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Behzod Abduraimov

Thursday, November 17, 2016 8 PM Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage
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Striking arrangements of Baroque music, poetic miniatures, tempestuous sonatas, and an exotic showpiece are performed by an exciting young pianist who is taking the world’s stages by storm. Behzod Abduraimov has been praised by The New York Times for his “fluid finger work … dash and appealing impetuosity.” Cortot’s arrangement of Bach’s "Siciliano" from the Concerto in D Minor, BWV 596, has a stately beauty, while Schubert’s Moments musicaux are understated gems with gorgeous melodies. Beethoven’s “Appassionata” is famous for its stormy outer movements, but the theme and variations that comprise its central movement also fascinate. There are also exciting showpieces by two Russian composers, Balkakirev and Prokofiev.


Behzod Abduraimov, Piano


BACH "Siciliano" from Concerto in D Minor, BWV 596 (after Vivaldi, Op. 3, No. 11; arr. Cortot)
BACH Toccata and Fugue in D Minor, BWV 565 (arr. Busoni)
SCHUBERT Moment musical in A-flat Major, D. 780, No. 2
SCHUBERT Moment musical in F Minor, D. 780, No. 3
BEETHOVEN Piano Sonata No. 23 in F Minor, Op. 57, "Appassionata"
PROKOFIEV Piano Sonata No. 6 in A Major, Op. 82

TCHAIKOVSKY Nocturne in C-sharp Minor, Op. 19, No. 4
LISZT "La campanella" in G-sharp Major from Grandes Études de Paganini, S. 141, No. 3

Event Duration

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

At a Glance

JOHANN SEBASTIAN BACH  “Siciliano” from Concerto in D Minor, BWV 596 (after Vivaldi, Op. 3, No. 11; arr. Cortot); Toccata and Fugue in D Minor, BWV 565 (arr. Busoni)

Ferruccio Busoni and Alfred Cortot are among the many pianists who have adapted Bach’s organ music for the modern piano. A few of these arrangements, such as Busoni’s dazzlingly virtuosic arrangement of Bach’s Toccata and Fugue in D Minor, are almost as well known as the originals.

FRANZ SCHUBERT  Moments musicaux No. 2 in A-flat Major and No. 3 in F Minor, D. 780

Schubert’s short Moments musicauxdistill the essence of his lyrical genius in its purest and most concentrated form. Like Mendelssohn’s Songs without Words, each of the six miniature musical narratives seems to express a subliminal text that transcends the bounds of spoken language.

LUDWIG VAN BEETHOVEN  Piano Sonata No. 23 in F Minor, Op. 57, “Appassionata”

A masterpiece of Beethoven’s middle period, the “Appassionata” Sonata stands out both for its explosively dramatic character and its concentrated economy of expression. The work’s formidable technical challenges reflect the composer’s legendary virtuosity at the keyboard.

SERGEI PROKOFIEV  Piano Sonata No. 6 in A Major, Op. 82

Known for his steely-fingered precision at the keyboard, Prokofiev wrote some of the 20th century’s most brilliant and percussive keyboard music. The Sixth Sonata exudes a mood of anxiety rather than belligerence; its waltz-like slow movement recalls the two ballet scores that Prokofiev was working on around the same time: Romeo and Juliet and Cinderella.


Balakirev was the guiding light of the group of Russian nationalist composers known as the “Mighty Handful.” His interest in Slavic musical traditions extended to the ethnic groups of Russia’s Far West: Islamey, subtitled an “Oriental Fantasy,” was inspired by Balakirev’s visits to the Caucasus region in the 1860s.


Behzod Abduraimov

Pianist Behzod Abduraimov's captivating performances have established him as one of the forerunners of his generation. In recent seasons, Mr. Abduraimov has worked with orchestras that include the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Boston Symphony Orchestra, NHK Symphony Orchestra, Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, and Mariinsky Orchestra under conductors such as Valery Gergiev, Vladimir Ashkenazy, Manfred Honeck, Vasily Petrenko, James Gaffigan, Jakub Hrůša, and Vladimir Jurowski.

Last season, Mr. Abduraimov made his debut with the Munich Philharmonic Orchestra under Mr. Gergiev as part of the orchestra's Festival 360 Degrees. He subsequently made his BBC Proms debut with the orchestra. Mr. Abduraimov has also appeared at the Aspen Music Festival, and with the Seattle Symphony and Dallas Symphony Orchestra.

Mr. Abduraimov's North American appearances during the 2016-2017 season include concerts with the Vancouver Recital Society, Cliburn Concerts, and Carolina Performing Arts at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, as well as performances with the Houston Symphony, Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, Orchestre symphonique de Montréal, and Minnesota Orchestra, among others. Upcoming performance highlights in Europe include concerts with the Czech Philharmonic, Orchestre National de Lyon, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, and NDR Elbphilharmonie  Orchester.

Mr. Abduraimov is one of the featured artists on the Junge Wilde Concert Series at the Konzerthaus Dortmund this season. He also appears at Paris's Théâtre des Champs-Élysées and returns to the Verbier Festival and Festival International de Piano de La Roque-d'Anthéron. Mr. Abduraimov will embark on a recital tour of Australia in 2017, as well as a tour of Asia for performances with the Yomiuri Nippon Symphony Orchestra, National Centre for the Performing Arts Orchestra, Beijing Symphony Orchestra, and Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra.

An award-winning recording artist, Mr. Abduraimov's discography includes a 2014 CD with Decca Classics that features Prokofiev's Piano Concerto No. 3 and Tchaikovsky's Piano Concerto No. 1 with the RAI National Symphony Orchestra conducted by Juraj Valčuha.

Born in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, in 1990, Mr. Abduraimov started playing the piano at the age of five as a student of Tamara Popovich at the Uspensky State Central Lyceum. He studied with Stanislav Ioudenitch at Park University's International Center for Music, where he is currently the artist-in-residence.

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