GORHAM--If last year's memorable flute and piano concert whetted appetites for more, this year the performers Andrea LeBlanc and David Kim return with the same fortepiano, accompanied by one of the country's leading performers, Andrew Willis. The three will host two master classes and perform nightly in a unique fortepiano festival.
The two performances will take place at Gorham Town Hall's Medallion Opera House on Monday, July 21, and Tuesday, July 22, at 7:30 p.m. "These three incredible performers will be offering up a rare opportunity to hear classical literature on classical instruments of the period, as well as to learn from the master classes which are open to all keyboard players in the area," says Susan Ferre, one of the organizers.
The Master Classes will take place each afternoon at 3 p.m. "It has been a dream of ours to host Andrew Willis, and to have him appear with the inspiring David Kim and Andrea LeBlanc is beyond exciting," adds Ferre.
Andrea LeBlanc, a new mother who seldom gets to play her classical period flute, and David Kim, who has been touring with a 5-octave forte-piano, will have the opportunity of playing a larger piano built by Rod Regier of Freeport, Maine, who is again bringing his classical piano to Gorham Town Hall expressly for these concerts.
The piano is a recreation of an 1830's Viennese instrument, after Graf and Bosendorfer. The program will consist of works from the same period by Beethoven, Mendelssohn, Hummel, Schubert, Schumann, and Chopin.
Andrea LeBlanc is one of the leading traverso players in the Boston area. She has performed with groups such as Handel and Haydn, Boston Baroque, and Cambridge Concentus, and is the principal flutist of Arcadia Players, L'Academie, and Grand Harmonie. LeBlanc studied historical performance at the Royal Conservatory in The Hague as well as the New England Conservatory. She completed a Masters of Music in modern flute performance at UMass Amherst, where she was a teaching assistant in flute and early music. Her principal teachers have been Christopher Krueger and Kate Clark, and she has performed with conductors such as Masaaki Suzuki, Harry Christophers, Joshua Rifkin, and Simon Carrington.
LeBlanc is also a member of Music at Eden's Edge since appearing as their Emerging Artist in 2012. She has appeared with the Folger Consort in Washington, D.C., and performed Bach's St. Matthew Passion in a concert tour of Japan. She has been a favorite of the Big Moose Bach Fest since her first appearance in 2009, delighting audiences with her musicianship. She often vacations in the N. Country, residing in N. Conway.
Pianist David Hyun-su Kim is one of the most talented young performers in the world of historical keyboard instruments. He holds degrees from Harvard, Cornell, and Yale Universities, as well as a doctorate from the New England Conservatory. He has performed and lectured around the globe, with appearances in the US, Canada, Austria, Germany, the UK, South Korea and Australia. A finalist at the international Westfield Fortepiano Competition, he has appeared in numerous piano festivals. His playing has been praised as "emotionally expansive," "idiomatically perfect," and "splendid and moving ...." David joined the faculty of Whitman College last fall.
He made his debut in June 2009 at the acclaimed Boston Early Music Festival with a program of Schubert and Schumann. He returned to BEMF in 2011, playing a program of Beethoven and Schumann to a sold-out audience. Aside from all things music, he enjoys meditation, hiking, reading, travel, and pointlessly supporting Arsenal Football Club.
Andrew Willis performs in the United States and abroad on pianos of every period. His recording of Op. 106 for the first complete Beethoven sonata cycle on period instruments was hailed by The New York Times as "a 'Hammerklavier' of rare stature." He has also recorded Schubert lieder and Rossini songs with soprano Julianne Baird and chamber music with flutist Rebecca Troxler and cellist Brent Wissick. He joined the faculty at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro in 1994, where he directs the biennial Focus on Piano Literature, for which he commissioned, premiered, and recorded Martin Amlin's Sonata No. 7 (1999).
Willis has appeared at the Boston Early Music Festival, the Bloomington Early Music Festival, and the Magnolia Baroque Festival, and has performed with the Atlanta Baroque Orchestra, the Apollo Ensemble, and the Philadelphia Classical Symphony. A past president of the Southeastern Historical Keyboard Society, he extends his investigation of historical performance practice into the Romantic era with performances on an 1848 Pleyel and an 1841 Bosendorfer, and into the Baroque with performances of J. S. Bach and Italian masters on a replica of a 1735 Florentine piano.
Andrew Willis is a graduate of The Curtis Institute of Music, Temple University, and Cornell University, where his mentors included Mieczyslaw Horszowski, Lambert Orkis, and Malcolm Bilson.
The festival is sponsored by Music GNW. Admission is, as always, by donation. More information can be found at www.musicgnw.org or by calling 466-2865.
David Kim is hailed by Malcolm Bilson as one "who will make an important contribution to the musical life of this country." He will play with Andrea LeBlanc at Gorham Town Hall's Medallion Opera House on Monday, July 21, at 7:30 p.m. (COURTESY PHOTO)