Chamber Music Series
GABRIELIUS ALEKNA (piano)
ROBERT SCHUMANN – Piano Quartet in E flat major, Op. 47
DMITRI SHOSTAKOVICH – Piano Quintet in G minor, Op. 57
Part of the CHAMBER MUSIC SERIES
Almost a century separates the premieres of the two masterpieces featured on tonight’s programme. The year 1842: Robert Schumann is happily married to his beloved Clara; his First Symphony is premiered in Leipzig; both pianists give successful concerts in Germany and are proud and happy to meet Franz Liszt, who has performed pieces from the Carnaval.
The first performance of Dmitry Shostakovich’s Piano Quintet in 1940 crowned an important period in composer’s life. In addition, this was a significant event in the Russian musical world. The work was premiered at the Chamber Hall of the Moscow Conservatory by the renowned Beethoven Quartet, with the composer at the piano.
Gabrielius Alekna was recently characterised by Daniel Barenboim as “a highly gifted pianist and musician.” He was successful in as much as thirteen national and international piano competitions. In 1996, he was invited to attend the Juilliard School, where he studied with Jerome Lowenthal, receiving Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in music. He is the first Lithuanian to hold a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the Juilliard School (2007), whose thesis is dedicated to research into and editing of the unpublished works by Lithuanian pianist and composer Vytautas Bacevičius.