Pianist Garrick Ohlsson to Play Brahms on Parlance Chamber Concerts

This Sunday afternoon, October 14 at 3 PM, it will be a pleasure to introduce master pianist Garrick Ohlsson to Ridgewood’s music lovers. The concert will take place in the superb acoustical ambience of Ridgewood’s West Side Presbyterian Church.

A deeply communicative artist, Garrick Ohlsson is admired worldwide for the poetic profundity of his interpretations and his stunning technical wizardry. Both facets of his artistic persona will be richly on display in his recital of autumnal masterpieces by Johannes Brahms.

Brahms’s music is warm, introspective, and nostalgic — perfect for a mid-October Sunday afternoon. Ohlsson’s concert will run the gamut of Brahmsian styles, ranging from the soulful intimacy of his intermezzos and ballades to the scintillating virtuosity of three great sets of themes and variations. The afternoon will climax with the devilishly tricky Variations on a Theme of Paganini, a work so technically challenging that Brahms’ confidant, the legendary pianist-composer Clara Schumann, called it Hexenvariationen — The Witch’s Variations!

About Garrick Ohlsson

In 1970, Garrick Ohlsson became the first and only American to win the Gold Medal at the Chopin International Piano Competition in Warsaw, Poland. That triumph quickly established him as a magisterial musician and one of the finest pianists of his generation.

In addition to his well-deserved reputation as one of the world’s leading exponents of the music of Frédéric Chopin, Garrick Ohlsson commands an enormous repertoire, which ranges over the entire piano literature. He has performed more than 80 concertos, ranging from Haydn and Mozart to works of the 21st century, many commissioned for him. This season, that vast repertoire can be sampled in concerti by Rachmaninoff (this week with the New York Philharmonic), Brahms, Beethoven, Mozart, Grieg and Copland in cities including Philadelphia, Atlanta, Detroit, Dallas, Miami, Toronto, Vancouver, San Francisco, Liverpool, and Madrid. During 2018 – 2019, he will be heard in recital in Los Angeles, New York, New Orleans, Hawaii, Prague — and Ridgewood!

A prolific recording artist for many different labels, Ohlsson’s 10-disc recording of the complete Beethoven piano sonatas was awarded a 2007 GRAMMY in the Best Instrumental Soloist category.

About The Program

Sunday afternoon’s program will begin in an intimate mood with Brahms’ Eight Pieces for Piano, Op. 76. These spellbinding miniatures were composed during Brahms’ mid-40s, setting the tone of romantic contemplation that would become the hallmark of his late piano style.

Another highlight of the afternoon will be Ohlsson’s traversal of Brahms’ Four Ballades, Op 10. These evocative pieces belie Brahms’ reputation as the cerebral antidote to his contemporary Franz Liszt’s more programmatic style of music-making. In the Four Ballades, Brahms revels in musical storytelling. For example, the first Ballade was directly inspired by the misty Scottish ballad, “Edward.” Brahms perfectly conjures the mysterious, gloaming ambience of that ancient, bardic tale.

In addition to the aforementioned Paganini Variations, Garrick’s Ohlsson’s recital will include two more sets of dazzling themes and variations. The first set is based on a broad, noble theme of his own devising. The second takes a robust Hungarian folk song as its point of departure, offering Brahms ample opportunity to indulge in his lifelong love for exotic Gypsy colorings.

Complete program and ticket information for Sunday afternoon’s concert can be found at ParlanceChamberConcerts.org.

The performance will take place on Sunday, October 14, from 3:00 PM to approximately 5:00 PM.

The event will take place at West Side Presbyterian Church, 6 South Monroe Street, Ridgewood. Free parking and childcare for children 3 to 6. Tickets at the door: Adults $50; Seniors (65+): $40; Young Adults (21 – 39): $30; Students (under 21): $20