In this video: Sonya Lifschitz and Stephen Emmerson – four hands, one piano – share the duties here to give us a game of doubles. The pair partner the works of Bach with the heartfelt and delightful transcriptions and reimaginings by the great Hungarian composer Gyorgy Kurtag.
Artists: Sonya Lifschitz and Stephen Emmerson (piano)
About the Artists: Praised by the New York Times and The Age for her “dynamic” and “powerful” performances, and by the Woodstock Times for her “miraculous keyboard technique and musicianship”, Ukrainian-born pianist Sonya Lifschitz is internationally recognised as one of Australia’s most innovative, fearless and fiercely creative musical voices. In 2015-2017 seasons, Sonya made a critically-acclaimed solo debut in one of New York’s most prestigious concert series, the BargeMusic, with other highlights including a piano duo tour of the USA with renowned pianist Lisa Moore; solo and chamber music performances at the Banff Centre (Canada), the Melbourne Recital Centre’s Salon: Solo, Local Heroes and Spotlight series, and the Melbourne (MIAF), Canberra (CIMF), Darwin, Port Fairy, Metropolis, St. John’s Feast of Music and Australian Piano Duo Festivals.
Stephen Emmerson studied at University of Queensland before a Commonwealth Scholarship enabled him to study at New College Oxford where he graduated with a Master of Philosophy in 1983 and a Doctor of Philosophy degree in 1989. As a performer, he studied piano with Pamela Page and Peter Wallfisch. He has been on full-time staff at the Queensland Conservatorium since 1987 where he teaches various music literature and performance-related courses, convenes the Doctor of Musical Arts program and is a member of the Conservatorium Research Centre. As a pianist, he has performed widely around Australia, New Zealand, Asia and the Pacific. In addition to solo performances on piano and fortepiano, the focus of his performance career in recent years has been within various chamber ensembles including the Griffith Trio and Dean-Emmerson-Dean. Recordings of his playing in collaboration with a variety of performers have been released by ABC Classics, Move Records, The Anthology of Australian Music on Disc, CPO, Tall Poppies, Contact and Melba.
About 48 Ways of Looking at Bach: In 1722, Johann Sebastian Bach set out to explore a new way of thinking about sound. His explorations led to an astonishing achievement, The Well-Tempered Clavier – two books of 24 Preludes and Fugues, in all major and minor keys, 48 works in total, each unique. In 2017 we’re joined by some of Australia’s most accomplished, creative and adventurous keyboard players to take us on a journey through ‘the 48’, bringing their own insights and reflections to this music, as well as matching it with music that they feel illuminate and enhance these masterworks.
Learning Keywords: J.S. Bach, classical performance, Well-Tempered Clavier, piano.
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