APRIL PROGRAM UPDATE: Pianist Thomas Pandolfi to step in for Jeremy Denk due to illness
Posted Apr 03, 2015 | ASO News, Press Releases,
Alexandria, VA—Alexandria Symphony Orchestra, led by Music Director and Conductor Kim Allen Kluge, warmly welcomes back Thomas Pandolfi to the ASO stage Saturday, April 11 (8:00pm) and Sunday, April 12 (3:00pm) at the Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center. Pandolfi will appear in lieu of Jeremy Denk, who will not be performing due to an unexpected illness.
Sought after by audiences worldwide, Pandolfi is a virtuoso known for his artistry and amazing technique. Especially lauded for his presentation of Liszt, this concert speaks to his grace, finesse and mastery of his instrument. “Pandolfi’s poetic style and virtuosity follows the tradition of the grand piano masters,” comments Maestro Kluge. “This concert represents a wonderful marriage between his heroic style and the heroic theme of the concert through his choice of Liszt’s Piano Concerto No. 1. The audience will believe they are hearing Liszt himself.”
Also on the program, ASO further celebrates music inspired by heroism and heroic themes. Hans Zimmer’s score from Gladiator (2000) opens the concert, followed by excerpts from Wagner’s transcendent Lohengrin. ASO also features a humorous antihero in Till Eulenspiegel’s Merry Pranks, recounting the adventures and untimely death of the real-life medieval peasant.
The ASO’s 71st season culminates on May 16 with ASO’s own Amy Horn in Strauss’ Horn Concerto No. 1 and Beethoven’s spectacular Symphony No. 9 (Choral Symphony) at Schlesinger Center. Visit www.alexsym.org for more details and for information about the upcoming 2015-2016 season.
The young American pianist THOMAS PANDOLFI is an exciting virtuoso who, with each passing season, is becoming more and more sought after by audiences worldwide, and showered with superlatives by critics for his passionate artistry and amazing technique. His orchestral appearances often feature not only the beloved masterpiece concerti by Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninov and Liszt, but also the equally brilliant ones by Paderewski, Rubinstein and Moszkowski. Additionally in the “Pops” genre, Thomas is considered a leading interpreter of the works of George Gershwin.
Thomas’ career has already included performances with such European orchestras as The George Enescu Philharmonic, The Cluj Philharmonic, The Oltenia Philharmonic (Craiova), The Moravian Philharmonic, The National Philharmonic of the Republic of Moldova, and The Aberystwyth Symphony in Wales, as well as the American symphony orchestras of Mississippi, Cedar Rapids, Asheville, Princeton, San Angelo, York, Fairfax, Northbrook, Great Falls, and Owensboro to name but a few. He has collaborated with such conductors as Dimitru Goia, Sabin Pautza, Emil Seigbert Maxim, Peter Schmelzer, Mihail Agafita, Grigori Moseico, David Russell Hulme, Murry Sidlin, Michael Luxner, Andreas Delfs, Christian Tiemeyer, Ron Spigelman, William Kushner, Nicholas Palmer, William Intrilligator, William Hudson, Kirk Muspratt, Kim Allen Kluge, Robert Hart Baker, Crafton Beck, Lawrence Rapchak, Gordon Johnson, Philip Bauman, Anthony Maiello and Vincent Zito.
Following a performance of MacDowell’s D Minor Piano Concerto with The George Enescu Philharmonic, The Bucharest Cultural Observer lauded Pandolfi’s “virtuosity, beautiful touch, sensitivity and broad scope…logical phrasing and expressive percussiveness…a soloist whom we would like to hear again.” Of Liszt’s Piano Concerto No. 2 with the Asheville Symphony, The Asheville Citizen-Times remarked, “Pandolfi is a standout among today’s young pianists, demonstrating a great technician’s grace, finesse and polish…his virtuosity and strength might have had some believing that Liszt himself had taken over the keyboard.”
Equally popular as a recitalist, Pandolfi has appeared in concert halls nationwide. The Washington Post has described him as “an artist who is master of both the grand gesture and the sensual line. Pandolfi possesses first-rate technical skills, an unerring comma and of phrasing, a quicksilver touch and cunning legerdemain when it comes to pedaling…etched with calm and crystal clarity…outstanding.” New York Concert Review has characterized Pandolfi’s interpretations as containing “high level pianism and tasteful, diversified musical ideas…crystalline texture and deft coloration… charm and bracing elan.”
While the 2008-09 season marked Thomas’ debut recitals in Canada, Germany and China, the 2009-10 season highlighted his debut in London, as well as return engagements throughout Eastern Europe, and concerts both as recitalist and soloist with orchestras across the United States. Pandolfi released his 6th CD album during the 2010-11 season, and returned to China in August of 2011 for his second tour of that country. Additionally, he made his recital debut in Toronto during the 2011-12 season, as well as stepped in on 48 hour notice to perform the Rachmaninov Second Piano Concerto for The Alexandria Symphony’s closing concert of that season. During the last two seasons, he performed highly successful and acclaimed 15 state recital tours across the United States.
Audiences during 2014-15 will enjoy his artistry in an expanded 21 state recital tour to include the states of New York, Maryland, Virginia, Massachusetts, Indiana, Connecticut, New Jersey, Georgia, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Florida, Washington, DC, Ohio, South Carolina, North Carolina, California, Kansas, Arizona, New Mexico, New Hampshire, and Kentucky. Thomas will also be making his debut with the Lafayette Symphony and Nicholas Palmer in The James Bond Concerto and Warsaw Concerto, and his debut with The McLean Orchestra in Rachmaninov’s Piano Concerto No. 2 under Miriam Burns on their Gala Opening Night. He will also return as guest soloist with both The Washington Metropolitan Philharmonic and Ulysses James in Brahms’ First Piano Concerto, and The Owensboro Symphony under Nicholas Palmer in The James Bond Concerto and Warsaw Concerto. Following a violin concerto for Midori, and a saxophone concerto for Brandford Marsalis, film and concert composers Kim Allen Kluge and Kathryn Vassar Kluge are now composing a piano concerto for Thomas, who is most honored and very excited to be involved in this thrilling project.
A graduate of The Juilliard School, Pandolfi earned both his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees as a scholarship student. He is the father of two beautiful children, and resides in Washington, DC.