'Keys to the Future' Piano Festival Plays 5/25-27

'Keys to the Future' Piano Festival Plays 5/25-27

Following four seasons of sold-out concerts, KEYS TO THE FUTURE celebrates its fifth anniversary at a brand new venue and with an even deeper mix of styles and talent. This unique piano festival takes place Tuesday through Thursday, May 25, 26, and 27, at Le Poisson Rouge, 158 Bleecker Street between Sullivan and Thompson St. Each hour-long concert begins at 7:30pm; doors open at 6:30pm.

Founded and curated by pianist/composer Joseph Rubenstein, KEYS TO THE FUTURE offers a vivid survey of contemporary piano repertoire through three densely packed recitals. Each hour contains a kaleidoscopic array of solo piano pieces that explores the vast potential of the instrument. Rubenstein says: "After months of listening and research, I feel strongly that this season's program is the best so far in terms of stylistic range, artistic depth, and audience appeal. Our expanded roster of pianists features ten world-class artists with a strong commitment to the music of our time. We're excited to present our concerts at Le Poisson Rouge, which has quickly become the cutting edge of contemporary music."

The "posse of leading ivory merchants" (Time Out New York) featured in this season's Keys Festival are: Amy Briggs, Stephen Gosling, Karén Hakobyan (winner of the 3rd Annual Keys to the Future Young Artists Competition), Eric Huebner, Marina Lomazov, Blair McMillen, Lisa Moore, Molly Morkoski, Tatjana Rankovich, and Joseph Rubenstein.

The composers, in alphabetical order, include: Philippe Bodin, Don Byron, Chick Corea, Richard Danielpour, Annie Gosfield, Judd Greenstein, Philippe Hersant, Nikolai Kapustin, Vuk Kulenovic, Lowell Liebermann, György Ligeti, Magnus Lindberg, Marc Mellits, Kevin Oldham, Joseph Rubenstein, Rodion Shchedrin, Valentin Silvestrov, Bruce Stark, and Barbara White.

"There is a huge range of new piano music being written right now, and a huge range of new pianists to play it. I am very impressed with the Keys to the Future festival, which fills a giant hole in New York's musical life. This festival is an explosion of piano music of all types, played by a new generation of virtuosi." - composer David Lang, co-founder of Bang on a Can

Listings Information:
Le Poisson Rouge presents Keys to the Future, a 3-concert festival of recent music for solo piano
Featuring pianists Amy Briggs, Stephen Gosling, Karén Hakobyan, Eric Huebner, Marina Lomazov,
Blair McMillen, Lisa Moore, Molly Morkoski, Tatjana Rankovich, Joseph Rubenstein
158 Bleecker Street (between Sullivan and Thompson St.)
Tuesday, May 25, 2010, at 7:30pm (Huebner, Lomazov, Moore, Morkoski, Rubenstein)
Wednesday, May 26, 2010, at 7:30pm (Briggs, Lomazov, Moore, Rankovich)
Thursday, May 27, 2010, at 7:30pm (Gosling, Hakobyan, McMillen, Rubenstein)
Tickets: $20 general admission; call 212/505-3474 for information


"New works for solo piano, usually tucked into recitalists' standard-repertory programs, are the entire focus of this groundbreaking festival...a remarkable lineup of contemporary and late twentieth-century works."
- Russell Platt, The New Yorker

Tuesday, May 25, 7:30PM
Eric Huebner, Marina Lomazov, Lisa Moore, Molly Morkoski, Joseph Rubenstein, pianists

Hymne - 2001 (2001) (Rubenstein) Valentin Silvestrov (b. 1937)
Romance No. 4 (celestial) (2009) (Rubenstein) Joseph Rubenstein (b. 1969)
Three Etudes (1985-94) (Morkoski) György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Inner Banners (2) (2002) (Huebner) Philippe Bodin (b. 1960)
Two Concert Etudes (1984) (Huebner) Nikolai Kapustin (b. 1937)
7 Etudes for Solo Piano (2008) (Moore) Don Byron (b. 1958)
Variations (1996) (Lomazov) Nikolai Kapustin (b. 1937)

Wednesday, May 26, 7:30PM
Amy Briggs, Marina Lomazov, Lisa Moore, Tatjana Rankovich, pianists

Variations on a French Noel (1986) (Rankovich) Kevin Oldham (1960-1993)
Gargoyles (1989) (Rankovich) Lowell Liebermann (b. 1961)
Bagatelle (2001) (Moore) Valentin Silvestrov (b. 1937)
Brooklyn, October 5, 1941 (2000) (Moore) Marc Mellits (b. 1966)
Four Jubilees (2002) (Briggs) Magnus Lindberg (b. 1958)
Five Children's Songs (1971-82) (Briggs) Chick Corea (b. 1941)
Basso Ostinato (1993) (Lomazov) Rodion Shchedrin (b. 1932)
Variations (1994) (Lomazov) Nikolai Kapustin (b. 1937)

Thursday, May 27, 7:30PM
Stephen Gosling, Karén Hakobyan, Blair McMillen, Joseph Rubenstein, pianists

Yours (2002) (Rubenstein) Bruce Stark (b. 1956)
Romance No. 2 (aurora) (2007) (Rubenstein) Joseph Rubenstein (b. 1969)
Virginal (2000) (Hakobyan) Vuk Kulenovic (b. 1946)
Six Éphémeres (1998) (McMillen) Philippe Hersant (b. 1948)
First Ballade (2004) (McMillen) Judd Greenstein (b. 1979)
Mardi Gras (1989) (McMillen) Richard Danielpour (b. 1956)
"Mirage" from Reliquary (homage to Ravel) (2002) (Gosling) Barbara White (b. 1965)
Five Études in Different Intervals (1992) Nikolai Kapustin (b. 1937)

"Keys to the Future is one of the hippest festivals in the city!" - George Steel, General Manager and Artistic Director, New York City Opera

Amy Briggs (www.amybriggspiano.com) has established herself as a leading interpreter of the music of living composers, while also bringing a fresh perspective to music of the past. Based in Chicago, she is the pianist for the Chicago Symphony Orchestra's MusicNOW ensemble, where she has worked with composers such as Augusta Read Thomas, Pierre Boulez, Marc-Anthony Turnage, Oliver Knussen, Esa-Pekka Salonen, and Osvaldo Golijov. The Chicago Tribune has called "extraordinary" her "mastery of what lay on the dense, printed page and beyond," and the Chicago Sun-Times called her a "ferociously talented pianist." The New York Times described her recent Lincoln Center performance of Luciano Berio's Sequenza IV as having "a live-wire intensity." Her recordings include two critically acclaimed discs of David Rakowski's Piano Etudes on Bridge Records (a third will be released shortly), solo and chamber music of Augusta Read Thomas for the ART label, chamber music of Conlon Nancarrow, Morton Feldman, Edgar Varese, and Erik Oña for Wergo Records, and a disc of solo piano tangos from the 20th and 21st centuries for upcoming release. She has performed as a soloist and chamber musician across the United States, Europe, Africa, Australia and New Zealand, and Asia. Amy Briggs earned her Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Piano Performance at Northwestern University, as a student of Ursula Oppens. She was recently appointed Director of Chamber Music and Lecturer in Music at the University of Chicago. Amy is a Steinway Artist.

Stephen Gosling's (http://www.keystothefuture.org/artist_gosling.html) playing has been hailed as "electric, luminous and poised" (The New York Times), projected with "utter clarity and conviction" (The Washington Post) through "extraordinary virtuosity" (The Houston Chronicle). A native of Sheffield, England, Stephen studied with Oxana Yablonskaya at the Juilliard School, where he earned his Bachelor's, Master's and Doctoral degrees. At Juilliard, he was awarded the Mennin Prize for Outstanding Excellence and Leadership in Music and the Sony Elevated Standards Fellowship. Energetically committed to the music of our time, Stephen Gosling is a member of the New York New Music Ensemble, Ensemble Sospeso and the Sinfonietta Moderna of Columbia University. He appears frequently as guest artist with such groups as Orpheus, the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, Continuum, the Orchestra of St. Luke's, Speculum Musicae and Da Capo Chamber Players. He has recorded for the New World, Bridge, CRI, Innova, Albany and Centaur labels, among others.

The talented Armenian pianist and composer Karén Hakobyan (http://www.keystothefuture.org/artist_hakobyan.html) has been acclaimed for his individual style and depth of his interpretations. Hakobyan has received numerous awards, both for performance and composition. In 2004 Mr. Hakobyan won first prize in the Four Corners Piano Competition, and The Fite Piano Competition. In 2003 he won first prize in the Pinault International Audiotape/Videotape Piano Competition, first prize in the Tourgee DeBose National Piano Competition, and first prize in the SummerArts Piano Competition. He has also been a top prize winner in the Armenian Legacy Pianists International Piano Competition and the International Festival of Creative Pianists. He has presented solo recitals in Armenia, the United States, Germany and France. Some of his festival performance highlights include: the "Lille International Piano(s) Festival" in France in 2005 where he was featured with internationally renowned artists such as Boris Berezovsky, Nicholas Angelich, Piotr Anderszewski, and Philippe Bianconi: "The Pianist as Composer" Festival at Mannes College of Music in 2008 and "The Mendelssohn Salon Yearlong Festival" in 2009 in New York City. Hakobyan is currently pursuing Professional Studies Diploma at Mannes College of Music, studying with Dr. Arkady Aronov and is residing in New York City.

Ukrainian-American pianist Marina Lomazov (www.marinalomazov.com), praised by critics as "a diva of the piano" (The Salt Lake City Tribune) and "a mesmerizing risk-taker" (The Plain Dealer, Cleveland), established herself as one of the most passionate and charismatic performers on the concert scene today. Ms. Lomazov has been awarded top prizes in several of the world's major piano competitions including Cleveland (Silver Medal), Gina Bachauer (Outstanding Female Performer), William Kapell and Hilton Head (First Prize). She has performed in Weill Hall, Merkin Hall, Steinway Hall, and Symphony Hall (Boston). Dr. Lomazov holds degrees from The Juilliard School and the Eastman School of Music. From 2003 to 2005 Ms. Lomazov served on the artist faculty of the Brevard Music Center. She has been featured on the "Bravo" Canada cable channel, and her live performances are broadcast regularly on public radio stations including NPR's "Performance Today," "Young Artist Showcase" on New York's WQXR, "Morning pro musica" and "Classics in the Morning" on Boston's WGBH. Currently Ms. Lomazov is Assistant Professor of Piano at the University of South Carolina School of Music, where she is also the Artistic Director of the Southeastern Piano Festival.

Blair McMillen (www.blairmcmillen.com) has established himself as one of the most sought-after and versatile pianists today. His repertoire spans from late-medieval keyboard manuscripts to the 21st century. Recent performances include solo appearances with the American Symphony Orchestra, the Albany Symphony/Dogs of Desire, Miller Theatre's 15th-anniversary "Piano Revolution," Orchestra of St. Luke's, Caramoor, CalArts, the Institute for Advanced Study, and "Music for the New Century" at Columbia University. Mr. McMillen recently made his Carnegie Hall debut as soloist, under the baton of David Robertson. His first CD "Soundings;" featuring music of Debussy, Scriabin, Liszt, and Bolcom; was released to wide critical acclaim. Other recent solo recordings include "Powerhouse Pianists" on Lumiere, "Concert Music of Fred Hersch" on Naxos, and "Multiplicities: Born in ‘38" on Centaur. Dedicated to new and groundbreaking projects, Blair McMillen is intensely committed to performing the music of today. He has premiered hundreds of pieces, and constantly works with both established and emerging composers in commissioning new works for the piano. Pianist for the Naumburg Award-winning Da Capo Chamber Players; Mr. McMillen plays regularly with the downtown-NYC based Avian Orchestra, St. Luke's Chamber Ensemble, the Locrian Chamber Players, and the American Modern Ensemble, among others. An active educator, improviser, and self-taught jazz pianist, he serves on the faculty at Bard College and Conservatory.

Australian-American performer Lisa Moore (www.lisamoore.org) has been crowned "New York's queen of avant-garde piano" and a "visionary" by The New Yorker magazine. The New York Times claims "her energy is illuminating" and The American Record Guide writes "her concerts are legendary". Lisa Moore is based in New York City where she has lived since 1985. She collaborates with a large and diverse range of musicians and artists and has released 4 solo CDs (on Cantaloupe Music and the Tall Poppies labels) and 30 collaborative discs (on Sony, Nonesuch, DG, CRI, BMG, Point, New World, ABC Classics and New Albion). 3 solo EPs are scheduled for release on the Cantaloupe Music label this coming season featuring original music by Don Byron, Annie Gosfield and Donnacha Dennehy. Combining powerful technique with vivid vocal theatricality Moore plays, sings, speaks, improvises and acts in shows such as "ipiano:my brilliant career", "Wilde's World", "Totally Wired Piano", "Janacek from the street" and "Musically Speaking". Recent performances of Mussorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibition have been widely praised. She was the founding pianist for the Bang on a Can All-Stars touring with them for 16 years worldwide. In May 2008 Moore curated Australia's Canberra International Music Festival Sounds Alive series, importing musicians from around the world for 10 days of music making at the Street Theatre. Moore teaches at the Yale-Norfolk New Music Workshop summer festival and at Wesleyan University. She is a graduate of the University of Illinois, Eastman School of Music and SUNY Stonybrook.

Molly Morkoski (www.mollymorkoski.com) has performed as a soloist and collaborative artist throughout the US, Europe, and Japan. Molly Morkoski's playing has been recognized by The New York Times as "strong, profiled, nuanced......beautifully etched." The Boston Globe called her "outstanding." She has been a featured soloist on the Making Music series at Carnegie Hall and the Tanglewood, Bang-on-a-Can, and Pacific Rim festivals, and has appeared as soloist with the Raleigh, Asheville, and Tuscaloosa Symphony Orchestras. An avid proponent of new music, Ms. Morkoski has worked with composers John Adams, Louis Andriessen, Gerald Barry, William Bolcom, David Del Tredici, Lukas Foss, John Harbison, Aaron Jay Kernis, David Lang, Oliver Knussen, George Perle, Steve Reich, and Charles Wuorinen. For the past three years, she has been working with Peter Sellars and John Adams on his newest opera, A Flowering Tree. This past season, she gave three world premieres of solo piano works by Dmitri Tymoczko, Andrew Waggoner, and Mark Grey. In May of 2008, she gave the world premiere of Martin Kennedy's Piano Concerto with the Tuscaloosa Symphony Orchestra. And, last December, she was invited by David Robertson to perform Messiaen's 'Vingt Regards sur L'enfant Jesus" in St Louis. Ms. Morkoski was a Fulbright scholar to Paris, France where she was apprentice with the Ensemble Intercontemporain and she is also a recipient of the Teresa Sterne Career Grant and the Thayer-Ross Awards. She holds degrees from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Indiana University in Bloomington, and a Doctorate degree from SUNY- Stony Brook. Ms. Morkoski currently lives in New York City and serves as Associate Professor at Lehman College in the Bronx.

Tatjana Rankovich (www.tatjanarankovich.com) is one of the most versatile pianists of her generation, committed to continuously expanding the boundaries of the traditional repertoire, constantly searching for and discovering new contemporary music and devoting her interest to performing rarely heard works of the past. An innate instinct to create a spectrum of different traditions, styles, old and new, known and unknown, is the very essence of her as an artist and takes a special place with every one of her concerts. Ms. Rankovich is an enthusiastic advocate of 20th and 21st century American music, and has recorded and performed a number of premieres. She is the first pianist ever to play the First, Second and Third Piano Concertos of Nicolas Flagello, recording them with the National Symphony Orchestra of Ukraine (Naxos, June 2005, chosen for the "best of the year" album in 2007 by Fanfare magazine) and the Slovak Philharmonic, (Artek, 1996), which was released to unanimous praise and chosen for one of the five "best of the year" recordings in 1996 and again in 1999, by Fanfare magazine. She has recorded several highly acclaimed discs for Phoenix USA, Naxos, Artek, Dezil and Citadel Records. Many of her premiere recordings were described as "splendid" and "superb." During her fall 2003 tour with the Novi Sad Chamber Orchestra, (performing Shostakovich's first concerto),Television Novi Sad made a documentary film of her life and work. In the summer of 2008, Tatjana Rankovich was one of the recipients of the prestigious State Award, "Golden Badge", awarded annually by the Serbian Ministry of Diaspora in Belgrade, Serbia. Ms. Rankovich has an extended teaching studio and she is presently on the piano faculty in the Preparatory Division at the Mannes College of Music in New York City.

Joseph Rubenstein (http://www.keystothefuture.org/artist_rubenstein.html) - composer, pianist, and founder of Keys to the Future - is committed to bringing the music of our time to as wide an audience as possible. He recently completed Book I of his Romances (the first of a projected three books) and will present the world premiere of Romance no. 4 (celestial) at the Keys to the Future Festival on May 25, 2010 at Le Poisson Rouge. Mr. Rubenstein founded Keys to the Future in 2005 as a means of juxtaposing contemporary composers and musicians from disparate genres, regions, ethnicities, and generations, and encouraging dialogue among these artists and their audiences. Now in its fifth season, Keys presents contemporary piano music at annual multi-day Festivals and SPOTLIGHT concerts in New York City. Bernard Holland of The New York Times recently described Mr. Rubenstein as an "astonishingly good pianist" and reviewer Allan Kozinn commented in his review of the 2009 Festival, "The Keys to the Future Festival, founded in 2005 by the pianist and composer Joseph Rubenstein, celebrates the contemporary piano repertory with a refreshing absence of dogma. This is a festival with no stylistic axes to grind: densely chromatic works, post-Minimalist scores and arrangements of Radiohead songs are offered side by side and given equal attention by a roster of respected new-music pianists who apparently find this little three-day festival rewarding enough that they come back every year." (The New York Times, May 20, 2009). Joseph performs contemporary music on a regular basis and has also played in a variety of jazz and musical theater venues. He earned his doctorate at the Yale School of Music (2001) and has been on the faculty of the Greenwich House Music School since 1997.

Keys to the Future's 5th Annual Festival is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs. It is also made possible with public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts, a state agency.

For more information, visit www.keystothefuture.org.