Spotlight in Miami- Gifted artists at the International Piano Festival
by LAWRENCE BUDMEN
For the past six years, the Miami International Piano Festival has specialized in introducing gifted young keyboard artists. The festival's 2003 Discovery Series opened on 14 May at the Lincoln Theater in Miami Beach with a 'Tribute to Bach' by star alumnus Piotr Anderszewski. This pianist's recording of Beethoven's Diabelli Variations presented that complex work in new, original light. Anderszewski's Bach was equally illuminating. Eight Preludes and Fugues from The Well Tempered Clavier, Book 2 were given sensitive, deeply probing readings. The complex inner voicings of the B Minor fugue had remarkable clarity. The Partita No 1 in B flat Major seemed to float off the keyboard. Springy dance like rhythms and a rich palette of colors abounded. The entire performance was imbued with sparkle and élan. Compared to this vital music making, Gould and Tureck sound stogy indeed. Anderszewski is clearly one of today's most highly individual and expressive artists.
On 15 May the twenty-four year old Yugoslavian-born Misha Dacic made his American début. He proved to be remarkably talented but undisciplined. Crystalline Scarlatti and eloquent, rare Chopin (the Introduction et Rondeau Op 16) gave way to an uneven Schumann Kreisleriana and raucous Liszt (Hungarian Rhapsody No 15). Dacic was most impressive in a boldly virtuosic rendering of Nikolai Medtner's Sonata-Reminiscenza -- a grandly romantic vignette that deserves to be heard more often.
On 16 May Antonio Pompa-Baldi, Silver Medal winner of the Van Cliburn Competition and faculty member at the Cleveland Institute of Music, gave an arresting recital. The rarely heard original piano version of Grieg's Holberg Suite brought forth a cascade of pianistic colors. Poulenc's charming Napoli Suite was dispatched with brio and effervescence. Elegant Moszkowski, and commanding Liszt and Rachmaninoff (Sonata No 2 in B flat Minor) confirmed that Pompa-Baldi is a superb musician. His technical assurance and authoritive manner recall Earl Wild.
On 17 May Ukrainian-born Alexander Gavrylyuk presented a dazzling demonstration of pianistic technique. At age seventeen, he brought to mind the young Kissin, so perfect was his instrumental fluency. Dramatic Bach-Busoni, lyrical and impassioned Liszt (Mephisto Waltz and Dante Sonata), and wonderfully idiomatic Chopin were topped by a Prokofieff Sonata No 7 marked by pianistic power, thunderous octaves, and terrifying fury. Gavrylyuk is an artist to watch. A grand and wonderful festival indeed!
Copyright © 7 June 2003 Lawrence Budmen, Miami Beach, USA