On March 24, the Felici Piano Trio will present a concert for High Desert Chamber Music’s (HDCM) 15th anniversary season at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Bend at 7:30pm.
The trio’s pianist, Steven Vanhauwaert, is no stranger to Bend, having performed in the HDCM Concert Series previously with the Vanchestein-Park-Vanhauwaert Trio in 2014 and with 4handsLA in 2018. He has been hailed by Los Angeles Times’ classical music critic Mark Swed for his “impressive clarity, sense of structure and monster technique.” We spoke with him recently to learn more about him, the trio and the program they’ll be presenting in March.
Steven was born in Belgium and was introduced to the magical world of classical music through his father’s LP collection. He got hooked on the great legendary pianists like Vladimir Horowitz, Emil Gilels and Dinu Lipatti. In his teens, he decided there was no better way to pursue life than through music.
For the concert in March, Felici is excited to play a program that features works from almost a 250-year time span; Mozart’s lovely Piano Trio in G major, Paul Schoenfield’s jazzy Café Music and Schubert’s epic Piano Trio in E-Flat Major.
The Mozart is a perfect “curtain-raiser” with lively dialogue between the piano and violin, and occasional well-timed commentary by the cello, as if to say “don’t forget about me!” The Mozart’s expressive, lyrical and lively discourse is balanced by “Café Music’s” high-octane nod to popular musical styles of the early-mid 1900s, including Ragtime, the Blues and Broadway. As Schoenfield states, his music “is not the kind of music for relaxation, but the kind that makes people sweat; not only the performer, but the audience!”
The Schubert trio, the final work on the program, is truly monumental, suggesting symphonic dimensions. Schubert takes the listener on an unhurried journey through a myriad of emotional worlds, from deep indignation to joyous celebration. Robert Schumann, an early champion of Schubert’s, summarized this work fittingly: “One glance at Schubert’s trio, and all the troubles of human existence disappear, and the world is fresh and bright again!”
Like for all music professionals, COVID shut-down options for live, in-person performances for the Felici Trio over the past few years. Fortunately, the group worked hard to provide musical experiences for their audiences, from streamed concerts and recorded concerts to watch parties during the shutdown. But they are very much looking forward to their concert in Bend, playing for a live audience again!
You can hear Steven Vanhauwaert at the next event in the High Desert Chamber Music Concert Series. Please plan to join us on Friday, March 24, at 7:30pm at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Central Oregon. Tickets are available through High Desert Chamber Music by phone or online.
Come hear the music!
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