Renowned Pianist Michael Stephen Brown Debuts With Phoenix Symphony Orchestra In Mozart’s Concerto For Two Pianos

Performances will take place April 26-28, 2024.

By: Apr. 16, 2024
Renowned Pianist Michael Stephen Brown Debuts With Phoenix Symphony Orchestra In Mozart’s Concerto For Two Pianos
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The internationally lauded American pianist/composer Michael Stephen Brown will join the Phoenix Symphony Orchestra and fellow pianist Adam Golka to perform Mozart's Concerto for Two Pianos under the baton of conductor Tito Muñoz at Symphony Hall (75 North Second Street, Phoenix, AZ 85004). The three subscription concerts are slated to take place Friday evening April 26, 2024 at 7:30 pm MST, Saturday evening April 27, 2024, at 7:30 pm MST, and Sunday afternoon April 28, 2024, at 2 pm MST.

The program, entitled "Mozart & Shostakovich: The Power of 10", will include a world premiere of the sound of space between us by American composer Annie Nikunen and Dmitri Shostakovich's Symphony No. 10. Full program follows:

Annie Nikunen the sound of space between us*

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart Concerto for Two Pianos

Dmitri Shostakovich Symphony No. 10

*World Premiere

Tickets from $35 to $135 are available on Phoenix Symphony's website. For more information please visit the event website and Pianist Michael Stephen Brown's website.

Praised for his "fearless performances," by The New York Times and "exceptionally beautiful" compositions by The Washington Post, pianist and composer Michael Stephen Brown has performed as soloist with the Seattle Symphony, The National Philharmonic, and the Grand Rapids, North Carolina, Wichita, New Haven, and Albany Symphonies. He has appeared in recital at Carnegie Hall, the Mostly Mozart Festival, and Lincoln Center. He regularly collaborates with his longtime duo partner, cellist Nicholas Canellakis, and has been featured at numerous festivals, including Tanglewood, Marlboro, Music@Menlo, Gilmore, Ravinia, Saratoga, Bridgehampton, Caramoor, Music in the Vineyards, Bard, Sedona, Moab, and Tippet Rise.

Mr. Brown recently toured his own Concerto for Piano and Strings (2020) throughout the United States and Poland with several orchestras. He has received commissions from the Gilmore Piano Festival; the NFM Leopoldinum Orchestra; the New Haven and Maryland Symphony Orchestras; Concert Artists Guild; Chamber Music Sedona; Music in the Vineyards; Shriver Hall; Osmo Vänskä, pianists Jerome Lowenthal, Ursula Oppens, Orion Weiss, Adam Golka, and Roman Rabinovich.

A prolific recording artist, his latest album Noctuelles, featuring Ravel's Miroirs and newly discovered movements by Medtner, was called "a glowing presentation" by BBC Music Magazine. He can be heard as soloist with the Seattle Symphony and Ludovic Morlot in the music of Messiaen, and as soloist with the Brandenburg State Symphony in music by Samuel Adler. Other albums include Beethoven's Eroica Variations; all-George Perle; and collaborative albums each with pianist Jerome Lowenthal, cellist Nicholas Canellakis, and violinist Elena Urioste. He is now embarking on a multi-year project to record the complete piano music by Felix Mendelssohn including world premiere recordings of music by one of Mendelssohn's muses, Delphine von Schauroth.

A recipient of many awards, Mr. Brown was the winner of the 2018 Emerging Artist Award from Lincoln Center and a 2015 Avery Fisher Career Grant. Other awards include the First Prize winner of the Concert Artists Guild Competition, the Bowers Residency from the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center (formerly CMS Two), and the Juilliard Petschek Award. Mr. Brown is a Steinway Artist.

Mr. Brown earned dual bachelor's and master's degrees in piano and composition from The Juilliard School, where he studied with pianists Jerome Lowenthal and Robert McDonald and composers Samuel Adler and Robert Beaser. Additional mentors have included András Schiff and Richard Goode as well as his early teachers, Herbert Rothgarber and Adam Kent. A native New Yorker, he lives there with his two 19th-century Steinway D's, Octavia and Daria.

Polish-American pianist Adam Golka (born 1987) first performed all of Beethoven's Piano Sonatas when he was 18 years-old, and in 2020-2021 Adam performed the cycle of Beethoven's 32 Sonatas at the Bach Festival Society of Winter Park (Florida) and at Saint Thomas Church Fifth Avenue (NYC), in socially-distanced and live-stream formats. Adam's performances of each Sonata were complemented by 32 short films he created, known as 32@32 (available on YouTube), documenting his preparation for climbing the Everest of piano literature and featuring an amalgam of distinguished guests, from an astrophysicist to Alfred Brendel.

Adam's principal teachers have been José Feghali, with whom he studied at Texas Christian University, and Leon Fleisher, at the Peabody Conservatory. Since finishing his formal studies, Adam has continued to develop his artistry through mentorship from Alfred Brendel, Richard Goode, Murray Perahia, Mitsuko Uchida, Evelyne Crochet, Ferenc Rados, Rita Wagner, and Sir András Schiff, who invited Adam to give recitals at the Klavier-Festival Ruhr and Tonhalle Zürich, for the "Sir András Schiff Selects" concert series. Adam has also given solo recitals in Tokyo's Musashino Hall, New York's Alice Tully Hall (presented by the Musicians Emergency Fund), and Amsterdam's Kleine Zaal in Het Concertgebouw.

As a concerto soloist, he has appeared with dozens of orchestras, including the BBC Scottish Symphony, NACO (Ottawa), Warsaw Philharmonic, NFM Leopoldinum, Shanghai Philharmonic, as well as the San Francisco, Atlanta, Houston, Dallas, Milwaukee, Indianapolis, New Jersey, and San Diego symphonies in the US, among many others. Adam has enjoyed collaborations with conductors such as Joseph Swensen, Donald Runnicles, Pinchas Zukerman, Mark Wigglesworth, and his brother, conductor Tomasz Golka. Adam gave his Carnegie Stern Auditorium début in 2010 with the New York Youth Symphony.

Chamber music is an integral part of Adam's life, and he has performed repeatedly at the Krzyżowa-Music "Music for Europe" festival, which has included tour performances at the Mecklenburg-Vorpommern and the Beethoven Bonn festivals, as well as Konzerthaus Berlin. He also performed at the Marlboro, Ravinia, and Caramoor chamber music festivals in the US. Adam collaborates regularly with the Manhattan Chamber Players and in recital with baritone John Moore, pianist Yannick Rafalimanana, cellist Jonathan Swensen, and violinist Itamar Zorman, with whom he recently debuted at The Wigmore Hall in London.

Adam's professional life began when he was awarded the first prize and audience prize at the 2nd China Shanghai International Piano Competition. In 2009, he won the Max I. Allen Fellowship from the American Pianists Association. As a pedagogue, he acted as Artist-in-Residence for six school years at the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts. Adam has recorded works by Beethoven, Schumann, and Brahms for London-based First Hand Records and he has premiered works composed for him by Richard Danielpour, Michael Stephen Brown, and Jarosław Gołębiowski.


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