Christopher Johnson to Perform Liszt’s Beethoven in ‘Weekends with the Masters’
New York-based pianist Christopher Johnson has performed at the Sembrich every summer since 2007; by now, he’s by far the studio’s most popular performer, drawing crowds no matter what the program. And with good reason: he’s a dynamic performer, one who engages the eye as well as the ear.
On July 30, Johnson returns to the Sembrich as a featured performer in this summer’s series of concerts, Weekends with the Masters.
Johnson will pay tribute to a pair of musical masters, performing a transcription for piano by Franz Liszt of the most famous masterwork of all, Ludwig van Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5.
“Most people are familiar with the sound of Beethoven’s 5th performed with a full orchestra,” says Sembrich artistic director Richard Wargo. “This recital will provide the rare opportunity for music lovers to hear this symphony in the virtuosic piano arrangement by Liszt, a tour de force to showcase the remarkable skills of Mr. Johnson.”
Also featured on the program will be Beethoven’s “Moonlight” Sonata, two waltzes of Chopin and the exotic concert showpiece “Islamei — Oriental Fantasy” by Balakirev.
“I needed a program that was just right for the Sembrich,” said Johnson in a recent interview. “I thought of ending the first half with a work both technically demanding and colorful (Islamei — Oriental Fantasy by Balakirev). With that placed there, I could pillar the entire program with the two most celebrated Beethoven works of all time (the “Moonlight” Sonata and the Symphony No. 5). Some virtuoso Chopin sits in the middle.”
Since his critically acclaimed sold-out New York recital debut at Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall in 1996 and Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall in 1997, Johnson has appeared extensively in recital, on radio, and television. The New Jersey native received his bachelor’s degree from Juilliard in 1996, and holds a Master’s and Doctor of Musical Arts degrees from the Manhattan School of Music.
Tickets are $25. The Museum is located at 4800 Lake Shore Drive in Bolton Landing.
Media Sponsor for the museum’s 2011 season is The Lake George Mirror. Programming is sponsored in part by Warren County, the Town of Bolton, Bolton Recreation Commission, LARAC and Stewart’s Holiday Match.
For more information about The Sembrich Museum or for a calendar of the 2011 summer performances visit thesembrich.org or contact the office at (518) 644-2431 or the museum at (518) 644-9839.