One Piano-4 Hands: Raim & Wehr, Pianists

Cynthia RaimPianist
David Allen WehrPianist

Celebrate the richness and abundance of the season on Sunday, November 19 at 2 PM as ARCA presents TWO international grand prize winning pianists described as irresistible” by Fanfare Magazine –  CYNTHIA RAIM and DAVID ALLEN WEHR – “two gifted artists egging each other on to ever higher levels of musicianship, virtuosity and sheer fun.”  

ARCA favorite, David Allen Wehr, is joined on Lincoln Hall’s Steinway in “One Piano – 4 Hands” by his piano partner Cynthia Raim, whom ARCA’s audience will remember from their two piano duo concert in Lincoln Hall in 2012 featuring music from their Rachmaninoff CD Suites for Two Pianos.  In a combination of solo piano and four hand works at one piano by  Schubert and Debussy, they will inspire with the subtlety of their collaborative nuances and virtuosity.

Duet repertoire will include Debussy’s charming Petite Suite, Schubert’s dark and passionate Fantasy in F Minor and brilliant Variations on an Original Theme.  Solo works by Debussy will be performed by both pianists, including Estampes (Engravings), a three-movement international musical trio, including Pagodas (Asia), Evening in Granada (Spain) and Gardens in the Rain (France) – and Children’s Corner, Debussy’s loving musial diary of a day in the life of his four-year-old daughter Chouchou.

In the spirit of counting our blessings at Thanksgiving, our ARCA classical-music-loving audience can be grateful to have the bravura and elegance of the award winning CDs of the Raim-Wehr duo LIVE for us in Lincoln Hall.  Cynthia Raim and David Allen Wehr have recorded together three CDs of the music of Brahms, Rachmaninoff and Dvorak – the reviews for which would be the dream of any artist.

Of their CD of Brahms Waltzes, Opus 39 and 21 Hungarian dances, the American Record Guide wrote, “Raim and Wehr offer such luscious performances that they fill one’s soul with sheer joy.  Absolutely gorgeous sound, this disc is a must have.”   And in Fanfare magazine, “Overwhelming Èlan… Raim and Wehr are irresistible.” 

Their Rachamaninoff  Suites for 2 Pianos was named Best Record of the Year 1998 by the American Record Guide:  Atmospheric and enthralling…One would have to go back to the days of Bauer and Gabrilowitsch to find two-piano playing of this caliber. But why bother when there are pianists like Raim and Wehr around. Grab this disc; it doesn’t get any better than this! Record of the Year 1998″

This is a concert with music accessible for all ages – with an eye on those young musicians and pianists who would be delighted by Debussy’s Children’s Corner and amazed by the virtuosity of these extraordinary pianists.  Begin your Thanksgiving holiday early, and bring family and friends with you.

Tickets are $25 for Adults, $20 for ARCA Members and $5 for Students.   Buy online here or call to reserve:  724-659-3153

After the concert Meet the Artists in the Red Brick Gallery and Gift Shop after the Concert – view the Cooperative Members’ Holiday Show and perhaps find an early holiday gift for that special person on your list.

And make it a golden fall afternoon on the beautiful banks of the Allegheny River – arriving early for lunch in The Allegheny Grille or Foxburg Pizza, shopping at Foxburg Wine Cellars, or having a coffee and chocolate dessert at Divani Chocolates. 

 

Cynthia Raim, Pianist
David Allen Wehr, Pianist

 

Debussy: Children’s Corner (solo)
Doctor Gradus ad Parnassum
Jimbo’s Lullaby
Serenade for the Doll
The Snow is Dancing
The Little Shepherd
Golliwogg’s Cakewalk

David Allen Wehr, pianist

 

Schubert: Fantasy in F Minor, D. 940 (duet)

 

Debussy: Estampes (solo)
Pagodas
Evening in Granada
Gardens in the Rain

Cynthia Raim, pianist

 

—-Intermission—-

 

Debussy: Petite Suite (duet)
En bateau (Sailing): Andantino
Cortège (Retinue): Moderato
Menuet: Moderato
Ballet: Allegro giusto

 

Schubert: Variations on an Original Theme, D. 813 (duet)

 

Cynthia Raim

“A musician of intelligence and judgment.”   New York Times

“Raim delivered imposing blocks of sound, outlined with hot fingerwork and framed by deliberate, scrupulously measured rhythm.”   Philadelphia Inquirer

Cynthia Raim, piano, who was unanimously chosen as the First Prize winner of the Clara Haskil International Piano Competition, has been acclaimed for her concerto and recital appearances throughout the United States and abroad. In summing up the performance that won Ms. Raim the coveted Clara Haskil prize, La Suisse (Geneva) noted that “Miss Raim showed a musical nature that has gone far beyond technical mastery: Without affectation, without useless bravado, Cynthia Raim has imprinted herself on us and cannot escape our admiration.” Le Monde (Paris) called her “a new Clara Haskil.”

Ms. Raim has won the prestigious Pro Musicis Award and, in 1987, was the first recipient of the “Distinguished Artist Award” of The Musical Fund Society of Philadelphia (America’s oldest continuing musical organization), which was given for “outstanding achievement and artistic merit.” Her many U.S. appearances include Alice Tully Hall, the 92nd Street “Y,” the Kennedy Center, and the Master Keyboard Series of The Philadelphia Chamber Music Society.

Ms. Raim has also made numerous radio and television appearances. She has appeared as soloist with leading orchestras in such major cities as Detroit, Minneapolis, Pittsburgh, New Orleans, Prague, Hamburg, Lausanne and Vienna. She has also participated in many leading international music festivals including Marlboro, Ravinia, Tanglewood, Meadow Brook, Grand Teton, Bard, Mostly Mozart, Santa Fe, Luzern, Montreaux and Sunflower Music Festival. Active in chamber music as well, Ms. Raim has appeared frequently in duo recitals with Benita Valente, David Soyer, Arnold Steinhardt, Samuel Rhodes, and the Guarneri String Quartet. She has recorded for Gallo, Pantheon and Connoisseur Society.

Cynthia Raim is known to Pittsburgh area audiences for having won the First Three Rivers National Piano Competition in 1975. As a result, she was soloist with the Pittsburgh Symphony, playing Prokofiev’s Concerto #3. She has also been heard in Pittsburgh as collaborative pianist with soprano Benita Valente, with whom she recorded and toured widely for many years.

A native of Detroit, where she first studied with Mischa Kottler, Ms. Raim was the youngest soloist to ever perform a complete concerto with the Detroit Symphony. Before graduating in 1977 from the Curtis Institute of Music, where she studied with Rudolf Serkin and Mieczslaw Horszowski, Ms. Raim had won the Festorazzi Award for Most Promising Pianist at Curtis, as well as first prize in the J.S. Bach International Competition.

David Allen Wehr

“Wehr belongs to the high-powered school of American pianism, but has a depth and sensitivity rarely encountered.” London Guardian

“David Allen Wehr is one of those great talents who play circles around most of their contemporaries. Few pianists have so consistently produced such exemplary, idiomatic, intellectually rigorous and emotionally generous music. He is an uncommonly free, expressive player whose huge but unobtrusive technical apparatus never draws attention to itself but is put squarely in the service of musical values. He is more than a pianist’s pianist; he is a musician’s musician.” American Record Guide

David Allen Wehr holds the Jack W. Geltz Distinguished Piano Chair at the Mary Pappert School of Music. His international career was launched when he won the Gold Medal at the 1987 Santander International Piano Competition in Spain. The resulting tours have taken him to over 30 countries in Europe, North and South America, and the Far East, including performances in the world musical capitals of New York, London, Paris, Vienna, Washington, Madrid and Buenos Aires. Over 1,000 concerts include 13 seasons of touring the United States and Canada for Community Concerts as soloist, pianist with the Sartory Trio, and duo-recital partner with violinist Linda Wang and cellist Zuill Bailey. Wehr has been soloist with the London Symphony, National Symphony, Chautauqua Symphony, Houston Symphony, New Zealand Symphony and all the major Spanish and Latin American orchestras.

David Allen Wehr was born in Princeton, New Jersey, into a family of professional musicians, his parents both being graduates of the famed Westminster Choir College. His father, Dr. David A. Wehr, well-known composer of over fifty published choir anthems, founded the Cathedral Bellchoir, one of the country’s first. The ringers’ extensive cross-country tours in the 1960s included concerts at the Seattle, New York and Montreal World’s Fairs. His mother, Nancy Stone Wehr, is a leading music educator and alto soloist.

Growing up in Boise, Idaho, where his parents directed the choir program at the Cathedral of the Rockies, young David’s first piano lesson with his mother was on his fourth birthday. After continued lessons with both parents until age twelve, Wehr studied with Peggy Neighbors Erwin in Miami, Florida and with Edward Zolas at the Cleveland Institute of Music.

Wehr studied at the Cleveland Institute of Music, the Taos School of Music, the Dartington Summer Music School in England, and holds Bachelor and Master of Music degrees from the University of Kansas, where he studied with Portuguese virtuoso Sequeira Costa and coached in over forty master classes with Leon Fleisher, Malcolm Frager, Misha Dichter, Gary Graffman and Byron Janis.  He coached extensively with Leon Fleisher, Jorge Bolet and Malcolm Frager. Early in his career, Wehr won the 1975 Kosciuszko Chopin Prize in New York City, the 1983 National Federation of Music Clubs Young Artist Award, and Second Prizes in the 1983 Naumburg International Piano Competition at New York’s Carnegie Hall, and the 1986 Kapell Competition at the Kennedy Center.  He also worked coaching chamber music at the Taos School of Music with Anne Koscielny, Raymond Hanson and the New Hungarian String Quartet.

David Allen Wehr has amassed a large and critically acclaimed discography with Connoisseur Society, Inc., with programs by Chopin, Debussy, Rachmaninoff, Mussorgsky, Schumann, Delius, Czerny, Gershwin, Brahms, Griffes, Wagner-Liszt, Dvoř-k and Joe Utterback. The complete Beethoven Sonata Cycle has been released in four double-CD albums. His CDs are available through the Mary Pappert School of Music by calling (412) 396-6082 and at amazon.com. Since 2007, Wehr has served each summer as Principal Keyboard at the Sunflower Music Festival in Topeka, Kansas and the Buzzards Bay Musicfest in Marion, Massachusetts.

Wehr was first associated with Duquesne from 1991-1994, when the Sartory Trio was chamber ensemble-in-residence, and his current tenure began in 2001, when he was named the first Hillman Distinguished Chair. His previous performance projects here include the complete Beethoven Sonata Cycle (2002-2004), Beethoven’s “Dynamic Duos”: the complete violin-piano sonatas with Charles Stegeman, the complete works for cello and piano with Anne Martindale Williams, and the Ninth Symphony in Liszt’s two-piano transcription with Helene Wickett (2004), “Brahms on the Bluff”, (Brahms’ complete instrumental chamber music, 2005-2008), “Musique on the Bluff” (French music, 2008-2010), “Bicentennials on the Bluff” (Chopin and Schumann, 2010), “Dvořák at Duquesne” (2011), and “Budapest on the Bluff” (2012) and “Beethoven on the Bluff” (2013-14) presenting the major piano chamber works of Beethoven.

Pianists Cynthia Raim and David Allen Wehr bring to Foxburg a program they have performed to sold out audiences as part of Duquesne University’s Schubert on the Bluff, in the third and final season also featuring feature guest composer Claude Debussy. Schubert’s gorgeous melodies and emotionally gripping music has captivated audiences for almost two centuries, while Debussy’s lush, Impressionistic tone paintings have placed him among the giants of the 20th century. For the 16th season, David Allen Wehr, holder of the Jack W. Geltz Distinguished Piano Chair at Duquesne University, serves as Artistic Director of the series.

ARCA audiences will remember Cynthia Raim and David Allen Wehr from their two piano duo concert in Lincoln Hall in 2012 featuring music from their Rachmaninoff CD Suites for Two Pianos.  They will perform a combination of solo piano and four hand works at one piano by Schubert and Debussy.

Duet repertoire will include Debussy’s charming Petite Suite, Schubert’s dark and passionate Fantasy in F Minor and brilliant Variations on an Original Theme.  Colorful and virtuosic solo works by Debussy will be performed by both pianists  including Estampes (Engravings), a three-movement international musical trio, including Pagodas (Asia), Evening in Granada (Spain) and Gardens in the Rain (France) – and Children’s Corner, Debussy’s loving musial diary of a day in the life of his four-year-old daughter Chouchou.

“Estampes (Engravings)” is a three-movement international musical tour, including Pagodas (Asia), Evening in Granada (Spain) and Gardens in the Rain (France).  “Children’s Corner” is Debussy’s loving musical diary of a day in the life of his four-year-old daughter Chouchou.  There are six pieces in the suite, each with an English-language title.  The choice of language is most likely Debussy’s nod towards Chou-Chou’s English governess. The pieces are Doctor Gradus ad Parnassum, Jimbo’s Lullaby, Serenade for the Doll, The Snow is Dancing, The Little Shepherd and Golliwogg’s Cakewalk.

Program Host – David Allen Wehr
Back by popular demand and a favorite of Foxburg audiences, David Allen Wehr will serve as the program host for the concert providing enlightening insights on the music and composers.  David’s international career was launched when he won the Gold Medal at the 1987 Santander International Piano Competition in Spain. The resulting tours have taken him to over 30 countries in Europe, North and South America, and the Far East, including performances in the world musical capitals of New York, London, Paris, Vienna, Washington, Madrid and Buenos Aires

It was David’s thirteen seasons touring the United States and Canada for Community concerts as a soloist and in chamber music partnerships that honed his unique ability to make great works for the piano accessible to the public.  Known for his ability as a “Living Program Note”, Dave has a warm personality that welcomes an audience member into the emotion of the music and makes imaginative and simple the intricacies of great works of music.

As program host, David is once again certain to charm and delight ARCA audiences.

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