St. Mary’s City- Pianist Brian Ganz, Musician-in-Residence at St. Mary’s College of MD, is set to return to the stage at the Recital Hall of the Dodge Performing Arts Center on September 28 at 11:20 a.m. The upcoming performance will inaugurate a three-part concert series titled “Chopin’s Virtuosic Summit: The Etudes, Op. 25.” The first installment will feature discussion and performance of the initial four etudes from Frédéric Chopin’s demanding Op. 25 set. The program is free and available to the public. The college can be contacted at (240) 895-4498 or through their website for more details.
“Chopin’s 250 or so works are almost without question the most beloved ever composed for piano,” Ganz commented. “This year, I am setting out to tackle the pinnacle of those demanding works, the 12 Etudes, or Studies, Op. 25. They are works of great art first and foremost.”
Ganz’s endeavor isn’t just isolated to St. Mary’s College. He is also scheduled to perform his 13th all-Chopin concert at the Strathmore in North Bethesda on February 24, 2024, at 7:30 p.m. The concert will be part of his ongoing quest to perform all of Chopin’s works, and tickets can be purchased at NationalPhilharmonic.org.
The pianist’s reputation precedes him; he has appeared as a soloist with renowned orchestras such as the St. Petersburg Philharmonic, the National Philharmonic, the Baltimore and National Symphonies, the City of London Sinfonia, and L’Orchestre Philharmonique de Monte Carlo. He has also performed in numerous world-class concert halls under the direction of acclaimed conductors like Leonard Slatkin, Mstislav Rostropovich, Pinchas Zukerman, Jerzy Semkow, and Yoel Levi.
Ganz’s performance abilities have been recognized by the orchestras and conductors he has worked with and by critics worldwide. A critic for La Libre Belgique praised Ganz, stating, “We don’t have the words to speak of this fabulous musician who lives music with a generous urgency and brings his public into a state of intense joy.”
The upcoming concert series at St. Mary’s College offers the local community a chance to experience the works of Chopin, explored by a pianist of international repute. The series’s combination of discussion and performance is expected to provide attendees with a comprehensive understanding of what makes Chopin’s Etudes both technically challenging and artistically enriching. Given that the event is open to the public, it also represents an opportunity for individuals who may not be regular concert-goers to engage with classical music meaningfully.
Whether one is a seasoned aficionado of classical piano works or simply curious about the art form, Ganz’s concert series promises to be a deep dive into the world of one of the greatest composers in history. As Ganz himself emphasized, “They [the Etudes] are so hard to play; it is their beauty that the listener notices above all.”