Performance Sunday, February 9, 2014 | 2 PM

Garrick Ohlsson

Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage
Regarded as one of the world’s leading exponents of the music of Chopin since winning the International Chopin Piano Competition in 1970, Garrick Ohlsson commands an enormous repertoire that ranges the entire piano literature. After being praised for his "remarkable assurance in executing wicked pyrotechnics … with extraordinary power and demonic furor" by The New York Times at his last Carnegie Hall engagement, he returns with a recital of piano sonatas by Beethoven and Chopin, Schubert’s "Wanderer Fantasy," and works by Griffes.


  • Garrick Ohlsson, Piano


  • BEETHOVEN Piano Sonata No. 30 in E Major, Op. 109
  • SCHUBERT Fantasy in C Major, D. 760, "Wanderer Fantasy"
  • GRIFFES "The Fountain of Acqua Paola" from Roman Sketches
  • GRIFFES Scherzo from Fantasy Pieces
  • GRIFFES "The White Peacock" from Roman Sketches
  • CHOPIN Piano Sonata No. 3 in B Minor, Op. 58

  • Encores:
  • CHOPIN Grand Valse brillante in E-flat Major, Op. 18
  • CHOPIN Waltz in C-sharp Minor, Op. 64, No. 2

Event Duration

The printed program will last approximately two hours, including one 20-minute intermission.


  • Garrick Ohlsson

    Since his triumph as winner of the 1970 International Chopin Piano Competition, pianist Garrick Ohlsson has established himself worldwide as a musician of magisterial interpretive and technical prowess. Although he has long been regarded as one of the world's leading exponents of the music of Frédéric Chopin, Mr. Ohlsson commands an enormous repertoire throughout the entire piano literature.

    The 2013-2014 season includes recitals in Montreal, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Seattle, and Kansas City. In January, he performed Lutosławski's Piano Concerto with the Boston Symphony Orchestra. He also performs with the orchestras of Los Angeles, San Francisco, Atlanta, and Cleveland this season. Performances outside North America include Stockholm, São Paolo, and Hong Kong, in addition to a Dvořák project with the Budapest Festival Orchestra and Iván Fischer.

    Last season featured performances of Busoni's rarely performed Piano Concerto with the European Union Youth Orchestra led by Gianandrea Noseda, including a concert at the Edinburgh International Festival. He also returned to the UK for two concerts with the London Philharmonic Orchestra, followed by a month-long tour in Australia and a live recording of both Brahms concertos.

    Mr. Ohlsson has recorded with the Arabesque, RCA Victor Red Seal, Angel, BMG, Delos, Hänssler Classic, Nonesuch, Telarc, and Virgin Classics record labels. His 10-disc set of the complete Beethoven sonatas for Bridge Records has garnered critical acclaim, including a Grammy Award for the third volume. His recording of Rachmaninoff's Concerto No. 3 with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and Robert Spano was released in 2011. In the fall of 2008, Hyperion Records re-released his 16-disc set of the complete works of Chopin. The label also recently released discs of music by Brahms, Granados, and Griffes. The latest CDs in his ongoing association with Bridge Records include two recordings of works by Liszt and Close Connections, a recital of 20th-century pieces.

    A native of White Plains, New York, Mr. Ohlsson began his piano studies at the age of eight. His musical development has been influenced in completely different ways by a succession of distinguished teachers, most notably Claudio Arrau, Olga Barabini, Tom Lishman, Sascha Gorodnitzki, Rosina Lhévinne, and Irma Wolpe. Although he won first prizes at the 1966 Ferruccio Busoni International Piano Competition and 1968 Montreal International Musical Competition, it was his 1970 Gold Medal triumph at the Chopin Competition in Warsaw that established Mr. Ohlsson as one of the finest pianists of his generation. He was awarded the Avery Fisher Prize in 1994 and received the 1998 University Musical Society Distinguished Artist Award in Ann Arbor, Michigan. He makes his home in San Francisco.

    More Info


Chopin's Piano Sonata No. 3 in B Minor, Op. 58 (Finale: Presto non tanto; Agitato)
Garrick Ohlsson, Piano

At a Glance

LUDWIG VAN BEETHOVEN  Piano Sonata No. 30 in E Major, Op. 109

Beethoven's first piano sonatas followed hard on the heels of his Op. 1 Piano Trios, through which the 26-year-old composer declared his artistic independence. By the time he wrote the last of his 32 sonatas in the early 1820s, he was no longer a young lion but a battle-scarred warrior whose indomitable spirit shines through in the incandescent slow movement of the E-Major Sonata.

FRANZ SCHUBERT  Fantasy in C Major, D. 760, "Wanderer Fantasy"

Although Schubert made no pretense of being in Beethoven's class as a piano virtuoso, he pushed the envelope of keyboard sound and technique in works like the monumental "Wanderer Fantasy." Based in part on Schubert's song "The Wanderer," the four-movement fantasy resembles his late piano sonatas in its formal integration and expansive scale.

CHARLES T. GRIFFES  "The Fountain of Acqua Paola," from Roman Sketches, Op. 7; Scherzo, fromFantasy Pieces, Op. 6; "The White Peacock," from Roman Sketches, Op. 7

Charles Tomlinson Griffes is perhaps best known today for his oriental-flavored tone poem The Pleasure-Dome of Kubla Khan. The three short pieces on tonight's program, all written during the last decade of the American composer's short life, mine a similarly impressionistic vein. Griffes's formidable virtuosity is reflected in the colorful sonorities he drew from the piano.

FRÉDÉRIC CHOPIN  Piano Sonata No. 3 in B Minor, Op. 58

Chopin demonstrated uncompromising independence as both composer and pianist. Liszt characterized him as "one of those original beings" who are "adrift from all bondage." It was arguably the unparalleled range and subtlety of his pianism that enabled Chopin to cast off the shackles of musical convention so successfully in works such as the great Sonata in B Minor.

Program Notes
This performance is part of Keyboard Virtuosos I, and Tickling the Ivories - Students.