PianoArts reunites a student and his teacher at Vogel Hall

The MSO's associate conductor Francesco Lecce-Chong teams up with former instructor Pavlina Dokovska for an evening of works for double piano.

By - Nov 14th, 2013 02:48 pm
Francesco Lecce-Chong - conductor, pianist and composer

Francesco Lecce-Chong – conductor, pianist and composer

Those who’ve attended Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra pre-talks know of Associate Conductor Francesco Lecce-Chong’s extensive knowledge of music. Those who arrive before the pre-talks begin have also witnessed his pianistic skills, on display immediately prior.

One of the people partly responsible for cultivating those skills is Pavlina Dokovska, Lecce-Chong’s piano teacher and advisor at The New School’s music conservatory Mannes College, where she is the coordinator of the university’s piano department. In 2012, she visited Milwaukee to serve as a jurist in a competition hosted by the Milwaukee-based PianoArts; this year she returns for a unique concert that pairs her with her former student to perform a variety of piano duets. The concert will be held at Vogel Hall in the PAC complex at 8:00 p.m. Friday evening.

Lecce-Chong and Dokovska will perform Mozart’s Sonata in D major for Two Pianos, K 448 together in four hands-style on one piano. They will close on separate pianos, with Percy Grainger’s arrangement of George Gershwin’s Fantasy for Two Pianos on Porgy and Bess.

Dokovska – a specialist on late 19th century French music – will also play Claude Debussy’s L’isle Joyous and Frederic Chopin’s Ballade No. 1 in G minor. And Milwaukee Symphony violinist, Margot Schwartz will join Dokovska for a challenging sonata – Franz Schubert’s Sonata in A major for Violin and Piano, Opus 162, D. 574, “Grand Duo”.

Pavlina Dokovskas, pianist and chair of the piano department at Mannes College

Pavlina Dokovskas, pianist and chair of the piano department at Mannes College

Although a small organization, PianoArts fills an important niche. The key mission is to identify and train a new generation of pianists. The PianoArts Biennial competition features unique development opportunities for students – providing coaching, feedback and developing audience communication skills as well. Young artists from around North America will perform in Milwaukee in the 14th competition, June 5-12, 2014. Fresh, emerging professionals will offer a week-long extravaganza of piano performances. Competition awards include opportunities for the winners to return to Milwaukee and participate in concerts at local schools.

In addition to the outreach program, PianoArts further supports appreciation of the piano by sponsoring unique performances such as that Friday night. At a PianoArts concert last year, Christopher Taylor, a master of Messian’s most difficult work – Vingt Regards sur L’Enfant Jésus offered a rare recital of the full work. Taylor will reprise part of that performance as a part of a Frankly Music concert on January 27, 2014.

Tickets are $30 for adults and $15 for students and may be purchased through the Marcus Center Box Office at 414/273-7206 or online. Student tickets require in person purchase with a valid ID.

Categories: Classical, Music

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