“He is more than a musician’s musician; he is a pianist’s pianist.” American Record Guide
Western Pennsylvania is blessed to have in its midst the international competition winner, celebrated recording artist and much travelled pianist, David Allen Wehr, who returns to Foxburg to perform an all-Chopin program on the Lincoln Hall Steinway on Sunday afternoon, November 20 at 2:00 PM.
David Allen Wehr is a favorite of ARCA audiences both as a collaborative and solo artist, having brought to Lincon Hall chamber music programs with members of the Pittsburgh Symphony which he had developed for his sold-out, Duquesne University, Music on the Bluff series.
Of his ARCA November 2021 two piano performance with Cynthia Raim of their Rachmaninoff duets that gleaned them the 1998 Recording of the Year for the American Record Guide, it could be said that that on that day – anywhere in the music capitals of the world – there was no more exultant performance of classical music. It was breathtaking.
David’s All Chopin concert this season is the fifth Patricia Ann Steffee Memorial Concert honoring the memory of ARCA’s dedicated and long time Board member and ARCA founder. Patricia was a great fan and friend of David Allen Wehr and hosted post-concert receptions for him and his collaborating chamber musicians at beautiful RiverStone Farm.
David Allen Wehr’s international career was launched when he won the Gold Medal at the 1987 Santander International Piano Competition in Spain. 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 in 1,000 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. Exceptionally gifted as a “Living Program Note”, David 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.
David Allen Wehr has amassed a large and critically acclaimed discography for his solo and collaborative CDs. His CDs with this piano duo partner, Cynthia Raim, have received the highest accolades: “Raim and Wehr offer such luscious performances that they fill one’s soul with sheer joy.” American Record Guide. Other CDs Wehr has recorded include programs of Chopin, Debussy, Rachmaninoff, Mussorgsky, Schumann, Delius, Czerny, Gershwin, Brahms, Griffes, Wagner-Liszt, Dvořak and Joe Utterback. The complete Beethoven Sonata Cycle has been released in four double-CD albums. His CDs are available at amazon.com.
As a teaser for Wehr’s November 20 concert, enjoy the Nocturne in C minor, Op. posth. from his recording of 21 Chopin Nocturnes.
And the critics were unanimous that his Chopin was “rapturous, rewarding and impressive” – a recording “that every devoted Chopin-lover should find both challenging and rewarding”.
Pianoforte wrote: The first time I heard this issue I listened to all 21 Nocturnes without a break, and found the experience rapturous, rewarding and impressive.
The American Record Guide wrote: Wehr, a master pianist, offers compelling readings that every devoted Chopin-lover should find both challenging and rewarding. Wehr is fleet and extroverted. The early works are dispatched with requisite sensitivity, the later ones on a truly grand scale, in turn restless and turbulent, quiet and reflective.
For an added musical treat, enjoy his recording of Deux Arabesques from his celebrated Debussy Recording, for which Fanfare wrote: This is a superbly played, handsomely recorded recital of a Debussy hit parade. Wehr does not approach this material in a traditional way, but his playing is finely nuanced, within the context of a rhythmically taut pulse. Wehr exercises intelligence and intuitive dramatic phrasing throughout; this is fresh, alert Debussy playing.
And finally, from his recording of Joe Utterback works, here is his jazzy Tuxedo Blues that will make you think you’re hearing a major jazz artist with monster piano chops!
Begin your Thanksgiving holiday early, and bring family and friends with you to enjoy a sublime afternoon of Chopin in the hands of an internationally acclaimed keyboard artist.
ARCA is grateful for the generous donations of Dr. John (Jack) Williams and Board members Dan and Karen Mortland, sponsoring David Allen Wehr’s All Chopin concert in memory of ARCA founder Patricia Ann Steffee.
Post-COVID, open theatre style seating has returned to 100% capacity. There is no mask requirement. Please refrain from attending if you are ill or if you have been exposed to anyone with COVID.
Tickets are $25 for Adults, $20 for ARCA Members and $5 for Students. Buy online here or call to reserve: 724-659-3153 Cash or check at the door.
ARRIVE EARLY & EXPLORE FOXBURG!
Plan to Make a Day of it in beautiful Foxburg!
Before or after the concert visit the Red Brick Gallery and Gift Shop to view the Cooperative Members’ Holiday Show and perhaps find an early holiday gift for that special person on your list from the first floor offerings of talented Cooperative Artists from the region.
Enjoy a brisk walk in the autumn freshness along the Allegheny River trail or rent bicycles with Foxburg Tours in the morning or early afternoon! Have lunch at the Allegheny Grille with inside seating overlooking the Allegheny River, or for more casual fare, at Foxburg Pizza with salads, sandwiches and pizza. Save time to enjoy wine tasting at Foxburg Wine Cellars and savor a gourmet coffee and hand made chocolate at Divani Chocolatier and Barrista. Or spend the night in Foxburg in the lovely Foxburg Inn or up the river at Emlenton’s bed and breakfast, The Barnard House.
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 and serves as the Dean of 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.
His collaborative CDs have received highest accolades: “Raim and Wehr offer such luscious performances that they fill one’s soul with sheer joy.” American Record Guide
David Allen Wehr and Cynthia Raim’s two piano recording of Rachmaninoff Suites for 2 Pianos – Record of the Year for 1998 for the American Record Guide – was hailed by Pianoforte: “Here are two fine artists who sound as if they might have stepped right out of a Russian academy. They allow the composer’s melodies and phrases a natural shape without ever imposing technique on them, with a great feeling of contrast, light and shade. Has the Waltz for piano duet ever sounded more delightful and playful?”
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.
David Allen Wehr will delight ARCA’s audience with an all-Chopin program.
Please check back for a listing of the concert repertoire.
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 Chopin’s life and compositions. 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 as he engages them in the music.
An ARCA audience favorite, David Allen Wehr continues to be brought back to the Lincoln Hall stage by popular demand and has been delighting ARCA audiences for more than a decade in both solo and chamber music programs with members of the Pittsburgh Symphony developed for his sold-out, Duquesne University, Music on the Bluff series.
Here are some photo memories for those who remember his delightful Schubert, Debussy, and Romantic Russian repertoire concerts with dazzling Pittsburgh Symphony Principal musicians.
In recent years David has brought to Lincoln Hall two concerts from the “Schubert on the Bluff” series, including PSO Principal Flute Lorna McGhee’s brilliant and virtuosic Flute Variations on “Trockne Blumen” from “Die Schöne Müllerin”
ARCA’s “Romantic Russia: Rhapsodies of Spring” presented repertoire from a concert in the sold-out “Moscow on the Bluff” series at Duquesne University, for which David Allen Wehr is the Artistic Director. In 2018-19, “Moscow on the Bluff” presented music by Russia’s greatest composers which runs a huge emotional gamut from joyful comedy to dark tragedy in the unusually intense Russian style.
And his dazzling performances with Cynthia Raim – in four hand and two piano concerts – will resound long in the memory of ARCA audiences.