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Sarah Grunstein Plays Beethoven And Bach

September 22, 2022 @ 7:30 pm

Pianist Sarah Grunstein returns to the Sydney Opera House to perform two concerts of music by Beethoven and J S Bach.

The first Sydney Opera House concert will be a programme of three works inspired by the idea of fantasy: Beethoven’s Sonata in D minor Op. 31, no. 2 (“Tempest”), Beethoven’s Sonata in Csharp minor, Op. 27, no. 2 (“Moonlight”), and Schumann’s Fantasie in C major, Op. 17. In the second concert, Grunstein will play J S Bach’s Goldberg Variations, one of the most challenging works in the keyboard literature.

From her early studies with Australian pedagogue Nancy Salas, Grunstein learned about 18th-century styles, character, dance,
emotion, and improvisatory performance. This was at a time when most people were still performing Bach in a very “rigid” way. She remarks, “People ask me how I do what I do. I’ve studied and played a lot of Bach, and have read much about 18th and 19th century style – not just musical style, but compositional style, improvisation, improvisatory performance (slightly different from improvisation), and the language of various arts genres including dance, visual arts, and literature. Even though I am playing
music that was composed for the harpsichord, I treat the piano as a piano and let my ‘pianist-voice’ speak. And keeping in my mind and heart Bach’s compositional language and what I believe his creative intent was, I go to town with it.”

As a young teenager, Grunstein performed the soundtrack for Bruce Beresford’s early Australian film, “The Getting of Wisdom.” Soon after, she moved to New York, graduating from the Juilliard School, where she was later appointed as a Teaching Fellow, and earned her doctorate at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. Her career has included concerts at London’s Southbank Centre, New York’s Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, Italy, Austria, Hungary, the U.K., New Zealand, and Australia.

Thursday 22 September at 7.30pm: Beethoven: Sonata in D minor, Op. 31, no.2 (“Tempest”)/Beethoven: Sonata in C# minor, Op. 27, no.2 (“Moonlight”)/Schumann: Fantasie in C major, Op. 17

Monday 24 October at 7.30pm: J.S. Bach: Goldberg Variations, BWV 988


September 22, 2022
7:30 pm
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Utzon Room, Sydney Opera House
Circular Quay East
Sydney, NSW 2000 Australia
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