World-acclaimed pianist Cecile Licad will grace the 2017 Hong Kong International Music Festival directed by noted violinist Cho-liang Lin.
Licad, on Jan. 19, 2017, will join other artists in performing Moszkowski’s Suite in G minor for two violins and piano, Op.71 with Lin and Kristin Lee.
On Jan. 21, she will play the Mendelssohn Trio with Lin and Nicholas Canellakis, and on Jan. 23, Brahms’ Hungarian Dances Nos. 1, 3, 6 and 5, with Haochen Zhang.
On Jan. 25, Licad will play Chausson’s Concerto in D major for piano, violin and string quartet, Op. 21 with Lin and the Borromeo Quartet.
“Chamber music is often called the most ‘intimate’ of the performing arts,” said festival artistic director Lin. “The intimacy refers to how this music is played by small groups of artists, not soloists or orchestras, but small ensembles in close conversation.”
Artists who have performed in the festival include Yuja Wang, Jie Chen, Javier Perianes, Nicola Benedetti, Yevgeny Sudbin and Milos Karadaglic.
In another development, Licad’s latest CD of rarely heard American sonatas got rave reviews from music critics in Germany and England.
German reviewer Wilfried Schaeper of Radio Bremen said he was pleasantly surprised to discover that good American sonatas actually existed.
“Who would have guessed that the American piano literature hides forgotten treasures of such high quality, written by gifted composers other than Gershwin, Copland, or Bernstein?
“Cecile Licad’s latest CD release contains works by Edward MacDowell, Charles Griffes, Elie Siegmeister, in addition to the very first sonata that was ever written in North America: Alexander Reinagle’s Philadelphia Sonata No. 1.”
“Licad continues to be an absolute world-class pianist. With her stunning technique, her inborn musicality, and her interest in rarely played repertoire, she is the ideal interpreter for this anthology of American piano music. With this series, she breaks new ground as most of these works are completely unknown in our country.
“The musical quality of the selected works is fully equivalent to the masterworks by European composers. If, in addition, this music is played in such a passionate and stunning manner as, in this case, by Cecile Licad, then this discovery trip to the New World turns into pure joy. This release will correct quite a few European prejudices against American piano music and is highly recommended to all piano aficionados who have open ears and an open mind. America has a lot more to offer than ‘musical fast food.’”
“This is an exciting new release that promises to expand into a collection of American musical masterpieces, albeit at a slow rate,” writes British reviewer John France. “It is essential listening for all who consider the piano as their favorite instrument and who regard the piano sonata as one of the most important and sophisticated forms.” —CONTRIBUTED