Elder Hall, North Tce, Adelaide
Bach Bach Goldberg Variations BWV 988 (arr: Stephen Emerson for piano duo)
and works by John Adams, Martin Bresnick and the SA Composition Award Winner.
Please note program is yet to be fully finalised, there may be adjustments to the pieces or length, which will be clearly announced ahead of the concert. Approximate duration 120 minutes (including interval)
In association with the Accompanist’ Guild of South Australia
About the music
The virtuosi Ukrainian-Australian-American musical mavericks — pianists Sonya Lifschitz and Lisa Moore — join forces for their sensational duo as they re-imagine and present the iconic masterpiece — the J.S. Bach Goldberg Variations BMW 988. Exploring the contrapuntal ingenuity and the transcendent spiritual beauty of the original, this two-piano arrangement (by the revered Australian pianist Stephen Emmerson) delivers a beguiling and electrifying musical dialogue.
Weaving an intricate, kaleidoscopic tapestry of colors, textures, articulations and dynamics, Sonya and Lisa conjure up a sense of awe and beauty as the variations unfold. They re-create the piece afresh, allowing it to speak in ever more powerful and compelling ways to contemporary audiences.
About the artists
Lisa Moore, piano
The New York Times writes ‘Lisa Moore, an Australian pianist long based in and around New York, has always been a natural, compelling storyteller’, TimeOut New Yorkdescribes her as ‘the wonderfully lyrical pianist’ and The New Yorker refers to her as ‘New York’s queen of avant-garde piano’. Lisa has nine solo discs (Cantaloupe, Orange Mountain Music, Tall Poppies) ranging from Leoš Janáçek to Philip Glass. Her latest CD The Stone People (Cantaloupe), featuring the music of John Luther Adams, Martin Bresnick, Missy Mazzoli, Kate Moore, Frederic Rzewski and Julia Wolfe, made The New York Times Top Classical Albums of 2016 and the 2017 Naxos Critics’ Choice. Lisa has recorded over thirty collaborative discs (Sony, Nonesuch, DG, BMG, New World, ABC Classics, Albany, New Albion, Starkland, Harmonia Mundi). Her recent Steve Reich Music for Eighteen Musicians (Harmonia Mundi) with Ensemble Signal made The New York Times Top Classical Albums of 2015 list.
Lisa collaborates with a large and diverse range of musicians, ensembles and artists – groups such as the London Sinfonietta, Bang on a Can All-Stars, Steve Reich Ensemble, New York City Ballet, Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, Australian Chamber Orchestra, Sydney Symphony Orchestra and the American Composers Orchestra. She is a member of Grand Band, Ensemble Signal, TwoSense and the Paul Dresher Double Duo. Festival guest appearances include Lincoln Center, BAM Next Wave, Big Ears, Banff, Crash Dublin, Vienna, Graz, Rome, Turin, Aspen, Tanglewood, Gilmore, Chautauqua, Huddersfield, Paris d’Automne, Shanghai, Beijing, Hong Kong, BBC Proms, Southbank, Uzbekistan, Leningrad, Moscow, Lithuania, Adelaide, Perth, Brisbane, Sydney, Canberra, Israel and Warsaw. As an artistic curator Lisa produced Australia’s Canberra International Music Festival 2008 Sounds Alive series, importing artists from around the world for 10 days of events at the Street Theatre.
Having won the silver medal in the 1981 Carnegie Hall International American Music Competition Lisa moved to New York City in 1985. From 1992-2008 she was the founding pianist for the Bang On A Can All-Stars and winner of Musical America’s 2005 Ensemble of the Year Award. Lisa has collaborated with over 200 composers – including Iannis Xenakis, Elliot Carter, Philip Glass, Steve Reich, Frederic Rzewski, Ornette Coleman, David Lang, Don Byron, Meredith Monk, Thurston Moore, Hannah Lash, Julia Wolfe and Martin Bresnick.
Sonya Lifschitz, piano
Praised by The New York Times and The Age for her “dynamic” and “powerful” performances, Ukrainian-born pianist Sonya Lifschitz is internationally recognized as one of Australia’s most innovative and creative musical voices. In 2015, Sonya made her critically acclaimed solo debut in New York’s BargeMusic series, with other season highlights including performances at the Banff Centre (Canada); Melbourne Recital Centre’s Local Heroes and Spotlight series; Melbourne, Darwin and Port Fairy Festivals; Queensland Conservatorium of Music; and a collaboration between visual artist Angela Cavalieri, iconic Melbourne arts venue fortyfivedownstairs, and Sonya’s contemporary ensemble Press, Play, of which she is the co-founder and artistic co-director.
Sonya is increasingly active as a music curator and director, pushing to expand the existing parameters of performance culture and concert experience in Australia. In 2015 she curated and directed a critically-acclaimed multi-disciplinary project (Canzone) for the Melbourne Festival, working at the intersection of visual art, music, and animation. This year, as a Fellow at the Australian National Academy of Music, Sonya will curate two large-scale projects reflecting her commitment to innovative and creative programming and community engagement.
A fierce advocate for new music, Sonya has commissioned and premiered numerous large-scale works, notably Kate Neal’s piano concerto Particle Zoo II, Damian Barbeler’s Bright Birds, and two electro-acoustic suites for piano and electronics, by Steve Adam and Anthony Lyons amongst many others. Sonya debuted with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra at age 18, performing Rachmaninoff’s Second Piano Concerto, broadcast on ABC Classic FM and SBS television. She has been a soloist with the Melbourne Symphony, Israel Symphony, John Hopkins Symphony, Western Australia Youth Symphony, Melbourne Symphonia, and Marroondah Symphony orchestras; has performed extensively in Australia, United States, Israel, Switzerland, Italy and England; and has been featured on ABC Classic FM, ABC Radio National, and 3MBS Fine Music stations. A Fulbright Scholar, Sonya studied under the legendary pianist-conductor Leon Fleisher at the Peabody Conservatory of Music (John Hopkins University, USA) and holds a PhD in performance from the University of Melbourne.