Mackenzie Melemed, piano, Pro Musica

Friday, Sunday, January 21, 23, 5pm
St Pauls Church, Cardo 6
$200, $400, $600 tickets

Few instruments are more thrilling than the solo piano. On Friday and Sunday, January 21 and 23 at 5 PM, the 26-year-old virtuoso pianist Mackenzie Melemed will play for us in St. Paul’s Church. Seating will be socially distanced at a maximum of 50% capacity, and standard Covid hygiene protocols will be in place.

At age three, Melemed began playing and giving concerts on the keyboard his grandfather bought him at a yard sale. After earning two degrees at Juilliard. In 2019, he won Juilliard’s Ruiz Prize, made his Carnegie Hall debut and won the Jade Medal at China’s first International Music Competition; the New York Times called him an "excellent young pianist." Melemed has performed throughout the U.S., Asia and Europe, including The White House, Alice Tully Hall and Warsaw Philharmonic Hall.

Last year, Melemed moved to Finland, whose language he had fallen in love with and studied; where he’d won the Maj Lind international piano competition and whose newspaper Hämeen Sanomat has described the "complete control of technique” found “in the hands of a pianist who serves, first and foremost, a musical purpose." “I have always been drawn towards music I felt a real connection to,” Melemed says. “Without that connection, there’s no way that your music will touch your audience.”

On Friday, January 21 he’ll offer a richly varied program including Bach’s French Suite No. 5, which is full of delightful Baroque dances. The centerpiece is Beethoven’s Sonata No. 22 where the two movements are poised between traditional form and creative abandon. We will also hear Schumann’s Symphonic Études with its variations on a theme composed by the guardian of his then-fiancée, Ernestine von Fricken. Both remained loyal after Schumann abandoned Ernestine for his future wife, Clara. Snakes and Ladders is the first of Three Études by Israeli-American composer Avner Dorman, from whom Melemed has commissioned a concerto. Scriabin’s Five Preludes are variously romantic, quicksilver, solemn and bright; Rachmaninoff’s Six Moments Musicaux cap the program.

Sunday’s program is equally dazzlingly varied. Bach’s Partita No.1 in B-flat major is dedicated to the newborn son of his patron, Prince Leopold. A Bartók Suite shows the influence of Romanian, Arabic, and North African folk music. Meditation is by the first Black woman to be generally recognized as a composer, Florence Price. Sibelius’s Finlandia is a tone poem implicitly supporting freedom of the press in Russian-controlled Finland, while Liszt’s Funérailles was written in response to the Habsburgs’ crushing of the 1848 Hungarian Revolution. The first of Chopin’s delightful two Nocturnes soars; the second was used in the ballet Les Sylphides. Debussy’s Estampes include a Cuban dance, while Gottschalk’s lively The Banjo evokes Stephen Foster's Camptown Races. A Stravinsky Étude rounds out the program

Tickets for the concerts at St. Paul’s are $200, $400 and $600 pesos donation each, and are on sale through our website. There is limited seating for this concert, so please book early.

Details of all Pro Musica’s concerts and Patron Membership are on our website, www.promusicasma.org , or contact us at promusicasma@aol.com.

Michael Pearl.
President, Pro Musica.

Click ads
copyright 2022