Lauren Zhang – SJE Arts International Piano Series
Rossini Prélude inoffensif (Péchés de vieillesse, vol 7 Album de chaumière)
Schumann Sonata No.1 in F-sharp minor, Op. 11
Lowell Liebermann Gargoyles, Op. 29
Schumann Humoreske, Op. 20
In 2018, Lauren Zhang was named BBC Young Musician of the Year with a performance of Prokofiev’s Second Piano Concerto with the Birmingham Symphony Orchestra. She was sixteen at the time and was praised for her outstanding maturity. Since then, solo appearances include her debuts at the Royal Albert Hall and at Herkulesaal, Munich and concertos with China National Symphony Orchestra, BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra and the London Mozart Players, to name but a few.
Lauren opens her programme with one of Rossini’s short piano pieces from the collection he jokingly titled ‘Péchés de vieillesse’ (Sins of old age). Schumann follows; his music was always a reflection of his personal life and this sonata, composed when his beloved Clara Wieck had been sent away by her father, is no exception. It was, he later told Clara, ‘a solitary outcry for you from my heart …in which your theme appears in every possible shape’.
Post-interval, Lauren introduces us to Gargoyles, a 4-movement impressionistic piano suite by American composer Lowell Liebermann. The title refers to the overall mood of the piece, a riveting combination of the humorous and the macabre. According to The Washington Post, at the 1989 premiere in Alice Tully Hall, New York City, the final movement ‘produced an audience response close to hysteria’.