The opening concert of the Festival is dedicated to music for two pianos and percussion. Pianists Adolfo Vidal and Michael Linville join percussionist fellows from the New World Symphony, Alex Wadner and Christopher Riggs to play the Sonata for Two Pianos and Percussion (1937) by Bela Bartok, the composer's most exhilarating masterpiece and also Astor Piazzollas' avantgarde tangos arranged for the quartet.
Bartok's masterpiece score requires four performers: two pianists and two percussionists, who play seven instruments between them: timpani, bass drum (gran cassa), cymbals, triangle, snare drum (both on- and off- snares), tam-tam (gong) and xylophone.
A virtuoso bandoneonist, Piazzolla regularly performed his own compositions with a variety of ensembles and instrumentations, this time the tangos are arranged for two pianos and two percussionists by Dr. Federico Bonacossa. Piazzolla's music is all about passion and contagious rhythm. And what other instruments can convey this better than two pianos and percussion? Percussion is the dark side of it: its raw rhythmic force, its violence - but also its rapture and ecstasy. The pianos are the sublime, tender, sensual voice of passion. Maybe that’s why Piazzolla's music yielded surprisingly well to this arrangement. A world premier at the Festival.
Alex Wadner is currently in his 3rd year as the Timpani Fellow at the New World Symphony. Originally from Portland, OR, he received his Bachelor's of Music from Indiana University and his Graduate Degree in Timpani Performance from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. He has also served as Guest Principal Timpanist in the Malaysian Philharmonic, Percussionist/Assistant Timpanist in the Columbus Indiana Philharmonic, and as a Percussionist with the Terre Haute Symphony Orchestra (IN).
Chris Riggs is currently a third-year fellow with the New World Symphony. Before moving to Florida, Chris served as Adjunct Professor of Percussion as Sam Houston State University, and as the Percussion Instructor and Arranger for the Northwestern University Drumline. A native of Edmond, Oklahoma, Chris received his Masters in Music from Northwestern University and completed degrees in both music and philosophy from Oklahoma University.
Michael Linville has established a rich and varied professional life as pianist, percussionist, harpist, conductor, arranger, and educator. He is currently Associate Dean and Director of Chamber Music Activities for the New World Symphony. Mr. Linville is also artistic coordinator of the New World Percussion Consort, an ensemble dedicated to the performance of contemporary chamber music that features percussion.
Venezuelan pianist, Adolfo Vidal founder and artistic director of the Miami World Music Festival has been hailed as an "exciting and compelling pianist" and his playing praised as "musical and effortless virtuosity." Selected performances have been broadcast on radio and TV, such as WQXR New York and WLRN Public Television in Miami. Vidal holds degrees from FIU, the Royal Conservatory of Music and a Doctorate from University of Miami.
A concert not to be missed!