Pianists Richard and John Contiguglia win Grand Prix du Disque

Duo pianists Richard and John Contiguglia (both ’59BA, ’61MM) are the winners of the 2012 Grand Prix du Disque, awarded last October by the Liszt Society of Hungary. The award-winning disc features Liszt’s Operatic Fantasies and Bartók’s Suite for Two Pianos.

The brothers noted, “Early in our career as a professional duo-piano team we discovered duos of Liszt and of Bartók that had never been previously recorded and had seldom been heard in modern-day public concerts. The duos of Liszt were only available from collections in museum archives or in rare Russian editions. We were so impressed with the quality of the music that we performed much of it on our recitals in Europe and in the United States and finally made, in the early 1970s, what came to be several historic recordings for Connoisseur Society Records. The resulting LPs have long since been unavailable and were never reissued as CDs. We are pleased to be able to offer once again the original Connoisseur Society recording of Liszt’s Operatic Fantasies and a live radio broadcast recording for VARA Radio in Holland of Bartók’s Suite for Two Pianos, Op. 4b.”

The American Record Guide wrote, “You owe it to yourself to seek out this recording – performances of this caliber are quite rare.”

Richard and John Contiguglia are identical twins who have collaborated as a piano duo since they were five years old. Following the release of their historic recording for Connoisseur Society of Beethoven’s 9th Symphony, transcribed for two pianos by Franz Liszt, now a collector’s item, critic Edward Tatnall Canby called the Contiguglias “the most profoundly musical pair of piano virtuosi of this century.” Records and Recording proclaimed that “they have given the two-piano medium a whole new dimension. The Contiguglias stand apart in a lofty world of their own, unrivaled and supreme.” Byron Belt, for Newhouse News Service, called the Contiguglias “foremost among today’s duo-pianists.” MORE

Published March 26, 2013
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Pianists Peter Frankl and Wei-Yi Yang pair up in Schumann and Debussy program

Fascinating December 16 concert includes music by Schumann arranged by Debussy, and music by Debussy arranged by Ravel

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The Horowitz Piano Series at Yale presents Peter Frankl and Wei-Yi Yang, both professors of piano at the Yale School of Music, in a program of piano duets on Wednesday, December 16, 2009 at 8 pm. The program features music by Robert Schumann and Claude Debussy for two pianos and piano four hands, and includes performances by other faculty and alumni guest artists. Frankl has recorded the complete piano works of both composers for the Vox label.

In the program selections by Peter Frankl and Wei-Yi Yang, the connection between the two featured composers is illustrated by Debussy’s arrangement for two pianos of Schumann’s Six Etudes in Canonic Form, Op. 56, while the theme of one great composer arranging the music of another is continued with three masterpieces by Debussy arranged by his younger countryman, Maurice Ravel. The duo will perform Ravel’s arrangement of Debussy’s Prélude à l’après-midi d’un faune (Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun) for piano four hands and the Petite Suite and Nocturnes, arranged for two pianos. Two pieces by Schumann complete the program, Bilder aus osten (Pictures from the East), Op. 66, and Andante and Variations, Op. 46, for two pianos, two cellos, and horn, with guest artists William Purvis, horn, and cellists Mihai Marica and Jacques Wood. MORE

Published November 25, 2009
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