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Duke Arts Presents

2023-24 Piano Recital Series

Subscriptions for the Piano Recital Series remain open until the first concert in the series. Subscriptions closed on Sunday, October 22, 2023.

This four-concert series showcases the talents of world-leading pianists Vadym KholodenkoJanice CarissaZlata Chochieva, and Benjamin Grosvenor.

Subscribers save 20% off single ticket prices, access the best seat locations, and receive a 15% discount on all other events in the Duke Arts Presents season (some exceptions may apply).

Single tickets are available for all events below.

For questions and customer support, please contact the Duke University Box Office at 919-684-4444 or email tickets@duke.edu. Box Office Hours: Tue – Fri, 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Vadym Kholodenko

Sunday, October 22, 2023, at 7 pm

Ukrainian pianist Vadym Kholodenko captured the attention of the global music press a decade ago when he took home the Gold Medal in the prestigious Van Cliburn International Piano Competition. He has appeared on the world’s leading stages with top orchestras and conductors, but he brings his trademark breadth of repertoire to Duke Arts with a solo recital.

With a program spanning over 250 years, Kholodenko opens with a suite by Handel which is perceived to be one of the main pillars of the Baroque composer’s keyboard music. Audiences will also be treated to sonatas by Haydn and Beethoven, both a slight break from the composers’ usual compositional approaches. Kholodenko shows his technical prowess and bold programing with Thomas Adès’s Traced Overhead, the longest of the British composer’s solo piano works – all profoundly expressive and immensely colorful. Phrases tumble over one another in a uniquely contemporary soundworld. Kholodenkho finally returns to the Romantic stylings of Liszt, with pieces from his masterful Années de pèlerinage, or ‘Years of Pilgrimage’.

Handel: Suite in B-flat Major, HWV 434
Haydn: Sonata in C-sharp minor, Hob XVI:36
Beethoven: Sonata No. 27 in e minor, op. 90
Adès: Traced Overhead (1996)
Liszt: Après une lecture de Dante from Années de pèlerinage, II (Italy)
Liszt: Tarantella in G Minor from Années de pèlerinage, II (Italy)

Janice Carissa

Saturday, November 18, 2023, at 8 pm

Since her debut with the Philadelphia Orchestra at age 16, Indonesian pianist Janice Carissa has gone on to study at Curtis Institute of Music with a full scholarship. She’s now undertaking her master’s degree at The Juilliard School, while playing at the world’s top concert halls with “the multicolored highlights of a mature pianist.” (Philadelphia Inquirer)

Opening with Busoni’s transcription of Bach’s iconic Toccata and Fugue in D minor, packed full of relentless rhythm and drive, Carissa then brings a rarer beauty: Rzewski’s depiction of workers at a 1930s textile mill plant in Winnsboro, South Carolina. The piano creates a soundscape of industrial noises to reflect the repetitive looms of the cotton mills, which is punctured by bluesy sounds of the workers singing to overcome the monotony and hardship of such work. Character pieces by Brahms, a technically demanding but enchanting showpiece by Granados and an almost symphonic sonata by Scriabin complete the program.

Bach-Busoni: Toccata and Fugue in D Minor 13’
Rzewski: Winnsboro Cotton Mill Blues 12’
Brahms: op. 119 16’
Granados: Allegro de Concierto 8’
Scriabin: Sonata No. 3 24’

Zlata Chochieva

Friday, February 2, 2023, at 8 pm

Photo of Zlata Chochieva

Having performed in the top concert halls around the globe from a very young age, pianist Zlata Chochieva has a distinctive voice and a tranche of international competition prizes to her name. She makes her Duke Arts debut with a program of works built around the beauty – and darkness – of the natural world.

Schumann’s Waldszenen explores the bucolic nature of the forest, but doesn’t flee from its dark underbelly. He paints musical portraits of a crackling hearth, hunting calls and the vivid colors of flowers. Scriabin evokes a more peaceful, impressionistic scene in his Second Piano Sonata, representing the calm of the night by the seashore and the tender moonlight, while also showing the stormy agitation of the ocean. The first movement of Draeseke’s Dämmerungsträume (“Twilight Dreams”) depicts the falling of red leaves in autumn, while selected Transcendental Studies by Liszt portray ghostly lights and snow-whirls, and the hazy dreamscapes in Ravel’s Miroirs bring to life nocturnal moths, a lone bird whistling a sad tune and the gentle peal of bells.

Schumann: Waldszenen op. 82
Liszt: “Feux follets” (No. 5) from Etudes d’execution transcendante
Liszt: “Chasse-neige” (No. 12) from Etudes d’execution transcendante
Scriabin: Piano Sonata No. 2 in G-sharp Minor “Sonata-Fantasy,” op. 19
Draeseke: “Rothe Blätter fallen” from Dämmerungsträume, op.14)
Ravel: Miroirs
Strauß/Schulz-Evler: Concert Arabesque on Themes of “On the Beautiful Blue Danube”

Benjamin Grosvenor

Friday, March 8, 2023, at 8 pm

We are thrilled to welcome the highly in-demand British concert pianist Benjamin Grosvenor to Duke Arts this season. His virtuosic performances have made him one of the most important pianists working today, both in recital and concert halls and in the studio.

Grosvenor is a renowned interpreter of Chopin, bringing two of the composer’s most popular works to the Baldwin Auditorium. To Schumann, Chopin’s Ballade No. 1 “seemed to be the work closest to his genius,” and to Chopin himself, it was his “dearest work.” Chopin’s Sonata No. 2 is best known for its third movement, the “Funeral March,” written first and believed to be the motivating force for the other three movements. In the second half of the concert, Grosvenor showcases another composer with whom he is closely associated: Liszt, whose Berceuse borrows many characteristics of Chopin’s writing. Liszt’s Sonata in B minor completes the recital, a work praised by Wagner as being “beautiful beyond compare.”

Chopin: Ballade No. 1 in G Minor, op. 23
Chopin: Sonata No. 2 in B-flat Minor, op. 35
Liszt: Berceuse in D-flat Major, S. 174
Liszt: Sonata in B minor, S. 178