As our pivot to the new environment continues, please “join us” virtually this coming Saturday, May 2, at 5 p.m. during our usual Music Matters timeslot and listen to a recorded performance from last year on our YouTube channel. Consider getting carry-out from a local restaurant and having a glass of wine as you take a break from the news of the day and enjoy some more beautiful music. Here are links to restaurants from our local chambers of commerce (Eastern CT, Ocean Community, and Greater Mystic) to whet your appetites. If the timing doesn’t suit your schedule, please know that we will upload the recording on Saturday afternoon and you can listen at your leisure.
Under normal circumstances, the concert series of a modest regional arts center is the last venue in which you'd expect a pianist to startlingly, arrestingly redefine the piano. That's exactly how our Music Matters Artistic Advisor Christopher Greenleaf describes what happened, though, when we brought Moscow pianist Yury Martynov over from Russia to play two Music Matters recitals in his Northeastern U.S. début. Late this Saturday afternoon, our second "video without video" segment on La Grua's YouTube channel will share the moment in October 2018 when Yury's big pianism and profound musical insight launched Schumann's beloved Symphonic Variations into glowing memory (the piece runs about 38 minutes). This was also the recording début of Christopher's just-restored 1886 Chickering concert grand—a vast, rosewood beast with a subtle, lyric voice that he has loaned to La Grua, much to the delight of visiting pianists this past year.
All of us at La Grua Center are deeply appreciative to Yury Martynov for allowing us to make his concert from last year available to you online for free (donations are always happily accepted), and to Ayla Fox and Christopher Greenleaf for their production expertise.
About Yury Martynov:
Yury Martynov, (piano, harpsichord, fortepiano, clavichord, organ) combines the finest of the Russian and Western-European traditions. He graduated from the Central School of Music and Moscow Tchaikovsky Conservatory, where he studied piano, organ, and music theory. He studied with Mikhail Voskressensky, legendary Russian pianist and prizewinner of the 1962 Van Cliburn competition. After graduating summa cum laude, he was invited to join the conservatory faculty in 1994. He was a laureate in several major international piano competitions, including first prizes at the Maria Canals Piano Competition (ES), Ennio Porrino (IT), and the Salzburg Mozart International Piano Competition, and second prize at the Concours Artistique d’Epinal (FR). He has also been on the faculty at the Conservatoire Claude Debussy (Paris) and has taught harpsichord and continuo at the Conservatoire Jean Wiéner (Bobigny, FR). He co-founded the Early Music Department at the Moscow Conservatory and proceded to launch an acclaimed series of educational initiatives in Russia and across Europe. Martynov became the first prominent musician to combine the traditions of the Russian romantic piano school with informed early keyboard music styles and historical performance practice.