While he is no stranger to the finest stages around the world, this will be Wolfram Schmitt-Leonardy’s first solo piano recital in Florida.

Praised for his interpretive sophistication, depth and originality, and his dazzling intellectual power, Schmitt-Leonardy’s interests are multifaceted. In addition to his busy concert schedule, he is a passionate and sought-after piano teacher presenting master classes all over the world (Russia, China, Thailand, USA, Germany, Italy, Philippines, Malaysia, and Romania) and is currently developing a conception for an exclusive educational program for extraordinary talented piano students.

The Ticket Price is $15

With over half a dozen widely acclaimed recordings, Florida has waiting a long time for this exceptional live performance by a provocative virtuoso who has thoughtfully put together an intriguing program of great variety.

One never tires of the 24 Chopin Preludes. They are especially spectacular when performed in their entirety even though Chopin himself never played more than four of the Preludes at a single public performance.

 

Dedicated to each of the 24 keys, the Preludes were written between 1835 and 1839. Musicologist Henry Finck said that “if all piano music in the world were to be destroyed, excepting one collection, my vote should be cast for Chopin’s Preludes.”

Kabalevsky’s 24 Preludes follow Chopin’s model and are written similarly in each of the 24 major and minor keys with each based on a Russian folk melody as well. Schmitt-Leonardy has selected 9 of them for this evening’s concert.

 

Mendelssohn’s Variations Serieuses was written as part of a campaign to raise funds for the erection of a large bronze statue of Ludwig van Beethoven in his home town of Bonn. The publisher Pietro Mecchetti asked Mendelssohn to contribute to a ‘Beethoven Album’, published in January 1842, which also included pieces by Liszt, Chopin, Moscheles and others, of which the proceeds would go to the Monument. Mendelssohn’s reluctant contribution turned out to be the most well received and remains as one of his finest piano works.

Prokofiev’s Sonata No. 3 Op. 28 provides yet another refreshing contrast. One of Prokofiev’s most finely-tuned pieces of music, the sonata proves that the composer had, over time, developed tremendous gifts in musical and thematic economy.

 

Unlike Prokofiev’s other, much larger, multi-movement piano sonatas, the third encompasses only a single movement, taking a mere 7-8 minutes to perform in its entirety. Like the Piano Concerto No. 3, which was started the same year but completed several years later, the third piano sonata was crafted specially as a vehicle for the performing virtuoso pianist.

As a result, the work includes lots of technical fireworks, soaring melodies and emotional climaxes–all while straying significantly from the violence and grotesque lyricism of the composer’s past and future works. A perfect showcase for Schmitt-Leonardy and a welcome treat for the audience.

Adding to the Festival experience will be a multimedia presentation by “Lecturer in Residence” Professor Frank Cooper.