Elisabeta Leonskaia-Ravel-Enescu-Debussy-Chopin-Recital-Athenaeum-24.09

Romanian Atheneum
Series "Chamber Music"
Maurice Ravel - « Valses nobles et sentimentales »
George Enescu - Sonate for piano f sharp minor op. 24 no. 1 (1924)
Claude Debussy - « Preludes » - « Le vent dans la plaine »
- « La fille aux cheveux de lin » (I)
- « Feux d’artifice » (II)
Frederic Chopin - Scherzo no. 1 h minor op. 20
- Scherzo no. 2 b minor op. 31
- Scherzo no. 3 c sharp minor op. 39
- Scherzo no. 4 E Major op. 54
......This was a really beautiful program. And difficult as well. Mrs Leonskaia won the piano competition of the "George Enescu" Festival 45 years ago. She came back for the Festival 2 years ago, with a concert at the Palace Hall. Then she was scheduled to sing with the Philharmonic here in Bucharest, during the season, but she had some sort of injury. She was here but couldn't play. So this was a great opportunity to see her again. I enjoyed every second.
......There were a lot of people in the hall. Many more than for other concerts. There were 2 encores. Then the Minister of Culture offered her the "Cultural Order". Instead of words, she played another song.
......For decades now, Elisabeth Leonskaja has been among the most celebrated pianists of our time. In a world dominated by the media, Elisabeth Leonskaja has remained true to herself and to her music, and in doing so, is following in the footsteps of the great Russian musicians of the Soviet era, such as David Oistrakh, Sviatoslav Richter and Emil Gilels, who never wavered in their focus on the quintessence of music despite working in a very difficult political environment. Her almost legendary modesty still makes her somewhat media-shy today. Yet as soon as she walks out on the stage, audiences can sense the force behind the fact that music is and always has been her life’s work.
......Born in Tbilisi, Georgia, to a Russian family, she was regarded as a child prodigy and gave her first concerts as early as age 11. Her exceptional talent soon brought her to study at the Moscow Conservatory. While still a student at the Conservatory, she won prizes in the prestigious Enescu, Marguerite Long and Queen Elizabeth international piano competitions.
......Elisabeth Leonskaja’s musical development was shaped or influenced to a decisive degree by her collaboration with Sviatoslav Richter. The master recognized her exceptional talent and fostered her development not only through teaching and giving her advice, but also by inviting her to play numerous duets with him. A memorable musical event! The musical partnership and personal friendship between Sviatoslav Richter and Elisabeth Leonskaja endured until Richter’s death in the year 1997. In 1978 Elisabeth Leonskaja left the Soviet Union and made her new home in Vienna. Her sensational performance at the Salzburg Festival in 1979 marked the beginning of her steadily blossoming career as a concert pianist in the west.
......Elisabeth Leonskaja has appeared as a soloist with virtually all the leading orchestras in the world, such as the New York Philharmonic, the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra, the Cleveland Orchestra, the London Philharmonic Orchestra, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, the BBC Symphony Orchestr London, the Zurich Tonhalle Orchestra, the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, the Gewandhausorchester Leipzig, the radio orchestras of Hamburg, Cologne and Munich, the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra and many others, under the baton of such leading conductors as: Kurt Masur, Sir Colin Davis, Christoph Eschenbach, Christoph von Dohnanyi, Kurt Sanderling, Maris Jansons, Yuri Temirkanov and many others.
......In her adopted home, the Republic of Austria, Elisabeth Leonskaja’s outstanding achievements have also gained her great recognition. She has been made an Honorary Member of the Konzerthaus of Vienna. In 2006, she was awarded the Austrian Cross of Honor, First Class, for her services to the cultural life of the country – the highest award of its kind in Austria.
......Today the "Lioness of the Keyboard" has matured into an exceptional pianist, one who is above emphasizing her virtuosity and who enjoys the warmest of receptions wherever she appears. (festivalenescu.ro)

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