Alumni Highlights: The Pianofest Troubadours
We are thrilled to be following the unique stories of two of our alumni on separate projects: Hunter Noack and Susan Zhang. Each has assembled a unique set of circumstances in which to share piano recitals in unusual and outdoor settings, often for audiences unfamiliar to the repertoire and experience of classical music.
Hunter Noack performs an outdoor concert in Oregon to audiences often unfamiliar to piano recitals, in the series he started, "In a Landscape: Classical Music in the Wild", which presents concerts in forests, fields, and riverbanks. Hunter presented multi-day marathons in different locations, to sold-out and enthusiastic audiences.
To see more, visit http://www.hunternoack.com/inalandscape/
Susan Zhang (center, in pink) and Nick Lugby (in light blue), pose in front of The Concert Truck, a traveling classical piano pop-up, featured around the country and on Public Radio. This is a specially designed truck whose sides open to reveal a stage and a hybrid piano, and pictured is the 2.0 model. This is another delightful example of taking piano music out of the concert hall and to wide audiences.
Our longtime Pianofest friends will recall that the Anderson and Roe piano duo, now one of the most recognizable in the world, was formed at Pianofest, where members Greg Anderson and Elizabeth Joy Roe met. We are very proud of this distinction!
Board Member Snapshot: Dede Moan
I met Paul Schenly at.... Pianofest! I believe it was through Liliane Questel, who strongly urged me to attend. As soon as I attended one of our concerts, I fell in love with the musicians, the ambiance, the format, and the people.
There are two "best" parts of being involved with Pianofest, shared equally. The first is (of course) the music. A little over an hour--for 8 consecutive weeks--of heaven. The second "best" part is meeting the people who are involved in Pianofest, and this includes of course Paul Schenly and Board members, the very talented and dedicated pianists, and the fascinating classical music lovers in the audiences.
It's difficult to find only one favorite memory, but I would have to say that one of the unique and very memorable moments was the first time I saw and heard eight hands doing a medley of American band music in honor of July 4th. All four musicians fit on the bench! And the entire audience, with so many levels of music education and appreciation, were laughing and loving the performance.
As for my own musical background, my parents "offered" piano lessons when I was six, and much to their delight--and maybe surprise--I continued to study for 18 years, until life went in a different direction. Music is the great calmer, and a soothing backdrop to work.
Pianofest anchors my week with musical Monday evenings, and is one of the few incredibly affordable, non-stressful, all-welcoming events that has been part of the Southampton summer scene for almost 30 years.
Dede Moan is also the owner of the Southampton Inn. We are grateful to have her as part of the Pianofest Family!
We congratulate Sergei Babayan, an distinguished Pianofest alum from 1990 as a participant and later as faculty, for his extensive work with living legend Martha Argerich. The two of them recently made a sold-out, barnstorming debut performance at Severance Hall in Cleveland, and proceeded to record it in Germany for future major release. An account of the concert by this newsletter's editor, Zsolt Bognár, can be found here: LINK
We are also happy to let you know that Sergei Babayan's student Do-Hyun Kim, who attended Pianofest in 2015 and 2017, won the Young Concert Artists auditions in November.