Young stars light up Grand Piano Series season finales

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By Sue Wade
Grand Piano Series’ two season-ending concerts promise a melange of musical experiences, from the fleet fingers of pianist Florian Noack, a creative transcriber, to the dazzling young piano-violin duo of Ying Li and Shannon Lee.
Transcription, Noack said, “is a form of creativity and ingenuity that forces me to approach my instrument differently; searching for new textures, richness, colors or ways to combine my ten fingers.”
Striving to keep the audience on their toes with some of the most inventive interpretations since Liszt himself, Noack’s March 14 program pairs Liszt’s Olympian transcendental etudes with those of Lyapunov.

Florian Noack


In tandem with a Schubert masterpiece sonata and Noack’s transcription of Bach’s own Vivaldi transcription, we get the beloved and a great deal of the new in one breathtaking evening.
Double the talent, double the dazzle. The two young stars who last performed together as Curtis Institute of Music students have again put their heads together, to craft a flowing grand finale program of piano and violin virtuosity, climaxing in a passionate wartime Poulenc sonata for violin and piano.
After garnering top awards in numerous national and international competitions, both artists now delight in performing their own solo favorites as well as collaborating in chamber music.
Lee spoke of her love of Telemann’s Violin Fantasia, which she felt invited her to participate in its language and improvise more than Bach’s works do.
Li, who also chose minor-key solo works for the recital, including Beethoven’s beloved Moonlight Sonata, said, “I’m at a stage where my music making isn’t just for the sake of competition, but rather to present who I am.”
“And I love chamber music,” continued Li, who has formed her own trio. “Given my rigorous solo and concerto touring schedule, chamber music is like coming back to my comfort zone, like my afternoon cup of tea!”
President and artistic director Milana Strezeva said of the pair, “Ying Li amazed audiences at our ChamberFest last year with a captivating rendition of Stravinsky’s Firebird. Joining her onstage this year is Shannon Lee, a wonderful violinist and top prize winner of the Queen Elizabeth Competition in Belgium.”
Florian Noack will perform at 3 p.m. March 20 in St. Leo Auditorium, 28290 Beaumont Road, Bonita Springs. Purchase single tickets at $45 ($50 at the door) at grandpianoseries.org. Magdalena Baczewska will hold an online preconcert lecture on Liszt and Lyapunov from 4 to 5 p.m. on March 14. Register online at grandpianoseries.org.
Ying Li and Shannon Lee will perform at 3 p.m. April 24 in St. Leo Auditorium in Bonita Springs. Purchase tickets at $45 ($50 at the door) at grandpianoseries.org. Magdalena Baczewska will hold an online preconcert lecture on Schubert, Liszt and Beethoven from 11 a.m. to noon on April 20. Register at grandpianoseries.org.
For assistance, call 469-333-3231.

Shannon Lee
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