Friday, May 12, 2017

24 Pianists will Play 24 Bach Prelude-Fugue Couplings

It has been said that much of the music of Johann Sebastian Bach, particularly the instrumental compositions, is so flexible that it can stand up to just about any approach to performance (and, thanks to the efforts of choreographers such as George Balanchine and José Limón, that includes interpretation through dance). Towards the end of this month, the Ross McKee Foundation will present yet another joint through which Bach’s music may be flexed. The full title of the program says it all: 24 by 24: Twenty-four Pianists Perform the Twenty-Four Preludes and Fugues from J. S. Bach’s Well-Tempered Clavier, Book I. This may be innovative, but it is not unique. One of the event’s co-organizers, Adam Tendler, previously arranged a similar concert in New York; and he will be in San Francisco as one of the participants.

It is worth noting that a wide net was cast to recruit those participants. Many will be Bay Area performers with national, if not international, reputations. Piano teachers at both the collegiate and community levels will also contribute, not to mention several musicians who are not primarily keyboard players. For those interested in a “scorecard,” here are the performers in the order of the keys of the preludes and fugues as they will be played:
  1. C major: Jack Van Geem
  2. C minor: Adam Marks
  3. C-sharp major: Keisuke Nakagoshi
  4. C-sharp minor: Christopher Basso
  5. D major: Naomi Sanchez
  6. D minor: Gabriela Lena Frank
  7. E major: Scott Foglesong
  8. E minor: Ellen Milenski
  9. E-flat major: Nicholas Pavkovic
  10. E-flat minor: Adam Tendler
  11. F major: Dan Glover
  12. F minor: Sarah Cahill
  13. F-sharp major: Kelly Savage
  14. F-sharp minor: Derek Tam
  15. G major: Adam Young
  16. G minor: Victoria Neve
  17. A-flat major: Kevin Korth
  18. G-sharp minor: Cameron Akioka
  19. A major: Jerry Kuderna
  20. A minor: Anne Rainwater
  21. B-flat major: Robert Brownstein
  22. B-flat minor: Peter Grunberg
  23. B major: Elizabeth Dorman
  24. B minor: Robin Sutherland
A Facebook page has been created with information about some of the performers.

The performance will begin at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, May 25. (Yes, May 24 might have been more appropriate, but not enough to dominate scheduling constraints!) The venue will be the McRoskey Mattress Company at 1687 Market Street. All tickets will be $20. Advance purchase is highly recommended, because seating will be limited. Tickets may be purchased in advance online through an Eventbrite event page. The event is being sponsored by R. Kassman: Purveyor of Fine Pianos.

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