"...one of the last pianists in the grand romantic tradition of Liszt, Rachmaninoff, and Rubinstein"
by ALBERTO GINASTERA
HILL AUDITORIUM- UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN
On December 10, 2011, Barbara Nissman will be performing three piano concertos by the Argentine composer Alberto Ginastera with Kenneth Kiesler, conducting the University Symphony Orchestra. The concert will take place in Hill Auditorium on the campus of the University of Michigan.
This concert will mark the official reintroduction of Ginastera’s Concierto Argentino, a work written in 1935 and later withdrawn from the catalogue by the composer shortly after its first performance. After Barbara discovered this concerto in the Fleisher Manuscript Collection in Philadelphia, Aurora Nátola-Ginastera, the late widow of the composer, granted Barbara exclusivity to perform the work and also to make the first recording of the concerto.
Another premiere that evening will be the first performance of the “original” version of Ginastera's Piano Concerto No. 2, written in 1972. This concerto was jointly commissioned by the Indianapolis Symphony and the late Austrian pianist, Hilde Somer. Working from the composer’s original score that he gave her personally, Ms. Nissman will present the first performance of his original work. Ginastera wrote the second movement scherzo for the right hand alone (per la mano destra). However, Ms. Somer was not pleased with this version and transcribed it herself for the left hand alone (per la mano sinistra) making significant changes in the piano writing. Ms. Somer also altered the ending of the finale, which Nissman has restored to its original version.
The concert also includes a performance of the popular First Piano Concerto, written in 1961 and made even more popular by Emerson, Lake & Palmer's well-known transcription of the finale's Toccata. Barbara has performed this concerto with the Chicago Symphony, the New York Philharmonic, the St. Louis Symphony, as well as presenting its Dutch premiere at Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw and its UK premiere with the BBC Symphony Orchestra. At the composer's invitation, she played the First Piano Concerto for his 60th birthday celebration concert with l’Orchestre de la Suisse Romande. Well known for her recordings of the complete solo works and piano/chamber works, now available on the Pierian label, Barbara Nissman is also the dedicatee of Ginastera’s final composition, the Third Piano Sonata.
Barbara first met the composer Alberto Ginastera while she was a student at the University of Michigan and was performing his First Piano Concerto with the University Orchestra. How fitting that she should return to Michigan to perform and record his complete Concertos with Kenneth Kiesler and the students at Michigan.
" I so much am looking forward to our working together--what an exciting project and what wonderful and magical music! What a joy this will be!”
Barbara & Ginastera at University of Michigan, 1970