‘Piano Olympics’ in Beaver Creek Saturday | VailDaily.com

‘Piano Olympics’ in Beaver Creek Saturday

Daily staff reportnewsroom@vaildaily.comVAIL CO, Colorado
Special to the Daily

VAIL – Two grand pianos, 176 piano keys, and four piano virtuosos all on one stage Saturday in Beaver Creek.It’s the closing night of Bravo’s 25th Anniversary season and it closes with a piano bash. Four by Four-A Two Piano Extravaganza Redux is 6 p.m. tonight at the Vilar Performing Arts Center in Beaver Creek. The world’s leading pianists come together to perform piano for four hands with works by Saint-Saens, Rachmaninoff, Shostakovich, Copland, Brahms and Milhaud. Saturday night is the final concert of the 2012 season of the Bravo Music Festival. Pianist and artistic director Anne-Marie McDermott is joined by three of her contemporaries, pianists Alessio Bax, Pedja Muzijevic and Stephen Prutsman for an evening of collaborative chamber music for four-hand piano music. A 9-foot Yamaha and a 9-foot Steinway are the instruments of the night. Two pianists will perform at a time on one of these pianos, alternating pianos like a piano Olympics. “To close the festival with a piano extravaganza will be a treat,” said McDermott. “What an honor it is to perform with these three stellar pianists.”The two pianos will be placed on stage so that they interlock. This allows the pianists to see each other’s faces, which is crucial in chamber music. A lid from one of the pianos will be removed so it does not block the projection of the sound from both instruments. There are many physical challenges that come with piano for four hands programs, but challenges aside, the combination of two pianos has had sufficient allure to tempt composers from Mozart to the present day, according to Bravo’s program book annotator, Lynne Mazza. Four by Four celebrates the piano and its enormous capabilities. The concert features an eclectic range of composers, from a work originally by Aaron Copland, arranged by Leonard Bernstein to a suite by Rachmaninoff and waltzes by Brahms to present a program of well-known composers but lesser-known works. The concert will be broadcast live on Colorado Public Radio. This will be the first-ever live broadcast from the Bravo Music Festival. Those not at the concert can tune in locally at Vail KPRE 89.9 FM to hear the live broadcast at 6 p.m., or download at http://www.cpr.org Last year’s piano bash sold out and the festival anticipates this year to sell out as well. A Behind the Music post-concert Q&A with the artists takes place on stage immediately after the concert.

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