Kennedy Center: Before and After

Anderson Roe in Performance 07.jpg

Before our recent Kennedy Center debut, we sat down for an in-depth interview with David Rohde for DC Metro Theater Arts. His excellent article is worth a read.

For the performance itself, we juxtaposed the scandalous with the sublime. We began with three over-the-top fantasies based on operas by Mozart, Bizet, and Adés; each provided a snapshot of the corruption, power dynamics, and sexual abuse we still find in our world today. The second half featured transcendent music by John Adams and the Beatles, as well our new Hallelujah Variations... in a way, it was our personal (and frustrated) response to the political landscape of our times.

After the recital, we were thrilled to receive a fantastic review in the Washington Post!

While each is a virtuosic powerhouse pianist in his and her own right, what sets the pair apart is an ability to make emotional and spiritual connections with their audiences.
— Washington Post

Up next: we're giving the world premiere of our Carmen Fantasy for Two Pianos and Orchestra with the Hartford Symphony Orchestra, in addition to performances of Poulenc's Double Concerto. After that, a fun salon-style cocktail concert and performances of Mozart's Double Concerto with the Missoula Symphony. And finally we're off to New Zealand for a 10-city tour.

UK Premiere of Thomas Adès' "Concert Paraphrase on Powder Her Face"

This week we're performing a recital on the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic's Close Up concert series, featuring the complete Rite of Spring and a special all-British music set, including Thomas Adès' Powder Her Face concert paraphrase and our arrangements of Arne's The Morning and the Beatles' "Let It Be" (a loving, gospel-gone-wild homage to the band's provenance). 

We're particularly excited to present the UK premiere of Thomas Adès latest work for piano (in this case, two pianos!) — it's a potent, kaleidoscopic, and topical addition to the repertoire.

On Thursday, we'll join forces with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic and Maestro Christian Lindberg in Francis Poulenc's Double Concerto.

Performance with the San Francisco Symphony

Join us for our debut performance with the San Francisco Symphony! This family-friendly concert, conducted by maestro Edwin Outwater, will include a playful, eccentric, and surprising take on Saint-Saëns' Carnival of the Animals, as well as our arrangements of Rimsky-Korsakov's Flight of the Bumblebee[s] and Jack Fina's Bumble Boogie. 

"Wild Sounds" with the San Francisco Symphony
Davies Hall, San Francisco, CA
Saturday, December 3rd at 2:00 P.M. 
Ticket information here

Brahms Double Concerto Premiere

During our visit to beautiful, snowy Santa Fe this past Christmas Eve, we were excited to premiere a work that has been years in the making: Brahms' Double Concerto in our arrangement for two pianos and orchestra. We were fortunate to perform the work with the Performance Santa Fe Symphony under the direction of maestro Joseph Illick, whose boundless positivity and supreme flexibility made the premiere a joyous success. 

Brahms often struggled with instrumentation when composing. For example, he morphed his string quintet into a two piano sonata before finally settling on its final form: a piano quintet. Similarly, the first piano concerto began as a sonata for piano, four hands. But regardless of his music's instrumentation, one gets the sense that he conceived at the piano, especially given how many of his works he ultimately arranged for piano duo and duet. In fact, Brahms arranged nearly every piece he wrote for the genre — see Christian Köhn and Silke-Thora Matthies’s complete 18-disc set of Brahms' piano duo music for evidence. 

With the Double Concerto, the solo violin and cello lines translated themselves idiomatically to the piano. We were further delighted by the number of similarities between this concerto and his two solo piano concertos, which we ultimately highlighted in the arrangement itself. The pieces feels as if we're performing a big, Romantic Brahms piano concerto, but with the added dialogue of a double concerto. And suitably, the piece's biographical subtext remains firmly in place (the piece was composed as something of a reconciliation plea to violinist Joseph Joachim); the piece now serves as a universal statement of pain, forgiveness, and friendship.

In this committed unveiling, it came across as an effective concert work, a useful addition to the regrettably small repertoire of concertos for two pianos and orchestra.
— Santa Fe New Mexican