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Pianist Yefim Bronfman’s new Salonen CD is released on DG

“It’s one of the great piano
concertos of today, and I’m very excited about it” – Yefim Bronfman

playing its world premiere with the New York Philharmonic in February 2007, Yefim
has often
performed Esa-Pekka Salonen’s Piano Concerto with the composer conducting.  A year ago in Los Angeles, Salonen conducted Bronfman in the
work with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, and Deutsche Grammophon recorded it
live, filling out the disc with two other piano pieces by Salonen, Helix and Dichotomie (a solo work).  The recording, scheduled for U.S.
release in April, is a valedictory testament to Salonen’s long and successful
tenure as the Los Angeles Philharmonic’s music director, and a fitting document
of the close 20-year friendship between the pianist and the composer/conductor.

The New
York Times
Anthony Tommasini reported of the world premiere: “Bronfman played it with …
stunning command, myriad colorings, incisive articulation and subtlety.  … I cannot remember the last time a
premiere at the New York Philharmonic won such an enthusiastic ovation.”

description of the audience reaction in New York was echoed by his Chicago
colleague John von Rhein in the Tribune after Salonen and Bronfman played the work at
Orchestra Hall the following April. 
Under the headline, “Salonen Thrills With Grand Slam of a Concerto”, von
Rhein states that the work was “an obstacle course for virtuoso pianist and
orchestra, Romantic in gesture if up-to-the-minute in harmonic design,” and
continues: “The solo part is astonishingly difficult, but Bronfman finessed the
ferocious bravura with leonine dexterity, percussive force, and coloristic subtlety.
… Rarely have I heard so enthusiastic a response to a new piece here.”

Mark Swed of
the Los Angeles Times, who attended the New York premiere, reviewed an LA performance at the
end of May 2008.  After giving the
work at London’s BBC Proms where, Swed mentions, it was loudly cheered by the
audience, in Los Angeles “Bronfman offered a breathtaking account of the
concerto to close the Los Angeles Philharmonic’s program, the last of the
season.”  Back on home turf, so to
speak, the piece struck home:

“The spectacular piano writing has a
strong whiff of Prokofiev, a Bronfman specialty, at his most percussively
brilliant.  Even a touch of
Gershwin can be heard.  But in
Disney [Hall] nothing sounded hackneyed. 
The orchestral writing is bracingly and brazenly, complex, and any intimations
of earlier music are essentially shards of the past in ultramodern
settings.  …  At the preconcert talk, Bronfman was
still amusingly griping about his killer solo part, but he couldn’t hope for an
ounce of sympathy after his confident, commanding performance brought the house

Bronfman may now bask in some well-earned glory while he plays concerts in the
capitals of Europe, as well as here in North America over the next few months.

#          #            #

Yefim Bronfman’s
spring engagements:


March 30, 31
Montreal, Canada
Montreal Symphony / Kent Nagano
Brahms: Piano Concerto No. 2

April 5
Berlin, Germany
Staatskapelle / Daniel Barenboim
Liszt: Concerto No. 2

April 6, 10
Salzburg, Austria
Berliner Philharmoniker / Simon Rattle
Brahms: Piano Concerto No. 2

April 15, 16
Toronto, Canada
Toronto Symphony Orchestra / Peter Oundjian
Brahms: Piano Concerto No. 2

April 23
Schenectady, NY – Union College
Solo Recital

April 25
Germantown, PA
Solo Recital

April 30 – May 2
Pittsburgh, PA
Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra / Alfred Honeck
Mozart: Piano Concerto No. 24

May 5
Carmel, CA
Solo Recital

May 8-10
Los Angeles, CA
Los Angeles Philharmonic / Xian Zhang
Prokofiev: Piano Concerto No. 3

May 16
Madrid, Spain
Solo Recital

May 20
London, England

Wigmore Hall
Solo Recital

May 24
Amsterdam, NL
Solo Recital

May 26
Saint Petersburg, Russia
White Nights Festival
Solo Recital

May 29
Buffalo, NY
Solo Recital

May 30
Detroit, MI
Solo Recital

June 3, 4, 5, 6
San Francisco, CA – Davies Symphony Hall
San Francisco Symphony / Michael Tilson Thomas
Berg Chamber Concerto
Schubert four-hand piano music

June 7
San Francisco, CA – Davies Symphony Hall
Recital with Julia Fischer, violin

June 11, 12, 14
Baltimore, MD –

Strathmore (June 11)
Meyerhoff (June 12, 14)
Baltimore Symphony Orchestra / Marin Alsop
Rachmaninoff: Piano Concerto No. 3

June 17
Copenhagen, Denmark
Tivoli Symphony Orchestra / Lan Shui
Rachmaninoff: Piano Concerto No. 3

June 21
Los Angeles, CA – Disney Hall
Berliner Philharmoniker / Simon Rattle
Rachmaninoff: Piano Concerto No. 3

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