Bangor, ME — Internationally acclaimed pianist Alon Goldstein opens the Bangor Symphony Orchestra’s 123rd season with a performance of Ravel’s Piano Concerto in G on Sunday, October 7th. We caught up with Alon before his visit to get the inside scoop on what to expect!
BSO: Hello, Alon! You last performed with the Bangor Symphony Orchestra in 2012. What is your favorite memory from your last visit to Bangor?
AG: I am very much looking forward to coming and playing with the wonderful Bangor Symphony and my good friend Lucas Richman. I remember vividly the instant connection with the musicians I had last time, and their enthusiasm they have about sharing the beautiful music with the audience.
BSO: What excites you about Ravel’s Piano Concerto in G?
AG: The Ravel concerto is a most original and exciting piece. East meets West. The piece combines the elegance and refinement of French music with its search for exotic sensuous colors, with the new Jazz sounds that come from America, as well as the revolution caused by Stravinsky. So the French, the American and the Russian all go and visit Japan! And it has one of the most heavenly beautiful slow movements ever written.
BSO: What would you encourage audiences to listen for in this piece?
AG: I think the audience will be intrigued by experiencing all sorts of new exotic sounds – a whip, bells, muted trumpet, English horn. Also the new sonorities that seem to have been taken from a scene out of Japan. Above all, I think the audience should wait for the English horn solo in the slow movement which is accompanied by the piano – one of the most magical moments in all music literature.
BSO: Can you describe how you view the relationship on stage between soloist and conductor?
AG: The relationship on stage between soloist and conductor is that of one partnership. The ideal situation happens when there is a feeling of chamber music making, where we both nourish as well as feed off of each other. The music is the star of the concert and we both are the instruments, the tools that brings the music to life.
BSO: What upcoming projects are you excited about this season? We want to know!
AG: I have a lot of exciting projects ahead – one is a festival that I created in Florida with the aim of bringing classical music at no charge to communities with less access to it – including schools, nursing homes, autism centers etc. That festival has grown very rapidly in just two years – from 7 concerts to over 30. I also have two new CDs coming out – a Mozart concerto cd and a Scarlatti cd. I am also playing the New Year’s concert in Beijing with the Beijing Symphony performing the “Emperor” concerto, and I will play at the prestigious Musikverein in Vienna for the first time.