SCHUMANN AND BRAHMS: GERMAN ROMANTIC MASTERS

Event details

  • Sunday | 8th February, 2015
  • 04:00 PM - 06:00 PM
  • First Presbyterian Church
    540 William Hilton Parkway
    Hilton Head Island, SC 29928
  • 843-842-2055
  • John Morris Russell
    Conductor

    Shen Lu
    Piano

The shy, young Brahms came to worship at Schumann’s–and Clara’s–feet.

Schumann Symphony No. 4
Brahms Piano Concerto No. 1

 

Shen Lu, Piano

Shen-LuAt age 29, Shen Lu is already an accomplished international performer. In addition to performances at Beijing’s Central Conservatory Music Hall, Culture Center, and City Hall in his native China, he has appeared in Carnegie’s Weill Hall in New York, the Jordan Hall in Boston, the Mixon Hall in Cleveland, the Flagey Concert Hall in Brussels, and the Seymour Centre in Sydney. He participated in the Juilliard Music School Piano Festival in Hong Kong, the China International Piano Festival in Beijing, and the Texas Piano Festival.

Mr. Shen played Lizst’s Concerto No.1 with the Xiamen Orchestra, Brahms’ Concerto No.1 with the Guangzhou and the Orlando Orchestras, and Chopin’s Concerto No.1 with the Ferrol and the New England Conservatory Philharmonia Orchestras. Additionally, he performed Saint-Saëns Piano Concerto No. 2 with the Central Conservatory of Music Youth Orchestra, and Mozart’s Concerto No.21 with the Orchestre Royal de Chambre de Wallonie.

Shen Lu has a special interest in the contemporary Chinese repertoire. He has performed works by Zhang Shuai, Chen Peixun, Gao Ping, and has also performed the piano concerto by Huang Anlun with the Xiamen Orchestra.

Enjoying collaborative as well as solo performance, he was an accompanist with the Central Conservatory of Music’s Young Chorus, and the official accompanist for both the New England and Boston Conservatories.

Mr. Shen has won numerous international piano competitions, most recently the 2014 Hilton Head International Piano Competition. Others in which he has been a prize winner include the Hong Kong Piano Open Competition, the New England Conservatory Whole School Concerto Competition, the Jingzhong Competition, the Asia Chopin Piano Competition, the 59th Wideman International Piano Competition, the 4th Campillos International Piano Competition, the 2nd Florida International Competition, the XXV Ferrol International Piano Competition, the Iowa International Piano Competition, the Queen Elizabeth International Piano Competition, and the Sydney International Piano Competition.
Mr. Shen is currently pursuing his Artist Diploma at the Cleveland Institute of Music, studying with Haesun Paik. He earned his bachelor’s degree at the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing under pianist Wu Ying, and his master’s and graduate degrees from the New England Conservatory in Boston under pianist Alexander Korsantia. Shen Lu has taken master classes with Lee Kum Sing, Arie Vardi, Boris Berman, Tamás Ungár, Paul Badura-Skoda, Hung-Kuan Chen and Stephen Kovacevich.

In 2015, Mr. Shen will be releasing his first CD recording on the Steinway & Sons label through ArkivMusic.

 

Robert Schumann
Symphony No. 4 in D minor, Op. 120
No other composer symbolized the romantic movement in music as did Robert Schumann. Talented both in music and literature, he used the latter to promote his romantic ideals about the future of music. He was a true elitist, pitting “us,” the enlightened (the Davidsbündler), against “them,” the masses, whom he called “Philistines”. The latter appellation has remained part of the international elitist vocabulary to this day.

Johannes Brahms
Piano Concerto No. 1 in D minor, Op. 15
This concerto was Johannes Brahms’s first orchestral work to survive his self-criticism and weeding – he literally consigned to the flames anything that he considered less than perfect. It had a strange and checkered birth, starting life in 1854 as a two-piano sketch for a symphony. The orchestration, however, caused trouble for the inexperienced composer and he dropped the project. He transformed parts of it instead into a piano concerto, using the first movement of the discarded symphony for the first movement of the Concerto and composing a new slow second movement and a rondo as its third movement. He did not waste the scherzo movement of the symphony: its theme found new life in the second movement, the funeral march, of the German Requiem.