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Piano Spheres: Playing to the Left
Mark Robson
24 Preludes for the Left Hand
May 18, 2012

"Twenty-four Preludes for the Left Hand" honors a venerable tradition created by composers that included Bach, Chopin, Scriabin and Shostakovich, who each wrote suites of short pieces in each of the major and minor keys.  This collection is unique in that the preludes are composed for one hand only, which situates it as well within the specialized current of repertoire devoted to the left hand.  Discover a whole world of emotions as familiar tonalities and keys are revisited to yield their individual colors and characters.  The work was written for and dedicated to pianist/author Christopher Brennan, who at the time of the work's inception in 1989 was suffering from a stress injury to his right arm that prevented him from extended performance of two-handed repertoire.  What began as a few pieces to assist a friend to pass the time during recovery turned into a full-blown journey in all the keys in which the composer's biography and musical affinities became intertwined with the challenges--real and symbolic--of performing with only five fingers. 

This performance begins at 8pm. 

Lauded by the Los Angeles Times as a pianist with “one of the great techniques” and “an inquiring mind,” Mark Robsonhas created a career which expresses his diverse interests as soloist, chamber artist, composer and conductor. He was a regular member of the music staff of the Los Angeles Opera from 1991 to 2005 as an assistant conductor and coach and has worked as a musical assistant at the Salzburg and Spoleto (Italy) festivals. Mr. Robson’s music has been programmed on concerts in Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, Barcelona and Paris. The Brentwood-Westwood Symphony Orchestra has premiered two of his orchestral works, Apollo Rising and Christmas Suite. Soprano Patricia Prunty has recorded his song cycle A Child of Air, which has been performed at the winter Ravinia Festival. Other compositions include a set of twenty-four preludes for the left hand, a bassoon trio and Dances and Dirges for piano, clarinet and cello.

The recipient of several scholarships and awards (including the Certificate of Excellence from the Corvina Cultural Circle for artistic contributions to Hungary), Mark Robson has received degrees from the University of Southern California and Oberlin College; several years of study in Paris embellished his musical training. His teachers have included Lydia Frumkin, Yvonne Loriod, Alain Motard, John Perry and James Bonn. At various periods he has coached for the voice departments of USC, Chapman University, the Herb Alpert School of Music at CalArts and Cal State Fullerton. Two of his large-scale music projects have been the performance of the complete Beethoven sonatas and multiple performances of Messiaen’s great piano cycle Vingt Regards sur l’Enfant-Jésus.

 

Piano Spheres:

Piano Spheres supports and encourages the composition and performance of major new works for the piano. It expands the piano repertoire by commissioning new music and sustaining a concert series of the highest artistic quality which focuses primarily on pieces by contemporary composers. In its concerts, Piano Spheres provides a context for these new works by including lesser-known music by established composers whose compositions influenced the course of piano music.

 

 

"Twenty-four Preludes for the Left Hand" honors a venerable tradition created by composers that included Bach, Chopin, Scriabin and Shostakovich, who each wrote suites of short pieces in each of the major and minor keys.  This collection is unique in that the preludes are composed for one hand only, which situates it as well within the specialized current of repertoire devoted to the left hand.  Discover a whole world of emotions as familiar tonalities and keys are revisited to yield their individual colors and characters.  The work was written for and dedicated to pianist/author Christopher Brennan, who at the time of the work's inception in 1989 was suffering from a stress injury to his right arm that prevented him from extended performance of two-handed repertoire.  What began as a few pieces to assist a friend to pass the time during recovery turned into a full-blown journey in all the keys in which the composer's biography and musical affinities became intertwined with the challenges--real and symbolic--of performing with only five fingers. 
Piano Spheres:
Piano Spheres supports and encourages the composition and performance of major new works for the piano. It expands the piano repertoire by commissioning new music and sustaining a concert series of the highest artistic quality which focuses primarily on pieces by contemporary composers. In its concerts, Piano Spheres provides a context for these new works by including lesser-known music by established composers whose compositions influenced the course of piano music.

"Twenty-four Preludes for the Left Hand" honors a venerable tradition created by composers that included Bach, Chopin, Scriabin and Shostakovich, who each wrote suites of short pieces in each of the major and minor keys.  This collection is unique in that the preludes are composed for one hand only, which situates it as well within the specialized current of repertoire devoted to the left hand.  Discover a whole world of emotions as familiar tonalities and keys are revisited to yield their individual colors and characters.  The work was written for and dedicated to pianist/author Christopher Brennan, who at the time of the work's inception in 1989 was suffering from a stress injury to his right arm that prevented him from extended performance of two-handed repertoire.  What began as a few pieces to assist a friend to pass the time during recovery turned into a full-blown journey in all the keys in which the composer's biography and musical affinities became intertwined with the challenges--real and symbolic--of performing with only five fingers. Piano Spheres:Piano Spheres supports and encourages the composition and performance of major new works for the piano. It expands the piano repertoire by commissioning new music and sustaining a concert series of the highest artistic quality which focuses primarily on pieces by contemporary composers. In its concerts, Piano Spheres provides a context for these new works by including lesser-known music by established composers whose compositions influenced the course of piano music.

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