13th Annual Duo Piano Gala Concert at Worcester's Tuckerman Hall  

  • The 13th annual Duo Piano Gala Concert at Worcester’s Tuckerman Hall will be held Saturday, Oct. 26, at 7:30 p.m. Submitted photo

Published: 9/20/2019 9:35:23 PM
Modified: 9/20/2019 9:35:09 PM

WORCESTER — The Massachusetts Symphony Orchestra will mark its 13th consecutive year of presenting a “Duo Piano Gala Concert” featuring the talents of seven extraordinary local and international pianists on Saturday, Oct. 26, at 7:30 p.m. at Worcester’s Tuckerman Hall.

Featured pianists are Paul Buono, Malcolm Halliday, Kallin Johnson, Sima Kustanovich, Olga Rogach, Myron Romanul, and Ian Watson. This annual performance, which has sold out for the last 12 years, showcases seven celebrated pianists playing on the Massachusetts Symphony’s renowned Steinway concert grand pianos in

Worcester’s Tuckerman Hall. The artists will perform in combinations of two, four, and six players seated at two pianos.

Works on this year’s program include an arrangement for six pianists by D. Patrick of Mozart’s Overture to the Magic Flute, two works by Bach: Contrapunctus IX from The Art of Fugue, and an aria arranged for two pianists from the St. Matthew Passion: Erbame dich; Dahl’s Quodlibet on American Folk Tunes, Armenian Rhapsody by Babadjanian/Harutyunyan; an arrangement for four pianists of Mendelssohn’s Overture to a Midsummer’s Night Dream, and Jupiter from The Planets as originally conceived for two pianos by Gustav Holst.

Other works featured include an arrangement by Schaum of Finlandia by Sibelius; Fantasy on Gershwin Songs by Mayefsky, Libertango by Piazzolla, an arrangement by Stern of Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody, Fina’s Bumble Bee Boogie, and an arrangement for seven pianists of When the Saints Go Marching In.

Each of the pianists chosen to participate in this concert has a distinguished musical background. Paul Buono holds an undergraduate degree in Jazz Studies from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and a Master’s degree in Jazz Composition from The Aaron Copland School of Music at City University of New York. He has served as Music Director and Keyboardist for Javier Colon, Season 1 winner of “The Voice” and has appeared with Maroon 5 on their “OverExposed” World Tour. Buono teaches in the music departments of Assumption College, Clark University and WPI.

Malcolm Halliday holds degrees in piano performance from Oberlin Conservatory (B.A.) and Boston University (M.Mus.), and was Minister of Music at First Congregational Church in Shrewsbury for many years. He was also Artistic Director and Conductor of the Master Singers of Worcester and was on the music faculty at both WPI and Clark University.

Kallin Johnson is Director of Music at Notre Dame Academy and has been a member of the Clark University faculty since 1998. A graduate of the New England Conservatory of Music, Johnson is the principal pianist of the Massachusetts Symphony Orchestra and is a past recipient of the Worcester Telegram & Gazette’s Visions Cultural Enrichment Award.

Sima Kustanovich is also a past recipient of the Worcester Telegram & Gazette’s Visions Cultural Enrichment Award and is on the faculties of Clark University and the Walnut Hill School for the Performing Arts. Holder of a Master’s in Music from the St. Petersburg Conservatory, she has been associated with the Leningrad Opera and Ballet Theater as well as the Courchevel Chamber Music Festival in France and Toronto’s Royal Conservatory Chamber Music Series.

Olga Rogach holds a Master’s of Music degree in piano performance from the St. Petersburg Conservatory. Music Director of the First Parish Church of Northboro, she is also a piano instructor at WPI, teaches privately in the Worcester area, and is piano accompanist for Greater Worcester Opera.

Pianist Myron Romanul made his debut as a piano soloist with the Boston Symphony Orchestra at the age of 11. As the original pianist of the New England Conservatory Ragtime Ensemble, he is featured on the Grammy Award-winning Angel-EMI recording Scott Joplin: The Red Back Book, as well as on his latest CD entitled The Piano of the Opera. Romanul was touring pianist with Arthur Fiedler and the Boston Pops Orchestra for many years. Romanul serves as Principal Conductor of the Massachusetts Symphony Orchestra, while also holding the posts of First Kapellmeister of the State Theatre in Munich, Germany and Guest Conductor at His Majesty’s Theatre in Perth, Australia.

Ian Watson is a world-renowned keyboard artist, having performed with the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields, the English Chamber Orchestra, the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, and the English Baroque Soloists, among others. A graduate of, and holder of a Recital Diploma from the Royal Academy of Music in London, Watson is the Artistic Director of the Arcadia Players and Associate Conductor of Boston’s Handel and Hayden Society. He is featured on numerous film soundtracks including Amadeus and Mr. Holland’s Opus.

Principal sponsor of the concert is Reliant Medical Group.

Admission to the Duo Piano Gala Concert is $25 per person for reserved seating (floor or balcony) in advance (by placing an order with the Symphony,P.O. Box 20070, Worcester, MA 01602) or $30 for reserved seating if purchased on the day of the performance. For more information call (508) 754-1234 or visit www.masymphony.org.

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