Piano duo brings four-hand performance to UW-Platteville

September 24, 2010

PLATTEVILLE- Eugene Alcalay, associate professor of piano at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville, will be hosting the Varshavski-Shapiro Piano Duo on Thursday, Sept. 30 at 7:30 p.m. in the UW-Platteville Center for the Arts. The performance is free and open to the public. Diana Shapiro and Stanislava Varshavski formed their duo while studying at the Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance in Jerusalem, Israel, and have since played for audiences from Rome to Hong Kong to Boston. The duo are currently completing their doctoral work at the UW-Madison School of Music.

Alcalay said that the recital will also include a discussion by the two artists about the challenges and experiences of playing four-hand piano music. The two artists will be performing a four-hand 1911 version of Igor Stravinsky's "Petrushka" as the centerpiece of their show along with works by Franz Schubert, Sergei Rachmaninov and Maurice Ravel.

The two artists come very highly recommended from Martha Fischer, associate professor of piano at UW-Madison, Alcalay said. Fischer is the primary professor guiding Varshavski and Shapiro in their doctoral work.

"We are so lucky to have them studying here. Diana and Stasi have truly contributed to the fabric of UW-Madison," Fischer said. "They were a professional duo when they came in and they have continued to astound all of us and exceed our expectations."

Along with being highly recommended, Alcalay said that he has several piano students who are considering the possibility of performing as a duo. Alcalay said that this is a great way for interested students to see what a well-rehearsed and professional duo is capable of.

"Given that the number of piano students on campus has increased dramatically in recent years, I thought it might be a good idea to invite these two artists for a four-hand recital," said Alcalay. "Two very talented and accomplished artists, Stasi and Diana are young, energetic and I think they will provide a very valuable experience that might encourage our students to explore this repertoire themselves."

Varshavski added that it is a real pleasure to produce their music and have the opportunity to play for the UW-Platteville community.

"We are very grateful to Eugene that he made it possible to come to UW-Platteville and bring our art into the broader community to share with the students," Shapiro said.

For more information about the performance, contact Alcalay at (608) 342-1292 or alcalaye@uwplatt.edu.

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