Author Archives: Julian Kreeger

Violinist Kyung Wha Chung & Pianist Kevin Kenner in Miami Recital

On Thursday, June 28, as part of the week’s Chopin Festival in Miami, Kyung Wha Chung came from Seoul, Korea, to perform a recital with pianist Kevin Kenner at the Frost School of Music. As a student at Juilliard, Chung studied with the legendary Ivan Galamian and later with Joseph Szigeti. She was considered one of the world’s greatest violinists, who performed and recorded with many major pianists and conductors, until her concert career was interrupted for several years by an injury.

Thursday’s program began with the Fauré Violin Sonata in A Major, Opus 13. The beautiful performance and collaboration with Kenner reminded of what a great violinist she is. The first half ended with Kenner playing his reconstruction of Chopin’s Mazurka in F Minor, Op. 68, No. 4 and the Ballade No. 4 in F Minor, Op. 52, in which his wide range of sonority and fluid technique demonstrated why he had been chosen to be awarded First Prize in the 1990 Chopin Competition in Warsaw. Read full story

Archived in these categories: 20th Century, Chamber music, Piano, Violin

Pianist Dang Thai Son opens Chopin Festival in Miami


On Sunday evening, June 24th, Dang Thai Son, winner of the 1980 Chopin Competition in Warsaw, played an interesting recital in Miami to open a Chopin Festival organized by Kevin Kenner, winner of the 1990 Chopin Competition. For many years Dang Thai son had not been allowed to play in the United States because he was born in Hanoi, Vietnam. His program consisted of works by Schubert, Chopin, Paderewski, and Liszt. Opening with Schubert’s Allegretto in C minor, D.915 and the 12 German Dances, D.790, Dang Thai Son’s soft pianissimos and pedaling were magical. His wonderful sonority, pedaling, and remarkable fingers were also evident in the three Chopin Mazurkas, although his approach to the Barcarolle did not make me forget Moiseiwitsch, Rubinstein or Horowitz.

After intermission, his approach to five Paderewski miniatures was again often magical. The concluding Reminiscences of Bellini’s Norma by Liszt brought the audience to its feet but did not erase the indelible memory of Ivan Davis’s incomparable performances of the Norma Paraphrase in which brilliant virtuosity was coupled with a unique understanding and affection for Italian opera that was without peer. The encore, the slow movement from Schubert’s late Sonata, D. 958, was again conveyed with beautiful, soft sonority.


Archived in these categories: Piano, Romantic Era

Soprano Hyesang Park & pianist Ken Noda

On Sunday afternoon May 13, 2018 lyric soprano Hyesang Park and pianist Ken Noda gave a stunningly beautiful recital of diverse love songs at the University of Miami’s Gusman Concert Hall. Throughout Park’s unforgettable singing one could easily understand why she is scheduled for major operatic roles in the world’s principal opera houses during the next few years. It is hard to think of a more sensitive pianist for a vocal recital than Ken Noda, a Barenboim protégé who played as soloist and chamber pianist with virtually all of the world’s greatest orchestras and chamber musicians before becoming musical assistant to the Director of the Metropolitan Opera over 25 years ago. The interpretive collaboration and technical quality of his playing was simply unforgettable. Read full story

Archived in these categories: Piano, Romantic Era, Vocal

A stunning recital by pianist Benjamin Grosvenor

A few weeks after receiving a rave review for a performance with the New York Philharmonic, Benjamin Grosvenor played a stunning recital in Miami at FIU’s Wertheim Concert Hall on April 29, 2018. Throughout a broad range of repertoire from Bach to the contemporary Bret Dean, the playing was stylistically impeccable and technically brilliant — with an extraordinary range of color, dynamics and sonority that one rarely hears from any pianist today. Read full story

Archived in these categories: 20th Century, Baroque, Piano, Romantic Era

Pianist Anastasiya Naplekova Performs Rachmaninoff Recital

On Saturday afternoon, April 7, 2018, at the Steinway Gallery in Coral Gables, Florida, Ukranian born pianist Anastasiya Naplekova played a stunning all-Rachmaninoff recital consisting of many seldom played, technically demanding works on Saturday in Miami. After studying with Natalia Melnikova in the Ukraine, Naplekova worked with the noted Rachmaninoff interpreter Santiago Rodriguez in Florida. The program consisted of six Rachmaninoff transcriptions, six Etudes-Tableaux from Op. 39 and the 1932 version of the Second Sonata. Reminiscent of some of the most distinguished pianists of the past, Naplekova played the piano with no physical histrionics. All of the communication was projected by her brilliant fingers, broad range of color and dynamic range. Read full story

Archived in these categories: Piano