Pianist Liza Stepanova “Tones & Colors”

Pianist Liza Stepanova, praised by The New York Times for her “thoughtful musicality” and “fleet-fingered panache,” announces the January 19, 2018 release of her album Tones & Colors on Concert Artists Guild Records. This collection showcases the cross-pollination between visual and aural media through 13 pieces of music, spanning the centuries between Bach and Ligeti, inspired by paintings, drawings, and sculptures. The CD includes works by Enrique Granados, Maurice Ohana, Joaquín Turina, Fanny Hensel, Bohuslav Martinů, Claude Debussy, Johann Sebastian Bach, George Crumb, György Ligeti, Lyonel Feininger, and Leopold Godowsky, each paired with a piece of visual art.

Stepanova has performed in Carnegie Hall’s Weill and Zankel Halls, Alice Tully Hall, Merkin Concert Hall, and Steinway Hall in New York City; at the Kennedy Center and The Smithsonian in Washington, DC; and live on WQXR New York, WFMT Chicago, and WETA Washington, DC. She has twice been a soloist with the Juilliard Orchestra led by James DePreist and Nicholas McGegan and was a top prizewinner at the Liszt-Garrison, Juilliard Concerto, Steinway, and Ettlingen competitions. Stepanova has performed as a soloist and chamber musician at international festivals at Castleton, La Jolla, [email protected], Mostly Mozart, Copenhagen (Denmark), and Davos (Switzerland). Deeply committed to new music, she has premiered works by Jennifer Higdon and Libby Larsen and worked with composers William Bolcom, Gabriela Lena Frank, and John Harbison.

Tones & Colors covers a wide range of relationships between the two mediums – paintings inspired by music, music inspired by paintings, and a general homage by a composer to a visual artist. On the genesis of this album, Stepanova notes, “This has been a project long in the making. I have had an interest in visual art ever since traveling Europe as a child and going to the wonderful museums in Germany, France, and Italy. Later, by playing musical works that were obviously connected to art (Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition and Poulenc’s Work of a Painter songs), I became more interested in the intersections between art and music and went on to curate recitals exploring these connections for my then-ensemble, SongFusion, and various summer festivals. In 2010, I traveled to Germany on a Juilliard grant to study the works of the Mendelssohn siblings and became aware of the unique illustrated manuscript of Fanny Mendelssohn-Hensel’s piano cycle The Year, with vignettes by her husband, painter Wilhelm Hensel. One of the musical months from this cycle, ‘September,’ is featured on this recording.”

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