Sunday, April 20, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Noted pianist makes first Mondavi appearance Saturday

By
March 7, 2011 | Leave Comment

Pianist Yefim Bronfman comes to Davis on Saturday as part of a nine-city American recital tour. He'll perform works by Haydn, Schumann and Chopin in Jackson Hall at the Mondavi Center. Dario Acosta/Courtesy photo

Pianist Yefim Bronfman — a veteran performer who is in considerable demand around the world — will make his first appearance at the Mondavi Center at 8 p.m. Saturday in a recital featuring works by Josef Haydn, Robert Schumann and Frederic Chopin.

Bronfman’s schedule for the first six months of 2011 gives a good indication of just how busy he is. He has appeared (or will soon appear) with the Atlanta Symphony, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the New York Philharmonic, the Munich Philharmonic, the St. Louis Symphony, the London Symphony Orchestra, the Montreal Symphony, the Toronto Symphony, the Cincinatti Symphony and the Abu Dhabi Festival.

In addition, he joined a short tour with the Berlin Staatskapelle, performing all three piano concertos by Hungarian composer Béla Bartók in Paris and Vienna, and a tour with the Israel Philharmonic, performing Bartók and Franz Lizst.

His schedule last fall was equally busy, including appearances with the Berlin Philharmonic, the Vienna Philharmonic and the San Francisco Symphony.

Bronfman comes to Davis as part of a nine-city American recital tour. He told The Enterprise in a phone interview that he organized the music for the first half of the recital program — featuring the Haydn Sonata in C major, Hob. XVI/50, and the Schumann Humoreske in B-flat Major, Op. 20 — around the theme of humor.

“Haydn is always full of surprises,” Bronfman said. “One forgets how great Haydn is, because somehow Haydn is not highlighted on today’s concert stages the way he should be. People only play a fraction of the music that he wrote. And he wrote so many great piano sonatas.

“When I hear Haydn, I understand where Beethoven came from. Even with some modern composers, I can see the shadow of Haydn in their music. That’s why I chose this sonata to open the program. It’s humorous, it has a lot of sparkle. The last movement is almost like a joke, full of question marks and witty answers.

“The Schumann is titled ‘Humoresque,’ but why he gave it that title, I don’t know,” Bronfman continued. “It’s one of the saddest pieces he ever wrote. It’s also one of his longest pieces, close to half an hour. It contains a lot of ideas, and none of the ideas repeat themselves. It’s not what you’d expect of a classical Viennese composer (like Haydn) where material is developed and structured. With the Schumann, it’s always new material.

Originally, Bronfman’s program was supposed to include a new piece — also titled Humoresque — by composer Esa-Pekka Salonen (who was for many years the conductor of the Los Angeles Philharmonic). Bronfman released an entire album of music by Salonen on the Deutsche Grammofon label in 2009. But Salonen wasn’t able to complete the piece in time for Bronfman’s current recital tour. Bronfman said he looks forward to playing the new Salonen piece when the composer feels it’s finished.

Bronfman and Salonen are also in the midst of a project that involves performing the three Bartók piano concertos with an orchestra in London in concerts spread out over several months.

After intermission, Bronfman will play the Chopin Twelve Études, Op. 10.

“I always think of this piece as the most wonderful and poetic statement by a great composer, rather than focusing on the technical and physical challenges,” Bronfman said. “And after two structure pieces (by Haydn and Schumann), it’s nice to have something different — a set of shorter pieces, with a lot of artistic challenges.”

Bronfman (known as “Fima” to his friends) was born in Tashkent (then part of the Soviet Union, now the capital of Uzbekistan) in 1958, moved to Israel with his family in 1973, and moved again with his family to the United States in 1976.

He studied at the Juilliard School, Marlboro and the Curtis Institute, and had several legendary teachers: the late Rudolf  Firkušný (who had been a student of composers  Leoš Janáček and Josef Suk) , Leon Fleisher (who appeared at the Mondavi Center a few years ago), and the late Rudolf Serkin.

Bronfman made his New York Philharmonic debut in 1978, his Washington recital debut in 1981 at the Kennedy Center, and his New York recital debut in 1982. He became an American citizen in July 1989.

Bronfman’s discography is large and varied. He won a Grammy Award in 1997 for the three Bartók Piano Concertos with Esa-Pekka Salonen and the Los Angeles Philharmonic. He has recorded the complete Prokofiev piano sonatas, the five Prokofiev piano concertos, and Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concertos Nos. 2 and 3.

His most recent releases are a disc of compositions by Esa-Pekka Salonen, including the Piano Concerto composed for him, recorded with the Los Angeles Philharmonic; Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No. 1 with Mariss Jansons and the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra; a recital disc, “Perspectives,” which complemented his Carnegie Hall “Perspectives” series; and all Beethoven’s piano concertos and Triple Concerto, with the Tonhalle-Orchester Zürich under David Zinman.

— Reach Jeff Hudson at jhudson@davisenterprise.net or (530) 747-8055. Comment on this story at www.davisenterprise.com

Details

What: Recital by pianist Yefim Bronfman

When: 8 p.m. Saturday

Where: Mondavi Center for the Performing Arts, UC Davis

Tickets: $35-$68 general, $17.50-$34 for students, available at http://www.mondaviarts.org or by calling (530) 754-2787

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

The Davis Enterprise does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

  • Recent Posts

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this newspaper and receive notifications of new articles by email.

  • .

    News

    A springtime ritual

    By Wayne Tilcock | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    Tom Adams seeks Davis school board seat

    By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A1

     
    Hub of activity: DHS newspaper keeps evolving

    By Zoe Juanitas | From Page: A1 | Gallery

    Holy fire ceremony draws thousands in Jerusalem

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2 | Gallery

     
    Tour renovated YCCC facility Thursday

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    Tour Davis Waldorf School on Wednesday

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    The fifth annual Tour de Cluck is soon to be hatched

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3 | Gallery

     
    Ortiz lawn signs available

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Sign up soon for spring cooking classes

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    Robb Davis team to rally on Saturday

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Steadfast in their support

    By Lauren Keene | From Page: A4, 2 Comments | Gallery

     
    Yolo Hospice offers free grief workshops

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Sign up for Camp Kesem caterpillar crawl

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Quilters gear up for annual show

    By Sebastian Onate | From Page: A4

    KDVS launches fund drive on Monday

    By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A5

     
    Calling all Scrabble fans

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5 | Gallery

    League hosts a series of candidate forums

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

     
    Hub webpage is seeing traffic increasing

    By Zoe Juanitas | From Page: A8

    Birch Lane celebrates its 50th anniversary

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A16

     
    Hotel/conference center info meeting set

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A16

    Lescroart welcomes all to book-launch party

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A16 | Gallery

     
    DEVO set to serve up 14th annual Winkler Dinner

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A16 | Gallery

    Learn Chinese crafts at I-House

    By Sebastian Onate | From Page: A16

     
    Preschool open house set at Davis Waldorf

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A16

    .

    Forum

    Take ownership of your health

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B5

     
    Reliving the agony and ecstasy of spring

    By Marion Franck | From Page: A7

     
    Keep your baby safe

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A7

    Not thrilled with lack of symmetry

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A7

     
    Core values on campus

    By Our View | From Page: A12

    Road diet? No, city diet!

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A12, 4 Comments

     
    We’re reveling in our equality

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A12, 1 Comment

    Vote no; it’s fiscally responsible

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A12, 1 Comment

     
    Rick McKee cartoon

    By Debbie Davis | From Page: A12

     
    Bill is an affront to UC Davis ag biotech and local farmers

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A13, 1 Comment

    Don’t want to sit in Fix 50 traffic? Consider alternatives

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A13, 1 Comment

     
    .

    Sports

    Devils burn up the track

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

     
    UCD softball shut out by Santa Barbara

    By Thomas Oide | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Aggie men shoot 9-under, lead own tourney

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    Stars shine in Woody Wilson Classic

    By Evan Ream | From Page: B1, 1 Comment | Gallery

     
    UCD roundup: Aggie baseball swept away by Highlanders

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B2

    A’s score 3 in ninth, rally past Astros 4-3

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

     
    .

    Features

    .

    Arts

    .

    Business

    Yolo Federal Credit Union gets WISH funds

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

     
    PG&E pays taxes, fees to county, cities

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9, 1 Comment

    Will Davis get an Old Soul?

    By Wendy Weitzel | From Page: A9

     
    Pediatricians, nurse practitioner hired at Woodland Healthcare

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9 | Gallery

    Asian stocks mostly higher after mixed U.S. earnings

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

     
    Davis Roots will showcase its graduating startups

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A14

    University Honda wins another President’s Award

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A14 | Gallery

     
    Dutch Bros. raises $19,000 for girl with leukemia

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A14 | Gallery

    .

    Obituaries

    .

    Comics

    Comics: Sunday, April 20, 2014

    By Creator | From Page: B8