Preview provided by .World Masterpiece Series..

Operas are stories sung and told with music. Operatic fantasies present the stories condensed and on the piano, but with all the emotions intact. The visuals projected onto suspended screens present elements of the story that belong with the music being played. And for those who like to watch pianists’ hands, there is also a screen over each piano showing the pianist’s hands from above!

Franz Liszt created only two fantasies on popular operas to be played on two pianos. They are lush, beautiful, exciting works, yet they are rarely played, and as far as we know they have never been performed together in public, one right after the other. That makes this performance an opportunity of a lifetime.

Our fantasy begins as Liszt creates the dreams of floating, falling and sweet intoxication. From piano music, to sacred choral and orchestral music, he leads us into the realm of the two greatest opera fantasies for two pianos ever created. So let the dreams begin! Savor each sensation, and let your darker side give in to the power of the music of “A Night at the Opera.”

Our two pianists, notwithstanding Christopher Tavernier’s tender years, have been studying and playing these works in various venues for several years. They have enhanced their knowledge of Liszt’s style and compositional methods by listening, with the scores, to all of Liszt’s 60-plus operatic fantasies written for one piano. That helps to explain the unique authority and panache that John Cobb and Christopher Tavernier bring to this great music.

To set the stage for operatic opulence, the pianists will start the program by presenting a prelude of flavors, weaving together some of Liszt’s most beautiful and powerful solo piano pieces. They will alternate in memorable performances of keynote works that made Liszt the most famous pianist in the world, ending with the notorious Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2, arranged exclusively for two pianos!

John Cobb is an international performer and recording artist praised by the New York Times for his broad interpretive range and technical command. Cobb studied with Claudio Arrau, whose teacher was a pupil of Franz Liszt. Throughout his career, Claudio Arrau (1903-1991) was renowned throughout the world as one of the supreme keyboard masters of the century.  Franz Liszt was a student of Carl Czerny, who was a pupil of Ludwig van Beethoven. 

Christopher Tavernier made his debut as a concert pianist in North Carolina at the age of thirteen, performing Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No. 1 in B Flat minor with the Tar River Philharmonic Orchestra in North Carolina.  This year he was named the first International Perzina Artist in the company’s 144 year history.

Christopher’s first love is the piano.  He began his studies at the age of six and aspires to be a great concert pianist.  Although, Christopher knows and loves the whole vast piano repertoire, Franz Liszt is his favorite composer.

Franz Liszt was probably the greatest pianist who ever lived.  He is considered one of the greatest composers of the Nineteenth Century.  Among his many innovations was the invention of the solo recital and the development of the symphonic poem.  Christopher’s repertoire contains many works by Franz Liszt, of whom he is a direct musical descendant through his teacher, pianist John Cobb.  Hence the musical lineage actually extends from Ludwig van Beethoven to Christopher Tavernier.  Studying under Dr. Cobb and performing concerts with him, together, they continue to “Preserve the Musical Lineage of Franz Liszt.”

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Freeburg & Perzina Pianos Presents

3rd Annual Benefit Concert for the

[Mission Foundation] “Ladies Night Out” program

Freeburg Pianos Website

100% of all proceeds from the ticket sales will benefit the “Ladies Night Out”

“Ladies Night Out” is a joint program of Mission and Buncombe County Health Department to ensure that every woman has access to a mammogram.  Mission Foundation is the 501(c)(3) philanthropic arm of Mission Hospital and receives grants and donations for the Ladies Night Out program.  All ticket proceeds from the World Masterwork Series at the Diana Wortham Theatre will be paid directly to the Mission Foundation for their Ladies Night Out program. 

Concert Date:

Diana Wortham Theatre – Saturday September 5th at 7:00 pm

2 South Pack Square ▪ Asheville, NC ▪ 828-257-4530  (General Admission $9.50)

(Reserve Tickets Online)