Sarah Grunstein, the internationally acclaimed Australian pianist, returns to the Sydney Opera House to perform two concerts in 2018.
The first concert will be a programme of music by three of the composers she most loves to play: Beethoven’s Sonata in E major, Op. 109, Brahms’ Fantasien, Op. 116, and Schumann’s Fantasie in C major, Op. 17.
In the second concert, Grunstein will perform J S Bach’s Goldberg Variations, which is perhaps one of the most challenging works in the keyboard literature. Sarah Grunstein has achieved renown as an impassioned performer of Bach. In her early studies with Australian pedagogue Nancy Salas, she learned about 18th-century styles, character, dance, emotion, and improvisatory performance. This was at a time when most people were still performing Bach in a very “rigid” way. She remarks, “People ask me how I do what I do. I’ve studied and played a lot of Bach, and have read much about 18th and 19th century style – not just musical style, but compositional style, improvisation, improvisatory performance (slightly different from improvisation), and the language of various arts genres including dance, visual arts, and literature. Even though I am playing music that was composed for the harpsichord, I treat the piano as a piano and let my ‘pianist-voice’ speak. And keeping in my mind and heart Bach’s compositional language and what I believe his creative intent was, I go to town with it.”
As a young teenager, Sarah Grunstein performed the soundtrack for Bruce Beresford’s early film, “The Getting of Wisdom” after which she moved to New York, graduating from The Juilliard School, where she was later appointed as a Teaching Fellow. She earned her doctorate at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. Her performance career has included concerts at London’s Southbank Centre, New York’s Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, Italy, Austria, Hungary, the U.K., New Zealand, and Australia.
Sunday 23 September: Beethoven: Sonata in E major, Op. 109/ Brahms: Fantasien, Op. 116/ Schumann: Fantasie in C major, Op. 17
Monday 29 October: J.S. Bach: Goldberg Variations, BWV 988
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