SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. – Music may be a universal language, but sometimes it needs translating. Enter pianist Jeffrey Siegel, who speaks fluent music to thousands of classical fans in more than 20 cities annually. Siegel’s Keyboard Conversations®, a series of concerts-with-commentary, returns to Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts for the 39th season.
In four appearances, starting in December and ending in April, Siegel will play virtuoso works for the piano by a broad range of composers, offering verbal annotation from the stage before the performances, followed by fast-paced Q-and-A sessions with the audience.
While many classical series offer verbal insights into classical music, Keyboard Conversations is different, in that Siegel is a seasoned concert pianist first, and a commentator second. Parallel with Keyboard Conversations, he has appeared in concert with the New York Philharmonic, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the Berlin Philharmonic, London Symphony, Philadelphia Orchestra and Boston Symphony Orchestra, among many others. When Siegel adds his verbal insights, the results garner critical raves, such as these:
- “Jeffry Siegel has everything: massive technique, musical sensitivity and character, wide tonal resources, immense reserves of power and the ability to communicate.” – The Los Angeles Times
- “Siegel’s programs strengthen the fragile bonds of communication between composer and listener and are as welcome as they are rare.” – The Chicago Tribune
- “A musical bridge-builder in action. Siegel showed just how illuminating the combination of words and abstract music can be.” – The Toronto Star
Every Keyboard Conversations program includes uninterrupted, full-length performances of the scores Siegel discusses. Siegel was among the first to combine commentary with classical music, starting nearly four decades ago in Chicago; Keyboard Conversations has been an annual feature at the Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts since it began.
Siegel shapes each of his Keyboard Conversations around a single composer, or a theme that connects different composers. Here is the schedule for his appearances at Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts, all on Tuesdays starting at 7:30 p.m., in the Virginia G. Piper Theater:
Keys to the Classics, Dec. 5. Franz Josef Haydn, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Ludwig van Beethoven form the triad of composers who defined the classical era (1750-1825). This program will feature Haydn’s Sonata in D, Mozart’s Rondo in A minor and Beethoven’s Sonata in C minor, op. 13, the Pathétique. Siegel will connect the stylistic methods that make these works “classical.”
Virtuoso Variations, Jan. 23. Composers throughout the centuries have managed to extend single themes by altering them in successive variations. Siegel will explore how composers Ludwig van Beethoven, Frédéric Chopin, Felix Mendelssohn and Franz Liszt crafted variations to make their themes more engaging.
Bach and Chopin: A Musical Kinship, Feb. 20. J.S. Bach (1685-1750) and Frédéric Chopin (1810-1849) lived in different centuries and composed in strikingly different styles. But Siegel links them by virtue of two commonalities: the prelude and dance forms. Both composers used these forms in different ways.
Leonard Bernstein at 100: A Musical Celebration, April 3. The year 2018 marks the centennial of the birth of the man who was arguably America’s most important classical musician in the 20th century: Leonard Bernstein. Siegel will perform piano arrangements of songs from Bernstein’s West Side Story, plus two works associated with Bernstein: Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue, which Bernstein both played and conducted, and Aaron Copland’s El Salon Mexico, an orchestral composition that Bernstein arranged for solo piano.
$49 (M $41) / $39 / $29
Free for eligible veterans, students and teachers. Patrons 29 and under, 50 percent off.
Presenting Sponsor: Joan and David Goldfarb
Through its partnership with the City of Scottsdale, the nonprofit Scottsdale Arts (formerly known as Scottsdale Cultural Council) creates diverse, inspired arts experiences and educational opportunities that foster active, lifelong community engagement with the arts. Since its founding in 1987, Scottsdale Arts has grown into a regionally and nationally significant, multi-disciplinary arts organization offering an exceptional variety of programs through three acclaimed divisions – Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts, Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art (SMoCA) and Scottsdale Public Art – serving more than 400,000 participants annually.
SCOTTSDALE CENTER FOR THE PERFORMING ARTS
Since 1975, Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts has provided a stage for a wide range of artists and genres, creating shared, inspiring experiences for the community that celebrate artistic excellence and cultural awareness. Today one of the premier performing-arts halls in the western United States, the Center presents a diverse season of music, dance, theater, comedy and film from around the world.
LOCATION AND PARKING
Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts is located at 7380 E. Second St. in downtown Scottsdale. Free parking is available in the public parking garage located to the west of Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts on Wells Fargo Avenue. Additional free parking is available at the Old Town Parking Corral at East Second Street and Brown Avenue and at the Civic Center Library parking garage located on Drinkwater Boulevard at East Second Street.
Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts offers performance accommodations to enhance audience members’ experience, including: American Sign Language (ASL) interpretation or live audio description with two weeks advance notice. Assistive-listening devices and wheelchair seating are also available. Visit www.ScottsdalePerformingArts.org/visit/accessibility/ or contact the Member and Patron Services Box Office at 480-499-TKTS (8587) [TDD: 480-874-4694] for further details. Please inquire about services when ordering tickets.
Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts offers a variety of ticket discounts for Scottsdale Arts members at the Friends level and above, groups of 10 or more and those purchasing packages to four or more events in one order. The Center provides free tickets to selected events for eligible students, teachers and active-duty military and veterans, and 50-percent off tickets to selected events for patrons 29 and under. Visit www.ScottsdalePerformingArts.org/visit/tickets-discounts/ or call 480-499-TKTS (8587) for more information.
The award-winning Store at Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts supports the mission and diverse programs of the nonprofit Scottsdale Arts. The Store’s unique selection of merchandise includes artist-made jewelry, stylish furnishings for home and office, unique creations by Arizona artists, fair-trade and upcycled/recycled global crafts, music, books, greeting cards and imaginative toys. Purchases are tax free, and members receive a 10 percent discount. Gift wrapping and shipping are also available. The Store is open seven days a week: Monday – Saturday, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.; Sunday, noon – 5 p.m.; and throughout most evening events. Phone: 480-874-4644.
HOW TO REACH US
Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts7380 E. Second St.Scottsdale, AZ 85251
MEDIA: For interviews, digital photographs or additional information please contact:
Tina MaySenior Communications Specialist
Scottsdale ArtsEmail: TinaM@ScottsdaleArts.org