Annapolis is Lucky to Have Brian Ganz

Brian Ganz in performance
The first time I ever heard Brian Ganz play the piano was at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Annapolis, where I am a member, and I knew I was hearing something special. Many talented musicians are members of the congregation and give freely of their time to perform as part of morning services and to also accompany hymns, but when Brian’s fingers touched the piano keys, the percussive stringed instrument began to sing. The phrasing of the notes, the pressure on the keys, and soulfulness of whatever piece he was playing told me a story. I was in love. I immediately wanted to know who was this pianist and when was he going to play again.
Over the years, Brian has treated the UUCA to concerts raising money for a variety of causes and he has been accompanist for The All Children’s Chorus, and the last half of 2010 he filled in as accompanist for the UUCA choir (too bad I’ve had to drop out of the choir due to lack of time to attend rehearsals). He does this all in addition to his teaching posts at St. Mary’s College, Peabody Conservatory, and his regional concert performances.
Now Brian has embarked on a new endeavor–performing ALL the piano works of Frederic Chopin (1810-1849) within a ten year period. He got off to a good start this past Saturday evening at The Strathmore in North Bethesda. Pairing early works (some written by Chopin at the tender age of seven) with mature works in the same musical form. While he began with Waltz in E Major, written when Chopin was 19, and paired it with Waltz in E-flat Major, Opus 18, written just two years later; later in the performance he moved on to the Polonaises in G minor and B-flat Major written when he was seven and paired it was Polonaise in A-flat Major, Opus 53, written when he was 33.
Brian took a great deal of time, in between pieces, to share his knowledge with the audience. While some may have found this annoying, I enjoyed learning more about what I was going to hear. His next performance at The Strathmore, with the National Philharmonic, will be the Grieg Piano Concerto on March 12th. Take note that all children attend National Philharmonic concerts for free. As for another Chopin concert, you’ll have to wait until February 2012. Remember that everything is committed to memory, and it has to be exquisite. Read more about the Chopin project on our WhatsUpMag.com website.

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Author: Nadja Maril

Nadja Maril is a communications professional who has over 10 years experience as a magazine editor. A writer and journalist, Maril is the author of several books including: "American Lighting 1840-1940", "Antique Lamp Buyer's Guide", "Me, Molly Midnight; the Artist's Cat", and "Runaway, Molly Midnight; the Artist's Cat". Currently in the Stoneooast MFA writing program (University of Southern Maine), genre literary fiction. Former Editor-in-Chief of What's Up ? Publishing, in charge of three magazines: "What's Up? Annapolis", "What's Up? Eastern Shore", and "What's Up? Weddings", former Editor of Chesapeake Taste Magazine a regional lifestyle magazine based in Annapolis, and former Lighting Editor of Victorian Homes Magazine, Maril has written hundreds of newspaper and magazines articles on a variety of subjects..

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