Steinway Piano Series
The concerts of James Tocco and Ursula Oppens are presented in collaboration with the Adams Foundation. The remaining concerts of the 2011-2012 Steinway Piano Series are sponsored by R. Philip Hilf, CFP®, Financial Advisor, and Jeffrey Mendola, CMFC, Managing Principal of the Monroeville office of Waddell & Reed.
All Steinway Piano Series concerts are held in the theater at Pittsburgh CAPA on Sundays at 3:00 p.m.*
October 9, 2011
*concert at 7pm
March 18, 2012
Presented in collaboration with the Adams Foundation.
March 18, 2012
Presented in collaboration with the Adams Foundation
Beethoven: Fantasie, Op. 77
Mendelssohn: Fantasy in F-sharp Minor, Op. 28
Amy Williams: Three pieces for piano
Pianist Ursula Oppens, one of the very first artists to grasp the importance of programming traditional and contemporary works in equal measure, has won a singular place in the hearts of her public, critics, and colleagues alike. Her sterling musicianship, uncanny understanding of the composer’s artistic argument, and lifelong study of the keyboard’s resources, have placed her among the elect of performing musicians. Recent highlights include appearances with the Boston Modern Orchestra Project, recitals for the Van Cliburn Foundation, Music Toronto, and at Baylor University, et al. In 2008/09 Ursula Oppens performed Messiaen’s “Visions de l’amen” at Symphony Space, where she also returned for a solo recital of Beethoven and John Corgliano in the spring. She joined Mark Morris Dance Group for “Mozart Dances”, appearing in Toronto, on tour in New Zealand, and at the Kennedy Center. In 2008, Ms. Oppens celebrated the 100th birthday of her friend and colleague, Elliott Carter, with critically acclaimed performances of his complete works for solo piano at the Boston Conservatory of Music, at SymphonySpace, and at San Francisco Performances; and with appearances at Ravinia, Tanglewood, Merkin Hall and elsewhere. Her recording of these works, “Oppens plays Carter” received a 2009 GRAMMY nomination for best solo classical album and was named on “Best of 2008” lists in The New York Times, the New Yorker magazine and the Chicago Tribune.
Other dates include a featured appearance at the Los Angeles Philharmonic’s renowned Green Umbrella Festival; Lou Harrison’s Piano Concerto at the Pacific Symphony Orchestra’s American Composers Festival; Carter’s “Dialogues” at the Tanglewood Festival; her world-premiere performance of William Bolcolm’s “Ballade” at the newly re-opened Merkin Hall; Frederic Rzewski’s “The People United Will Never Be Defeated” at Berkeley’s EdgeFest (one of the “top ten classical music events of 2007”, Joshua Kosman, The San Francisco Chronicle,); and recitals at Philadelphia Chamber Music Society, Columbia University’s Miller Theater, Zankel Hall, the International Keyboard Institute and Festival at the Mannes College of Music and elsewhere.
An enduring commitment to integrating new music into regular concert life has led Ms. Oppens to commission and premiere many compositions, including works by Anthony Braxton, Elliott Carter, Anthony Davis, John Harbison, Julius Hemphill, Tania Leon, György Ligeti, Witold Lutoslawski, Conlon Nancarrow, Tobias Picker, Frederic Rzewski, Alvin Singleton, Joan Tower, Lois V Vierk, Christian Wolff, Amnon Wolman, and Charles Wuorinen. A co-founder of Speculum Musicae, Ms. Oppens has an extensive recording catalogue and has received three Grammy nominations: for “Oppens plays Carter”; for her Vanguard recording of Frederic Rzewski’s “The People United Will Never Be Defeated”; and for “American Piano Music of Our Time,” a classic compilation of piano works by 20th century American composers for the Music & Arts label. Ursula Oppens studied piano with her mother, the late Edith Oppens, as well as with Leonard Shure and Guido Agosti. She received her master’s degree at The Juilliard School, where she studied with Felix Galimir and Rosina Lhévinne. After 14 years as the John Evans Distinguished Professor of Music at Northwestern University, Ms. Oppens is now a Distinguished Professor on the faculty of Brooklyn College Conservatory of Music and CUNY Graduate Center.