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Pianistic Wonders at Hotchkiss

Music preview
by Kevin T. McEneaney
Wed Jul 6th, 2016

Beginning this Sunday at 4 pm in acoustically superb Katherine M. Elfers Hall at The Hotchkiss School, Lakeville, famed Yale University professor and performer Boris Berman will open the Portals Concert Festival with an ambitious program of Claude Debussy. Berman will play both the first and second book of Debussy’s Preludes. This will be a rare event because both books are usually not performed in a single concert. Last year Berman played an impressive program of piano music (in the Russian style) and this program offers an unusually delicate treat. The really good news is that this concert, as well as the following concerts during the week, are free. There are no ticketed seats; plan to arrive earlier than later for this breath-taking program of pianistic heights.

Monday evening’s 7:30 pm piano concert by Professor Luiz De Moura Castro from the Hartt School of Music at the University of Hartford (via Rio de Janeiro) is no less ambitious. The program will include sonatas by Scarlatti, preludes and fugues by J.S. Bach, preludes by Liszt, with an all-Chopin program after intermission.

On Wednesday at 7:30 pm Carnegie Hall regular and founder of the Joseph Kalichstein will perform on piano Chopin, Schumann, Mendelssohn, and Brahms. Kalichstein is a founding member of the famed Kalichstein-Laredo-Robinson Trio, now in their 38th touring season.

 The Amernet String Quartet

Oxana Yablonskaya, renowned for her Romantic virtuosity at the keyboard and once considered “The best kept secret of the Soviet Union,” Ms. Yablonskaya has now performed in more than 40 countries. Her 7:30 pm Thursday evening performance will include: Gluck, Beethoven, Rachmaninoff, and Chopin.

On Saturday July 17 at 7:30 pm pianists Fabio and Gisele Witkowski will be accompanied by The Amernet String Quartet in an all-Brahms program, including Brahms’ Piano Quintet in F minor, op. 34.  Noted for their complex and shimmering textures, the Amernet String Quartet is currently Ensemble-in-Residence at Florida International University in Miami.

Sunday July 17 at 4 pm will feature a “young performer’s concert” to be continued on Tuesday the 18th at 7:30 pm.

Pianist Priya Mayadas, noted for her coloring and shading, will close the Portals Concert Festival on Thursday, July 21st, with Schumann’s famous Fantasie and Liszt’s monumental Sonata in B minor, an astonishing show-stopper if there ever was one.

 Pianist Priya Mayadas

Before concert picnicking on school grounds is permitted. For more details see: or call the concert hotline: (860) 435-3775.