2016 marks ten years since the passing of György Ligeti, whose piano works enjoy a popularity unequaled by any other post-war compositions. The Ligeti etudes initiated me into performance of contemporary music- an experience which I suspect I share with many others. I’m therefore thrilled to announce two major Ligeti projects in the coming 2016-17 season, both nothing short of dreams come true.
In September I’ll be performing the Piano Concerto on tour in Israel and China, with the Israeli Contemporary Players conduced by Zsolt Nagy.
Starting in November, I’ll perform a daunting program of the major solo works- the complete Etudes of books I and II, as well as Musica Ricercata. This program was proposed by the Juan March foundation in Madrid, and will explore the connections and parallels between Ligeti and the art of M.C. Escher. In the works of both, illusions abound and perspective is constantly questioned- creating confusing yet highly structured worlds of great beauty.
Voix Nouvelles Festival, Royaumont
In the upcoming edition of the Voix Nouvelles Festival for New Music, I’ll present a somewhat unusual program and concept. The main works on this program will be Schumann’s Humoreske op.20, coupled with Georges Aperghis’ Simata (1969) for prepared piano. While the two could not be any more different in their sound-worlds, I believe they share some deeper concerns with large-scale form. Both are labyrinths, in which smaller self-contained episodes are combined into seemingly non-sequitur sequences. Underneath these abrupt transitions is logic of minute motivic connections, creating a subconscious stratum of musical communication.
Simata is enigmatic in one more sense- it is written for prepared piano, but the composer leaves the choice of preparation to the performer. Seizing on this opportunity, I’ve proposed that this preparation can involve the audience as well. Right before the recital, we’ll meet and prepare the piano together while discussing the possible effects of the sounds on the musical structure. I look forward to this dialogue, and the surprising new twists the piece will get.