by Mike Telin
When was the last time you attended a performance of Ferruccio Busoni’s Piano Concerto? If your answer is never, you’re not alone. The five-movement work lasts around 70 minutes and is scored for full orchestra and male chorus, making it one of the largest works in the piano concerto canon.
On Thursday, February 7 at 7:30 pm, Garrick Ohlsson will return to the Severance Hall stage for a performance of Busoni’s monumental Concerto with The Cleveland Orchestra under the direction of Alan Gilbert. The evening will also include Haydn’s Symphony No. 100 (“Military”). The program will be repeated on Saturday, February 9 at 8:00 pm. Tickets are available online.
Ohlsson has a long history with this Concerto and with The Cleveland Orchestra — he toured and recorded the piece with Christoph von Dohnányi — but his first introduction to Busoni’s music can be traced back to his teenage years in White Plains, New York. “My first teacher was a student of a Busoni student,” the pianist said by telephone from Boston. “So I grew up knowing about Busoni and his music. By the time I was eleven I was playing some of his pieces.” [Read more…]