On Monday, June 29, Pianist Alessandro Mazzamuto captivated the audience of Weill Recital Hall in his Carnegie Hall Debut. Sponsored by the Birte Moller Performing arts grant, and administered by the Center for Musical Excellence (CME), the ambitious program included three works by Frédrich Chopin in the first half, and Sergei Rachmaninoff’s monumental Piano Sonata No. 2 in the second.
The opening work was Chopin’s Polonaise-fantasie in A-flat Major, Op. 61. The delicate touch Mr. Mazzamuto brought to the work’s opening ascending arpeggios was simply wonderful; the warm resonance of his pianissimo chords drew the listeners’ ears to the small details in his playing. The work was performed with the charm of an improvisation, outside the bounds of normal time. Whether ten or twenty minutes had passed at work’s end, it was difficult to say.
Mr. Mazzamuto is a talent and a showman. Though he offered the audience some of the most difficult music in the piano repertoire, at no point did the performance stammer. As he broadly swept up and down the keyboard in both Sonatas, he dispatched the music with such graceful ease that one could forget the virtuosity of the music he was playing. Tears streamed down his face during the Funeral March…luckily there was a handkerchief waiting on the piano.
At this performance one could feel the audience’s warmth and receptive disposition. Though some audience members appeared new to the concert hall, their enthusiasm with Mr. Mazzamuto and the music he brought to them was palpable and most welcome. The concert was sponsored by the CME, a New-Jersey based non-profit organization that puts its money where its mouth is. Founded and directed by the charming Min Kwon, accomplished pianist, pedagogue and professor, the CME matches exceptional talent with exceptional opportunity in a way that few other music schools can. Mr. Mazzamuto was grateful for the CME grant that brought him to New York. In his own words:
“Winning the grant from CME was an incredible opportunity. Being able to play in New York in one of the most important concert halls in the world was affirming to me. It has been wonderful in providing me with personal confidence and energy as my career goes forward.”
For those interested in hearing more about Mr. Mazzamuto, do look forward to the release of his new solo album of Chopin’s music later this year. He will also soon be appearing in Tokyo with the New City Orchestra performing Chopin’s Piano Concerto No. 2. Visit www.alesandromazzamuto.com for more information. More information about the CME can be found on their website at www.cmemusic.org