Shanghai welcomes three masters of classical music
Three foreign musicians – pianists Ivo Pogorelich and David Fray and violinist Gidon Kremer – are set to perform at the near-century-old Shanghai Concert Hall in May and June, the venue's administrator confirmed on Thursday.
Pogorelich, the genius who split the 1980 International Chopin Piano Competition's jury with his unconventional interpretations of Chopin, will bring Chopin to Shanghai audiences. At the 1980 competition, his exceptional performance had Martha Argerich declare him a "genius" and resign from the jury in protest of him getting eliminated before the final round.
Controversy and polarized debates seemed to follow him since, with admirers appreciating his unique style which brought new life to masterpieces, and those not so fond of his interpretations calling him impossible to understand.
On June 24, the pianist will return to the Shanghai Concert Hall seven years after his last concert in the historical venue, with a full set of Chopin.
On May 14, French star pianist Fray will bring his interpretation of Bach's "Goldberg Variations," released in an album in 2021.
The 1741 piece, originally written for harpsichord, is among the most alluring masterpieces that inspired top pianists to come up with such varieties of interpretations. The score, which comprises a single aria and a set of 30 variations, lacks instructions beyond mere notes, encouraging its performer not only to technically challenge the piece, but also run wild with imagination and improvisation.
Fray, now 41, made recordings of Bach early in his career. His 2007 recording of Bach and Boulez got him voted "Newcomer of the Year 2008" by BBC Music Magazine, and has since attracted attention for his musical interpretation, love of Bach and eccentric performance.
Latvian violinist Kremer partners up with pianist Georgijs Osokins to bring work by masters like Mozart and Schumann on June 28th.
Kremer has played in Shanghai a few times, including his last performance at the Shanghai Concert Hall in 2016, when he presented a repertoire focused on compositions from the 20th century, much welcomed by local audiences.
Kremer began playing the violin at the age of 4, and has made more than 120 recordings. He's been recording with Deutsche Grammophon since 1978. The violinist has also won many prizes since very early in his career, including first prize at the Paganini competition in 1969, the International Tchaikovsky Competition in 1970, and more recently the Artur Rubinstein Prize from Venice in 2011.