Sir András Schiff is not only one of music’s most revered pianists, he is one of its greatest interpreters and your guide for a journey through remarkable works by Bach, Beethoven, and Schumann. Get up close with the musical master, seeing him play every note in this multi-camera stream recently recorded in front of a live audience in St. Peter’s Church in Zurich, Switzerland.
This program of rich and extraordinary works is presented by the Moss Arts Center on Thursday, April 1, at 7:30 p.m. Ticketholders have access to the streamed performance as it happens, and for seven days following the event.
Schiff is known for his affinity with Beethoven sonatas and here he performs two – the dramatic, turbulent Piano Sonata No. 17 in D minor, Op. 31, No. 2, “Tempest,” and Piano Sonata No. 26 in E-flat major, Op. 81a, “Les Adieux.” Beloved for its themes of farewell and absence, including the musical theme of a horn that signaled arrivals and departures, “Les Adieux” is an expressive, emotional work that ends with an exuberant reunion.
The evening recital will also feature Bach’s “Chromatic Fantasy and Fugue” in D minor, BWV 903, and “Capriccio on the Departure of his Beloved Brother,” BWV 992. Schiff’s encores profoundly connect to the rest of the program – Schumann’s magical “Arabeske” in C major, Op. 18, delivers beautiful flourishes that change when seen through the differing shadows cast by the intervening passages.
According to The Washington Post, “To attend an András Schiff recital is to enter a secular temple to music.” A world-renowned pianist, conductor, pedagogue, and lecturer, music critics and audiences alike continue to be inspired by the masterful and intellectual approach he brings to each piece he performs. Born in Budapest, Hungary, Schiff studied piano at the Liszt Ferenc Academy with Pál Kadosa, György Kurtág, and Ferenc Rados; and in London with George Malcom.
Recitals and special cycles, including the complete works of Bach, Haydn, Beethoven, Schubert, and Bartók, constitute an important component of Schiff’s work. Having collaborated with the world’s leading orchestras and conductors, he enjoys close relationships with the Chamber Orchestra of Europe, the Budapest Festival Orchestra, and the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment.
His prolific discography includes the complete Beethoven Piano Sonatas recorded live in Zurich; solo recitals of Schubert, Schumann, and Janá?ek; as well as J.S. Bach’s “Partitas,” “Goldberg Variations,” and “Well-Tempered Clavier.” His most recent two-disc set of Schubert Sonatas and Impromptus was released in spring of 2019.
Schiff continues to support new talent, primarily through his “Building Bridges” series, which gives performance opportunities to promising young artists. His many honors include the international Mozarteum Foundation’s Gold Medal (2012), Germany’s Great Cross of Merit with Star (2012), the Royal Philharmonic Society’s Gold Medal (2013), a Knighthood for Services to Music (2014), and a doctorate from the Royal College of Music (2018).
Tickets are $10 for general public and free for Virginia Tech students. Tickets can be purchased online; at the Moss Arts Center’s box office, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday through Friday, and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday; or by calling 540-231-5300 during box office hours.