For three days (May 14-16, 2010) the Steinway concert grand piano at The Port Theatre, 125 Front Street, Nanaimo, will be center stage as the Vancouver Island Symphony presents the first Festival 88 – Nanaimo Piano Festival, featuring all three 2009 Laureate winners of one of the world’s most prestigious music contests, the Honens International Piano Competition. For classical and piano music lovers this is a one time opportunity to see the winners together. Georgy Tchaidze and Evgeny Starodubtsev of Russia, and Gilles Vonsattel of the US, take turns in solo recitals (May 14, 2010), then as soloists with the Vancouver Island Symphony under the direction of Maestro Pierre Simard (May 15, 2010), followed by a Sunday afternoon of chamber music with members of the Vancouver Island Symphony (May 16, 2010). They will be performing works by Debussy, Chopin, Szymanovski, Beethoven, Haydn, Schumann, Mozart, Schubert, and Poulenc.
Not only is this the first such Festival 88, featuring all three Laureates together on the same stage, but also the first time they will be together again after the competition in Calgary last November. Both Tchaidze and Starodubtsev returned to Russia to complete studies and tour, while Vonsattel performed across North America, presented master classes and worked on recordings. Tchaidze is presently on tour in Germany, Starodubtsev tours Canada and Poland, while Vonsattel has engagements with the Gdansk Philharmonic in Poland, and the night before Festival 88 in Nanaimo, he is at the Lincoln Centre, New York.
“We are getting these incredibly gifted pianists right before their potential explodes,” explains Maestro Simard of this next generation of world class pianists. “Soon they will be in so much demand they will be limited to appearances in big urban centres like New York and Paris. Their schedules are already filling up. These three pianists will inspire us; their imagination will become contagious. When we are put in contact with such artistry, our own possibilities are exacerbated – encouraging us to go beyond ourselves.”
At 7:30 pm on Friday, May 14, 2010, it will be a solo piano recital, at 7:30 pm on Saturday, May 15, 2010, they’ll be joined by the Vancouver Island Symphony, and at 3 pm on Sunday, May 16, 2010, it will be chamber music. Festival 88 passes are $88 ($30 for students) and can be ordered by calling 250-754-8550. Single tickets are also available. For more information call Margot C. Holmes at 250-754-0177.