Ursula Oppens and Robert Levin Perform the Music of Bernard Rands at Symphony Space Tonight
Two distinguished American pianists-Ursula Oppens and Robert Levin-will team up to perform selections of piano works by the celebrated British-American composer Bernard Rands this evening, December 5th at 7:30 p.m. at the Leonard Nimoy Thalia at Symphony Space, 2537 Broadway, New York, NY.
The concert, which will launch the recording release of Mr. Rands's Piano Music on Bridge Records, is part of Symphony Space's 'In the Salon' series, and will also feature conversations with Mr. Rands, Ms. Oppens, Mr. Levin, and Symphony Space's Artistic Director Laura Kaminsky, as well as a Q and A with the audience.
Rands: Tre Espressioni (1960) (Ursula Oppens) Preludes (2007) (Robert Levin)
2. Ostinato 3. Bordone 4. Elegia
Impromptu (2011) (Robert Levin)
Tickets are $32, $27 for members, $20 for 30 and under (with valid ID) and can be purchased by visiting www.symphonyspaceorg or by calling 212-864-5400.
Ursula Oppens has long been recognized as the leading champion of contemporary American piano music. In addition her original and perceptive readings of other music, old and new, have earned her a place among the elect of today's performing musicians.
In February Ms. Oppens will return to Symphony Space with the Cassatt Quartet to perform the world premiere of a piece by Tania Leon. Ms. Oppens will also perform, on February 14, with the JACK Quartet at the Library of Congress, and later in the year she will return to the Library of Congress to perform with cellist Fred Sherry. Other recital engagements will take Ms. Oppens to Portugal for the Festival de Mu?sica dos Ac?ores / Jazzores, and to Sa?o Paulo, Brazil.
Notable among Ms. Oppens' engagements for the 2012-13 season were solo performances and her participation with other distinguished musicians in a series of memorial concerts devoted to the music of the late Elliott Carter. In January Ms. Oppens devoted an entire program to the complete piano works of Carter at Symphony Space.
Also in January Ms. Oppens participated in an all-Carter program at Le Poisson Rouge with modernist luminaries cellist Fred Sherry, clarinetist Charles Neidich, violinist Rolf Schulte and singer Tony Arnold and the Ensemble LPR. In February she was also heard at the CUNY Graduate Center's Elebash Recital Hall in a Carter program where she played his Duo for Violin and Piano (1974) with violinist Rolf Schulte. On May 22, 2013 Ms. Oppens was heard at a Juilliasrd School Memorial concert at Juilliard's Peter Jay Sharp Theater celebrating in particular Carter's composition of more than 60 works after the age of 90. Ms. Oppens performed Carter's final work, Epigrams, with violinist Rolf Schulte and cellist Fred Sherry.
Ms. Oppens participated in the "Music of Now Marathon" at Symphony Space in New York, performing "Memo 5" by Bernard Rands, which Steve Smith of The New York Times found to be "a formidable strain of high modernism , expressed in in leaping intervals and tumultuous rhythmic bursts. Exulting in sheer technique, the rigorously wrought music sounded positively spontaneous, ... amiable and inviting " (February 6, 2013)
No During 2012-13 Ms. Oppens captured a Grammy Award nomination-her fourth to date-in the coveted category of "Best Classical Instrumental Solo" for the highly praised album Winging It: Piano Music of John Corigliano, released in April 2011 on Cedille Records. The disc features the world premiere recording of John Corigliano's work of the same name, which had its debut performance by Ms. Oppens at New York's Symphony Space in May 2009. Other works on the album, all by Mr. Corigliano, include Chiaroscuro (1997), Fantasia on an Ostinato (1985), Kaleidoscope for two pianos (1959), and Etude Fantasy (1976). Ms. Oppens is joined on the recording by veteran pianist Jerome Lowenthal for Kaleidoscope. Journalist Tom Huizenga from The Washington Post praised Ms. Oppens's interpretation: "Her rigorous, unforced performances again prove that few pianists of any era can claim a hold on contemporary piano music as she does" (August 2011).