The piano has enjoyed immense popularity for three centuries. Its versatility has led to the 88 keys being called “an orchestra contained in a single instrument.” This presentation will focus on the role of the piano in shaping the development of music. Selections for this live performance range in style from Beethoven’s “Moonlight Sonata” through Debussy’s “Clair de lune.” Parkinson’s down-to-earth narration gives the background of each piece in order to heighten the listening experience.
Frederic Chopin’s piano music is among the finest ever written for that instrument. Audiences have enjoyed music by the “poet of the piano” for over 150 years. This presentation will include some of his most beloved compositions: “Revolutionary Etude,” “Raindrop Prelude,” “Minute Waltz,” and “Heroic Polonaise.” The live performance of these selections will be enhanced by a commentary explaining the origin of each piece, giving audiences a deeper appreciation of this master’s work.
George Gershwin is one of America’s best-loved and most significant composers. His successful infusion of jazz elements into the classical idiom is unique and has earned him worldwide stature. This presentation will include some of his most beloved song hits as well as the ever-popular “Rhapsody in Blue.” The format will combine a live performance of these works with a discussion of Gershwin’s life, his singular approach to composition, and his enduring popularity.