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Media Release 4 February 2013
Mussorgsky's 'Pictures at an Exhibition' to be given special audio/visual presentation at the National Concert Hall
Stephen Ackert [Head of Music at the National Gallery of Art in Washington DC, USA] joins renowned Irish pianist Míċeal O’Rourke at the National Concert Hall on Saturday 23rd of February 2013, 8pm for a unique event entitled ‘Echoes-Artwork and Music’. It is presented as part of the National Concert Hall’s International Concert Series 2012/2013.
The audio/visual presentation allows audiences to experience music and great art concurrently as slides of artwork from the National Gallery of Art and other celebrated art collections are projected onto a large screen, narrated by Stephen Ackert while Míceál O’Rourke performs Debussy’s Preludes Book 1 and Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition.
Stephen Ackert comments “In the case of the Debussy Preludes, one hears a composer at work for whom visual images were intrinsic to his creative impulse, and one sees artists responding to the images that are suggested, or in some cases named, in a prelude’s subtitle. In the case of Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition, one shares with a composer his fascination with the paintings of a dear departed friend.”
Reviewing O’Rourke’s previous recitals with Ackert at the Kennedy Centre for Performing Arts in Washington and the Philips Collection, Washington Post critics referred to his ‘singular poise and velvet cat’s paw touch’, his ‘most wonderfully quite hands’ and his being ‘a pianist with the kind of musical presence that commands…who reinvents the standards of the past’.
As Head of the Music Department at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., Stephen Ackert administers weekly concerts and lectures on interrelationships between music and art. His lectures have been a part of the National Gallery's public programme since 1990 and have been heard at the Walters Gallery in Baltimore, the German and Austrian Embassies, the Kennedy Center, and several public and private schools in the Washington-Baltimore area.
O’Rourke, since first touring in the Soviet Union in 1979, has performed in some of the great concert halls of the world including the Great Hall of Moscow Conservatory, Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, Salle Pleyel and Salle Gaveau in Paris and Symphony Hall in Boston. His discography boasts acclaimed recordings of works by Debussy, Chopin and Schumann with the prestigious Le Monde de la Musique critics’ choice award “disque de l’annéé 2000” being awarded to him for his world première recording of piano music by George Frederick Pinto. The American Record Guide described his survey of the seven John Field piano concertos with the London Mozart Players as being “as good as it gets”. He is now Professor Emeritus at the State Conservatory of Music in Novosibirsk.
Tickets: €20, €25, €35, €40
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