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S.F. International Piano Fest Brightens August’s Dog Days

July 24, 2018


The second San Francisco International Piano Festival gets underway August 16 and runs to August 26, with 10 pianists performing 14 concerts in nine different venues. As with last year’s inaugural edition, the festival highlights independent pianists in the Bay Area who Jeffrey LaDeur banded together in the New Piano Collective.

The lineup, even more varied than last year, includes invited guests soprano Kindra Scharich, who will perform Beethoven’s An die ferne Geliebte and Schumann’s Frauenlieben und -leben with LaDeur on piano at Piedmont Piano Co., Aug. 25; the Delphi Trio playing William Bolcom’s Piano Trio (2014, followed by Jiyang Chen and Igor Lipinski playing Bolcom’s The Garden of Eden); and Liana Bérubé and Michelle Kwon playing Debussy’s Violin and Cello Sonatas (respectively) on a Debussy centennial program that includes both books of Etudes and En blanc et noir played by Eunmi Ko and Jeffrey LaDeur (Aug. 24, at Old First Concerts).

Returning from last year is Igor Lipinski’s Piano Illusions show, an entertaining mix of classical music and sleight-of-hand magic (Empress Theater, Aug. 22), while pianist Paul Sanchez uses his concerts to introduce some of his own compositions, Gothic Atonement, a song cycle with baritone (Aug. 18 at the Maybeck Studio in Berkeley) and Sappho Songs, with Kayleen Sanchez, soprano (Aug. 17, at Piedmont Piano Co.) Meanwhile, a selection of the core piano solo repertoire is represented by members of the collective Johnandrew Slonimski, Bobby Mitchell, Daria Rabotkina, Albert Kim, Lipinski, Ko, Chen, LaDeur, and Owen Zhou.

For an end-of-August, homemade festival, it’s a highly recommendable offering. Visit their website for tickets and details.

Michael Zwiebach is the senior editor/ content manager for SFCV. He assigns all articles and content, manages the writing staff and does editing. A member of SFCV from the beginning, Michael holds a Ph.D. in music history from the University of California, Berkeley.