Begin your Thanksgiving celebration with Allegheny RiverStone Center for the Arts in Foxburg’s Lincoln Hall on Sunday, November 22 at 2 PM as we gather to give thanks for the gifts of life and music with a two piano concert of piano legends Cynthia Raim and David Allen Wehr.
Described as “irresistible” by Fanfare Magazine - “two gifted artists egging each other on to ever higher levels of musicianship, virtuosity and sheer fun” - these internationally celebrated artists will perform the virtuosic and romantic Rachmaninoff two-piano repertoire featured on their acclaimed CDs –Six Duets, Opus 11, and Suite No. 1 and 2. Their recording of Rachmaninoff Suites for 2 Pianos was named Record of the Year in 1998 for the American Record Guide: “Raim and Wehr offer such luscious performances that they fill one’s soul with sheer joy.” RIverStone Center for the Arts also honors the memory of their beloved founder Patricia Ann Steffee in this third annual memorial concert, generously sponsored by Tom and Nancy Hovis and Donna and Larry Edmonds.
Fitting to the season of abundance, Lincoln Hall’s stage will be filled with two Steinway grand pianos. Lincoln Hall’s 6’11" Steinway “B” will be joined by a Steinway “A” provided by Amy Marshall of Harmony Pianos, ARCA’s piano tuner and technician, who generously has donated its use.
Over the past ten years Marshall has done consistent tunings, regulations for touch and voicings for tone on the Lincoln Hall Steinway. If a piano is left on its own with infrequent tunings (as in once a year) it can become “crotchety” and develop bad habits rather than cultivating a behavior of beautiful sound. Amy credits ARCA’s commitment to the diligent care of the instrument at a consistent level over the years; it has allowed her to oversee its maturation from a rebuilt Golden Era Steinway with a new soundboard to what it is today. Hailed by pianists for its responsiveness and sensitivity to touch, Amy has brought out its ringing treble (sometimes referred to as “Amy’s Bells”) and a full, powerfully rich and evocative bass.
The second Steinway that Marshall is providing is smaller – 6’1" – with a “dark chocolaty, chewy sound” which she recently rebuilt using authentic Steinway parts and procedures. This piano refinished in lustrous satin black is available to purchase from Harmony pianos. A Steinway trained technician who seeks to “find the piano” within the piano, Amy will be tuning the two pianos to make them match and sound like one instrument. Having had the luxury as a long time friend of ARCA over time to hear many concerts in the hall, she also will adjust the two pianos to the live and inviting acoustic of Lincoln Hall… a mastery of its own.
A favorite of Foxburg audiences, David Allen Wehr will serve as the program host for the concert providing enlightening insights on the music and composer. David’s international career was launched when he won the Gold Medal at the 1987 Santander International Piano Competition in Spain. The resulting tours have taken him to over 30 countries in Europe, North and South America, and the Far East, including performances in the world musical capitals of New York, London, Paris, Vienna, Washington, Madrid and Buenos Aires. Wehr has been soloist with the London Symphony, National Symphony, Chautauqua Symphony, Houston Symphony, New Zealand Symphony and all the major Spanish and Latin American orchestras.
David Allen Wehr holds the Jack W. Geltz Distinguished Piano Chair at Duquesne Univeristy and serves as the Dean of the Mary Pappert School of Music.
It was David’s thirteen seasons touring the United States and Canada for Community concerts as a soloist and in chamber music partnerships that honed his unique ability to make great works for the piano accessible to the public. Known for his ability as a “Living Program Note”, Dave has a warm personality that welcomes an audience member into the emotion of the music and makes imaginative and simple the intricacies of great music.
Pianist Cynthia Raim, who was unanimously chosen as the First Prize winner of the Clara Haskil International Piano Competition, has been acclaimed for her concerto and recital appearances throughout the United States and abroad. In summing up the performance that won her the coveted Clara Haskil prize, La Suisse (Geneva) noted that “Miss Raim showed a musical nature that has gone far beyond technical mastery: Without affectation, without useless bravado, Cynthia Raim has imprinted herself on us and cannot escape our admiration.” Le Monde (Paris) called her “a new Clara Haskil.”
ARCA has reopened after the COVID-19 shutdown in compliance with the Pennsylvania Green Guidelines. Please refrain from attending if you are ill. Patrons will be asked to sign a waiver upon entrance. Temperatures will be taken before entry. Masks are required for entrance and to be worn inside. Hand sanitizer will be available.
Seating is socially distanced to 50% occupancy – a total of 55 tickets. Because seating is limited, reservations are recommended. Reservations for reserved seats in hall quadrants will be taken by phone. If socially distanced reservations have filled the 50% quota, tickets will not be available at the door. Adults $25, Students $5. Buy online at www.alleghenyriverstone.org or call 724-659-3153 to reserve.