Renowned piano virtuoso Yefim Bronfman to play at Fairfield University's Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts


Yefim BronfmanGrammy-winning pianist Yefim Bronfman, whose electrifying performances have wowed critics and audiences alike, will take the stage on Friday, Feb. 6, at 8 p.m. at Fairfield University's Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts. A pre-concert "Art to Heart" discussion with Laura Nash, Ph.D., director of the University's Classical Music Department, will take place from 7 to 7:40 p.m.

Internationally recognized as one of the finest piano virtuosos in the world, Bronfman stands out from the crowd with his powerful and dexterous playing. His Quick Center appearance will include a stirring program of Beethoven, Tchaikovsky and Prokofiev well suited to the pianist's boundless energy and technical prowess.

"His approach is bold," wrote critic R.M. Campbell of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer after a 2001 concert. "He possesses a gleaming tone that he uses with substantive variation, and his legato is as smooth as cream. One does not doubt his passion - it can be raw and percussive - nor does one disregard his poignancy."

Bronfman made his international debut at just 17, appearing with Maestro Zubin Mehta and the Montreal Symphony in 1975. A critically acclaimed New York Philharmonic debut came the next year and has been followed by a host of recordings and ambitious tours that have taken him across the United States, Europe and Asia.

Equally at home with full orchestras, chamber ensembles and as a soloist, Bronfman has played with the National Symphony, the Berlin Symphony and the Emerson, Juilliard, Cleveland and Guarneri quartets, and collaborated with Yo-Yo Ma, Lorin Mazel, Isaac Stern, and Emmanuel Ax, who appeared to an appreciative Quick Center audience last season.

He recently completed a solo tour with stops in Rome, Berlin, Milan, Vienna, Amsterdam, Chicago, Los Angeles and New York.

Bronfman's recordings include the three Bartok piano concertos with Esa-Pekka Salonen and the Los Angeles Philharmonic, which won a 1997 Grammy Award. His discography also includes the complete Prokofiev piano sonatas, Rachmaninoff's Piano Concertos Nos. 2 and 3 and challenging works by Stravinsky, Tchaikovsky, Brahms and Mozart.

Bronfman will take on a few of his best-loved pieces at the Quick Center appearance. The concert includes Prokofiev's "Sonata No. 2 in D minor, Op. 14," a powerful study in contrasts that critics have hailed for deftly combining an angular and harsh quality with freshness and wit. He will also offer Tchaikovsky's "Dumka, Op. 59," a haunting piece based on the melancholy peasant folk ballads that the composer often turned to for inspiration.

The first half of the program includes Beethoven's "Sonata No. 32 in C Minor, Op. 111" and "Sonata No. 17 in D Minor, Op. 31, No. 2," a piece the composer once said was based on the dynamic struggles in Shakespeare's "The Tempest." Both works speak to Beethoven's singular ability to combine grand power and subtle nuance.

Born in Taskkent, in the former Soviet Union, Bronfman immigrated to Israel with his family in 1973, when he was just 15. In Israel, he studied with pianist Arie Vardi, head of the Rubin Academy of Music at Tel Aviv University. He has also studied at The Juilliard School and the Curtis Institute - with masters Rudolf Firkusny, Leon Fleisher and Rudolf Serkin - in the United States, where he has been a citizen since 1989.

Tickets are $30 to $40. For tickets, call the Quick Center box office at (203) 254-4010 or toll free at 1-877-ARTS-396. For more information, visit the website, www.quickcenter.com.

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Media Contact: Nancy Habetz, (203) 254-4000, ext. 2647, nhabetz@fairfield.edu

Posted on January 9, 2004

Vol. 36, No. 149