Tuesday, June 30, 2009

ArtsBriefs: 'Hammerklavier,' young recitalists, and poets

Pianist Valentina Lisitsa.

Going big at the piano: Valentina Lisitsa, a Russian-born pianist long resident in South Florida, tackles two monumental solo piano works tomorrow night at the Boca Steinway Gallery under the aegis of Abram Kreeger's Piano Lovers series. Foremost among them is the Beethoven Hammerklavier Sonata (No. 29 in B-flat, Op. 106) , the composer's longest, most intense, most genre-bending works to be titled as a sonata. The other piece is the early First Sonata (in D minor, Op. 28) of Sergei Rachmaninov, a large, passionate piece from 1907, but much less well-known than the later Second Sonata. It's rare to hear these two works live, and devotees of piano literature will want to be there at the Steinway Gallery at 7 p.m. Wednesday. Tickets are $20 in advance, $25 at the door. For more information, call (561) 929-6633 or visit www. pianolovers.org.

Violinist Chad Hoopes.
(Photo by Roger Mastroianni)

Young Artists Recitals Series at PBCC: The string quartet series at Palm Beach Community College's Duncan Theatre has been a popular seasonal attraction for classical music fans, but the economic downturn has put a quartet series out of reach for the coming season. In its place will be four concerts featuring young, rising classical musicians: three violinists and a pianist. Concerts will take place Wednesday afternoons in the small Stage West Theatre next to the Duncan. The series includes 14-year-old American violinist Chad Hoopes (Dec. 16); the Canadian violinist and New World Symphony alumna Yuki Numata (Jan. 27), who has scheduled works by Beethoven, Ysaye, and Ravel; Russian violinist Mikhail Simonyan (Feb. 24), who has programmed pieces by Schnittke, Prokofiev and Grieg; and the Chinese pianist Ran Jia (March 24), a student of Gary Graffman at the Curtis Institute in Philadelphia. The entire series will cost $60, and tickets will go on sale to the general public sometime in September.

Poet Stephen Dobyns.

Poet lineup set: Miles Coon's Palm Beach Poetry Festival will be marking its sixth year when it returns to Delray Beach on Jan. 18-23. Last week, founder Coon announced that the following poets will be conducting workshops, reading and performing at this season's gathering: Stephen Dobyns, Carolyn Forche, Thomas Lux, David Wojahn, Jean Valentine and Kevin Young (advanced workshops); Mary Cornish and Ilya Kaminsky (intermediate workshops); Jay Hopler and Sidney Wade (Florida pots reading); and Andrea Gibson and Anis Mojgani (performance poets). For more information, or to sign up for one of the workshops, visit www.palmbeachpoetryfestival.org.

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