December 21, 2012 at 2:12 PM

Pianist Louis Lortie Returns to Santa Fe

"Welcome French-Canadian pianist Louis Lortie back to Santa Fe in January..."

By Tom Maguire

Culture Vulture

Tom Maguire is a musician, arts supporter and a guy who travels the Southwest in a 13’ Scamp trailer, because he couldn’t figure out how the tent poles went together.

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Even Santa Feans who tend to take off a few weeks from attending performances after the Santa Fe Concert Association’s New Years Eve concert will want to mark their calendar for the January 24 concert by Louis Lortie, sponsored by SFCA.

Sure, pianist Lortie has been to Santa Fe before—several times, in fact. But, like fine wine, his performances grow richer with each passing year and you should always be sure to sample the most recent vintage.

The internationally renowned French-Canadian pianist Lortie will perform pianist/composer Franz Liszt’s extraordinary piano transcriptions of themes by opera master Richard Wagner in a 7:30 p.m. concert at St. Francis Auditorium.

"…ever immaculate, ever imaginative…the combination of total spontaneity and meditated ripeness that only great pianists have".  This from The London Times during who knows what world tour, as Lortie has played in almost every important musical venue and with most of the great orchestras and conductors in the world. Lortie has attracted critical acclaim throughout Europe, Asia, and the U.S.,not least for extending his interpretive voice across a broad repertoire range rather than choosing to specialize in one particular style.

Recent engagements have included playing/conducting the Slovenian Philharmonic, Sydney Symphony and the Quebec Symphony, concerts with the Toronto Symphony, the Philadelphia Orchestra, the symphony orchestras of Sydney, Bournemouth, Saint Louis, Calgary, North Carolina, San Diego and Oklahoma City, a tour in Italy with the Kremerata Baltica, and a performance of the Brahms Piano Concerto No. 2 at the Brussels Brahms Festival.

Lortie has performed with multiple conductors including Riccardo Chailly, Lorin Maazel, Kurt Masur, Charles Dutoit, Sir Andrew Davis, and Wolfgang Sawallisch. He has also been involved in many chamber music projects and his regular piano-duo partner is fellow Canadian Hélène Mercier, with whom he has made successful recordings.  Lortie has made more than 30 recordings for the Chandos label.

For his Santa Fe recital, Lortie will focus on Liszt’s transcriptions from Wagner’s operas in honor of the bicentennial of Wagner’s birth. He will also play Liszt’s most famous operatic transcription, based on themes from Mozart’s opera "Don Giovanni." After the performance, he will come down from the stage and host an intimate question and answer session with the audience.

Join with SFCA in welcoming Lortie back to Santa Fe as a celebration of the end of the holidays and the start of the late winter concert season. Tickets at www.ticketssantafe.org.

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