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News Release, Marc Apter

Program to Feature Works Requested by Listeners Before the Event

(St. Benedict OR-July 22) — Pianist Brian Ganz will perform a selection of Chopin favorites during the special virtual 49th Abbey Bach Festival on Thursday, July 30, at 7 p.m. PDT (10pm EDT). Based at the Mount Angel Abbey in Saint Benedict, Oregon, the festival features a free four-day virtual classical concert series, broadcast live each day at 7 p.m. PDT, with concerts remaining available for viewing through Saturday, Aug. 8. Ganz took requests a few weeks before the concert, and will perform some of the works requested and more Chopin favorites. Each concert was performed and recorded live. Ganz’s performance was recorded at his home in Purcellville, Virginia on Friday, July 17. “I’ve never played in Oregon in person, so it’s a particular pleasure for me to be able to reach out to offer the soul nourishment of Chopin’s music to the people of that beautiful state, and across the internet to all Chopin lovers, at this tender time. How we all need beauty right now,” said Ganz. The festival will also feature performances by cellist Amit Peled, guitarist JIJI, and pianist Alon Goldstein with the Mercury Chamber Orchestra. For more information on the Abbey Bach Festival, visit https://www.mountangelabbey.org/bach.  

“There is a very unusual creative spark at work in this festival,” said Ganz. “The artistic director of the series, Alon Goldstein, is one of my favorite pianists and dearest friends, and I encourage everyone reading this to explore not just his artistry but also his ideas about music, art and life. Tune in not just on July 30, but for all four free concerts of the festival. They will leave you both musically enriched and eager for more art… and more life,” he said. The 7 p.m. (PDT) recital will be preceded by a 15 minute pre-concert interview, at 6:45 p.m., featuring a conversation between friends Ganz and Goldstein. 

Ganz’s Chopin concert will include the following compositions. (Those preceded by an asterisk were requested by members of the listening community of the Abbey Bach Festival.) *Polonaise in A major, Op. 40, No. 1; *Etude in E major, Op. 10, No. 3; *Ballade No. 1 in G minor, Op. 23;  Nocturne in A-flat major, Op. 32, No. 2; *Waltz in D-flat major, Op. 64, No. 1 (“Minute”);  *Waltz in C-sharp minor, Op. 64, No. 2; Mazurka in B minor, Op. 30, No. 2; Mazurka in D-flat major, Op. 30, No. 3; *Scherzo No. 2 in B-flat minor, Op. 31. 

 Brian Ganz is widely regarded as one of the leading pianists of his generation. A laureate of the Marguerite Long Jacques Thibaud and the Queen Elisabeth of Belgium International Piano Competitions, Ganz has appeared as soloist with such orchestras as the St. Louis Symphony, the St. Petersburg Philharmonic, the Baltimore Symphony, the National Philharmonic, the National Symphony and the City of London Sinfonia, and has performed with such conductors as Leonard Slatkin, Marin Alsop, Mstislav Rostropovich, Piotr Gajewski and Yoel Levi. 

In January of 2011 Ganz began a multi-year project in partnership with the National Philharmonic in which he will perform the complete works of Frédéric Chopin at the Music Center at Strathmore. After the inaugural recital, The Washington Post wrote: “Brian Ganz was masterly in his first installment of the complete works [of Chopin].” 

Ganz is 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, Mozart’s Piano Concerto K. 466 with the Virginia Chamber Orchestra and the Annapolis Symphony, Beethoven’s “Emperor” Concerto with the Billings Symphony, and a solo recital for the Distinguished Artists Series of Santa Cruz, California. Most recently, he co-wrote, acted and performed in a multi-media program at the Freer Gallery in Washington, D.C.