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Andrew Willis, Baroque fortepiano
Catherine Yates, cello
This preview has been provided by the North Carolina Bach Festival 2018.
On March 9 at 7:30 pm, the beautiful sanctuary of First Presbyterian Church in Raleigh will become the meeting place for the North Carolina Bach Festival's featured artists and music loving audience. For the first time in its history, NCBF will bring Bach's music to this beautiful and welcoming space. It is because of the welcoming and warm reception of FPC's music director Dr. David Covington and other members of the congregation and the church leadership we can make this evening possible. We are grateful for their warm welcome and generosity expressed also in a stipend from their music found and given in the memory of Helen Ayer, a long-time supporter of the North Carolina Bach Festival.
For our debut in First Presbyterian Church in Raleigh, we selected a powerhouse program standing firmly and solely on music of Johann Sebastian Bach. Andrew Willis is renowned pianist, harpsichordist, keyboardist, and period music expert. He performs in the United States and abroad on pianos of every era. His recording of Op. 106 for the first complete Beethoven sonata cycle on period instruments was hailed by The New York Times as "a 'Hammerklavier' of rare stature." Andrew's heart lies deeply with Bach's music and his interpretation of Bach's keyboard works is legendary. For this evening, Mr. Willis decided to pick a selection from his newly recorded CD containing The Six Partitas, Op. 1. He will present Partita 4 in D major, BWV 828 and Partita 5 in G major, BWV 829 for fortepiano on his own replica of an early 18th-century Florentine fortepiano.
Andrew Willis is a well respected collaborator with many excellent period music instrumentalists. One of his colleagues is Mr. Brent Wissick, cellist and gambist, Professor of Cello, Viola da Gamba and Chamber Music at UNC-Chapel Hill, where he has taught since 1982, and where he serves as Associate Chair for Performance. Together with Andrew Willis, they recorded CD with the cello music of Frederic Chopin. For this concert, Andrew and Brent decided to include two Bach's gamba sonatas, Sonata in D major, BWV 1028 and Sonata in G minor, BWV 1029.
The NC Bach Festival mission is to bring the past, the present and the future together. At every concert, we strive to connect the timeless music of J.S.B. and of his time with most riveting performances present and to send this message directly to our future featured artists and audiences. NCBF Youth Program is our mission's most important vessel. Four featured artist concerts of the 39th season of the North Carolina Bach Festival will start with a performances of this year's Elfrida Helbig Memorial Awards. The award is one of the four top awards given for the most beautiful performances at the NCBF 2018 Youth Concert. This wonderful evening will open with the appearance of one of the award recipients and the Grand Prize Winner, cellist Catherine Yates who will repeat her wonderful rendition of Bach's Prelude from the Suite 2 in D minor, BWV 1008. The first time introduced cash Grand Prize of $100.00 was awarded to her, thanks to the generosity of Mr. Don Martin, one of the founders of the North Carolina Bach Festival and our current board member.
The concert will be followed by a celebratory reception.
Andrew Willis can be seen and heard again during the North Carolina Bach Festival 2018 on Saturday, March 10 at 7:30 pm at First Presbyterian Church in Greensboro. The concert will be followed by a celebratory CD Pre-release Party where the limited number of freshly printed CD recordings of Andrew Willis playing complete J. S. Bach's Clavierübung I (The Six Partitas) will be available for purchase.
Andrew Willis with Brent Wissick can be seen and heard again during the North Carolina Bach Festival 2018 on Friday, March 16 at 7:30 pm at the Taylor Bott Rogers Fine Arts concert hall of the Campbell University in Lillington.
For the complete listing of the NCBF 2018 events go to http://www.northcarolinabachfestival.org/concerts--events.html.