[ Concerts Faculty ]

Boris Berman plays music from a hundred years back Nov. 7

October 19, 2012

Program highlights Scriabin, Prokofiev, Debussy

Boris Berman

Multimedia program includes Debussy, Scriabin, Prokofiev

NEW HAVEN, CT  | The Horowitz Piano Series at the Yale School of Music presents A Hundred Years Back: music written 1912–1913, a performance by pianist Boris Berman, on Wednesday, November 7.

Featuring pieces by Scriabin, Prokofiev, and Debussy, the recital highlights the rich variety of musical styles in the period preceding World War I. The multimedia performance also features narrator Peter Francis James and projections designed by Shawn Boyle. Berman, who is celebrated for his performances of the three composers on this program, has recorded all these compositions to critical acclaim.

Berman opens the program with two sonatas by Alexander Scriabin. The Sonata No. 7 conjures mystical images of flight and feelings of rapture. The one-movement Sonata No. 9, nicknamed “Black Mass,” is considered one of the composer’s masterpieces for the piano.

Prokofiev’s Sarcasms, an example of that composer’s wild modernistic style, will close the first half of the concert.

The latter half of the program will feature Debussy’s La Boite a joujoux (The Toy Box), a witty and elegant ballet for children. The piano performance will be accompanied by narration from Peter Francis James, a faculty member at the Yale School of Drama, and visual projections of pictures by André Hellé that debuted with the original publication of Debussy’s work. The projections are designed by Shawn Boyle, a graduate student in the projection design program at the Yale School of Drama, under the guidance of assistant professor Wendall K. Harrington.

Tickets are $12–22, $6–9 with student ID. The concert takes place at 8 pm in Morse Recital Hall, located in Sprague Memorial Hall (470 College Street, New Haven). For more information or to purchase tickets, visit music.yale.edu or contact the Yale School of Music concert office at 203 432-4158

Morse Recital Hall is located in Sprague Hall at 470 College Street, New Haven.

About the Performers

Boris Berman, piano, is well known to the audiences of close to fifty countries on six continents and regularly appears with leading orchestras, on major recital series, and in important festivals. He studied at the Moscow Tchaikovsky Conservatory with the distinguished pianist Lev Oborin. An active recording artist and a Grammy nominee, Mr. Berman was the first pianist to record the complete solo works by Prokofiev (Chandos). Other acclaimed releases include all the piano sonatas by Alexander Scriabin (Music and Arts) and a recital of Shostakovich piano works (Ottavo), which received the Edison Classic Award (Holland’s equivalent of the Grammy). His recording of three Prokofiev concertos with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Neeme Jarvi conducting (Chandos), was named the Compact Disc of the Month by CD Review. He gives master classes throughout the world, and in 2005 he was named an honorary professor of Shanghai Conservatory of Music. Yale University Press has published Mr. Berman’s Notes from the Pianist’s Bench (2000), which has been translated into several languages, and Prokofiev’s Piano Sonatas: A Guide for the Listener and the Performer (2008).

Peter Francis James has been a lecturer at the Yale School of Drama since 2010 and at BADA/Oxford since 2006. His work as a narrator includes television programs, commercials and more than 50 books. He is a graduate and Associate of The Royal Academy of Dramatic Art. His most recent acting credits include: Signature Theater, The Lady From Dubuque (Lortel Nomination). Broadway: The Merchant of Venice, On Golden Pond, Drowning Crow, Judgment at Nuremberg. U.K.: The Lady From Dubuque (Theatre Royal, Haymarket), Cymbeline (RSC /TFANA). The Public: Stuff Happens (OBIE, Lucille Lortel Awards), Much Ado, Venus. CSC: The Maids (OBIE Award). Regional: Guthrie, Ahmanson, Mark Taper, Baltimore Center Stage, McCarter, Yale Rep, Williamstown, others. Film/ Television: The Losers, The Rebound, The Messenger, Joe Gould’s Secret, The Rosa Parks Story, “Oz,” “ Royal Pains”, “Gossip Girl, “Kings”, “Simple Justice”, ”The Ruby Bridges Story,” all three “Law & Order series.