Saturday, October 29, 2016

Pianists: Nelson Freire and Jayson Gillham in Sydney

Nelson Freire plays
You have to be pretty good to be touring internationally at 72 years old and pianist Nelson Freire is definitely pretty good. The program notes for his September concert in Sydney tells us he doesn't like to have a set program because he likes to play what he feels like playing at the time, as that is best for both the audience and himself. Happily he felt like playing Bach, Beethoven, Debussy and Chopin, deftly transporting his audience on a captivating journey. 

Both Freire and Elisabeth Leonskaya, who played in Sydney in August, demonstrate that age is no disadvantage for pianists, but rather the opposite.

Jayson Gillham plays
At the other end of the age scale for solo pianists is Jayson Gillham who played in Sydney last week.

Gillham is a young Australian pianist who grew up in central Queensland and reached the semi finals of the Sydney Piano competition at 17. He won the Montreal Piano competition in 2014 and now lives in London.

He played  Bach/Handel/Chopin to his appreciative home crowd. I am sure they will return to hear more of his meticulous playing whenever he decides to return.

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