Barbara Nissman

"...one of the last pianists in the grand romantic tradition of Liszt, Rachmaninoff, and Rubinstein"

LECTURE RECITALS

 

An Evening with Barbara & her “Friend” Prokofiev

This program provides an informal introduction to a composer whose music can still make the average listener uncomfortable.  Barbara has the gift of making Prokofiev accessible. She brings clarity to his complex pianism. 

 

The Complete Piano Sonatas (3 programs)

These three informal programs encompass all nine piano sonatas and highlight “the "bad boy of music"” as classicist, lyricist, and virtuoso. A separate program is devoted to a discussion of the “War Sonatas.”   

 

Prokofiev & Liszt

Nicknamed by Poulenc, "the “Russian Liszt,”" Prokofiev built upon Liszt’'s foundation of pianism. Hearing both these composers side by side makes one realize that Prokofiev provides the continuum for bringing the nineteenth century into the “modern” world. 

 

Prokofiev & Bartók

True to the romantic definition of the individual, these two pianistic giants of the 20th century had the courage to go their own way to speak with a personal voice. Bartók's studies embraced original folk music while Prokofiev's primary interest rested with his own writing. One a disciple of Beethoven, the other more akin to Liszt, both developed their natural talent at the piano, the instrument of their youth where they were free to be their most adventurous. 

 

Prokofiev & the Russians

This program provides an exploration of Prokofiev and his roots, as well as those of his Russian contemporaries. It is important to remember that Prokofiev was a Russian composer, not a product of the Soviet regime like his colleague, Shostakovich. Along with Prokofiev, this program also features music of Stravinsky, Rachmaninoff, Scriabin and Balikirev.

 

"Prokofiev Meets Gershwin: Gershwin Meets Prokofiev"

The two pianists/composers initially met in Paris in 1928 and then again in New York in 1930. Barbara brings a performer's viewpoint to the discussion and poses the question: who influenced whom?

 

The Five Piano Concertos

A stylistic journey with the many faces of Prokofiev as seen through his piano concertos. In No. 1, we meet the “bad boy” of the keyboard; No. 2, the Romantic; No. 3, the melodic virtuoso; No. 4, the “prankster” and No. 5 the trapeze artist, always working without a net!