Piano festival mixes and matches contemporary music
Since 2005 pianist and composer Joseph Rubinstein has spearheaded the Keys to the Future festival, featuring carefully curated mixed programmes that cover a broad range of contemporary piano music, mixing and matching them with some of New York's best new music pianists, established and emerging alike.
This year the festival's three one hour programmes take place at the Henry Street Settlement's Abrons Arts Center, May 24, 25 & 26, and you can access complete programme information here: Keys to the Future. However, I thought I'd give you a heads up about certain performers and pieces that I think you ought to check out.
On Tuesday's programme, Blair McMillen will flex his considerable chops over the course of Karen Tanaka's three Techno Etudes, which are stark, energetic and classically constructed knucklebusters (I should know, I gave their New York premiere years ago!). Marina Lomazov also will play a fascinating piece by Jacob Ter Veldhuis (better known as Jacob TV) The Body of Your Dreams, where live piano and a pre-recorded soundtrack brilliantly fuse. On Wednesday, Australian/American Lisa Moore serves up works by Martin Bresnick, Frederic Rzewski and Timothy Andres.
Rubinstein himself plays his own Romance No 5 and Tobias Picker's Old and Lost Rivers on both Monday and Wednesday's programmes, Stephen Gosling tackles John Adams 1977 Phrygian Gates (still this composer's best piano piece, in my unhumble opinion), while both Jenny Chai and Eric Huebner offer choice Ligeti etudes. There's one work on Wednesday's programme that piques my curiosity: Barbara White's A Complex, which is a tribute to the once-iconic-now underappreciated jazz pianist and teacher Lennie Tristano, performed by Molly Morkoski.
A personal note: I wish to thank all of my readers, colleagues and friends who've expressed their condolences on behalf of my late wife Célia, who passed away March 30th after a long battle with breast cancer, at home, by my side, and without any pain.