CommunityConcert Experience

The Lauridsen Great Pianists Series

By October 4, 2021 No Comments

Nixon and Virginia Lauridsen attended their first CMA concert 5-6 years ago. They were immediately impressed with the caliber of talent, and quickly become CMA supporters. We featured them a few years ago in this post, which shares a bit about the Lauridsens and what initially brought them into the CMA family.

This year, we’re thrilled to launch the Lauridsen Great Pianists Series. When it comes to presenting live, intimate experiences, there are few things that can match a piano recital.

Virginia and Nix believe in the power of music. They have traveled extensively, taking in the arts and culture scene wherever they go. It was at the Aspen Music Festival that the idea for a pianists series first budded. There, they heard some of the world’s finest musicians. And it was there that they were inspired to annually bring a pianist of that caliber to our community.

The experience of hearing a piano recital is unlike any other. Most musicians are able to practice with their instrument day in and day out. Pianists “meets” their instrument just days, sometimes hours, before asked to perform on it. A musician herself, Virginia noted that the piano is unbelievably difficult to play. The instrument commands respect; just ask anyone who has spent any time on the bench. Des Moines deserves world class talent, and we wanted to help make that a reality.

The piano is unbelievably difficult to play. The instrument commands respect; just ask anyone who has spent any time on the bench. Des Moines deserves world class talent, and we wanted to help make that a reality.

On October 20, 2021, we kick off our season with the first recital of the Lauridsen Great Pianists Series. Yefim Bronfman takes the stage to perform a robust concert featuring pieces by Beethoven and Chopin (don’t have tickets yet? Get them here!). Bronfman has performed around the globe, from summer festivals and chamber work to appearances with major Symphony Orchestras under the direction of conductors such as Sir Simon Rattle, Gustavo Dudamel, Riccardo Muti and Daniel Barenboim. His solo, chamber and orchestral recordings have been nominated for 6 GRAMMY® Awards, winning in 1997 with Esa-Pekka Salonen and the Los Angeles Philharmonic for their recording of the three Bartok Piano Concerti.

Born in Tashkent in the Soviet Union, Yefim Bronfman immigrated to Israel with his family in 1973, where he studied with pianist Arie Vardi, head of the Rubin Academy of Music at Tel Aviv University. In the United States, he studied at The Juilliard School, Marlboro School of Music, and the Curtis Institute of Music, under Rudolf Firkusny, Leon Fleisher, and Rudolf Serkin. A recipient of the prestigious Avery Fisher Prize, one of the highest honors given to American instrumentalists, in 2010 he was further honored as the recipient of the Jean Gimbel Lane prize in piano performance from Northwestern University and in 2015 with an honorary doctorate from the Manhattan School of Music.

As one of the most acclaimed and admired pianists performing today, Bronfman is the perfect artist to launch the series. We’re thrilled to add his name to our season history alongside pianists Sergei Rachmaninoff, Arthur Rubinstein, Emanuel Ax, and Philip Glass, among others.

CMA is so excited to launch the Lauridsen Great Pianists Series, and we can’t thank the Lauridsen’s enough for making this incredible series a reality! We hope that audiences from near and far will join us this year and in the many years to come.

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