composed along the way to artistic maturity.”

A former resident of Annapolis, Ganz now resides in northern Virginia and maintains a full performance and teaching schedule nationally and internationally. Ganz has shared First Grand Prize in the Marguerite Long Jacques Thibaud International Piano Competition and won a silver medal 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 Paris’s L’Orchestre Lamoureux. He is a graduate of the Peabody Conservatory of Music, where he studied with Leon Fleisher. Ganz is currently on the piano faculty of St. Mary’s College of Maryland, where he is artist-in-residence, and is also a member of the piano faculty of the Peabody Conservatory. He is the artist-editor of the Schirmer Performance Edition of Chopin’s Preludes (2005). Recent performance highlights include Chopin’s Piano Concerto No. 2 at the Alba Music Festival in Italy and with the National Philharmonic at Strathmore, Mozart’s Piano Concerto K. 466 with the Virginia Chamber Orchestra and the Annapolis Symphony, and a solo recital for the Distinguished Artists Series of Santa Cruz, California.

The January 5 program opens the seventh season of Arts in the Woods concerts at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Annapolis (UUCA). The next in the 2020 series of quarterly concerts will feature the Annapolis Symphony Orchestra Brass Quintet on Sunday, June 7, 3:00 p.m. See www.uuannapolis.org for future programming. For announcement of weather-related cancellations, visit the website or call 410-266-8044 after 10:00 a.m. on the day of the event.

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