Pianist's program promises poetry, passion

Dubravka Tomsic to perform Sunday in Columbia series

April 08, 1999|By Phil Greenfield | Phil Greenfield,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

The great Artur Rubinstein once called his student Dubravka Tomsic "a perfect and marvelous pianist."

Since the Slovenian pianist returned to the United States in 1989 after a three-decade absence spent concertizing in Europe, Australia and Russia, American audiences have enthusiastically seconded Rubinstein's opinion of her.

Tomsic's stellar 1994 debut performances of Beethoven's "Emperor" Concerto with Seiji Ozawa and the Boston Symphony led to additional engagements in Boston and at New York's Carnegie Hall. When Columbia's Candlelight Concert Society presents Tomsic at 3 p.m. Sunday at Howard Community College's Smith Theatre, concertgoers will have the opportunity to hear one of the most talked-about pianists on the contemporary scene.

Aficionados who have become acquainted with Tomsic's playing on her compact discs for such bargain-bin labels as Vox, Stradivari and Pilz have been able to overlook the patchy recordings such companies often provide and appreciate a master pianist who plays with ample poetry and passion.

Sunday's program will provide plenty of opportunities to put her prodigious gifts to use.

Her acumen as a keyboard colorist will be on display in the Book II "Images" and "Isle Joyeuse" of Claude Debussy, the French genius whose impressionistic masterpieces invariably bring the pianist's full tonal palette into use.

For overall sparkle plus plenty of graceful poetry in the final two movements, there's the G major Sonata, Opus 31, No. 1, by Beethoven.

After intermission, the pianist turns to the music of Johannes Brahms, whose deep sonorities and long melodic lines have become Tomsic's specialties. The Opus 116 Fantasies are on the program, along with the mighty "Variations on a Theme of Paganini."

For information and tickets, call 410-715-0034 or 301-596-6203.

Pub Date: 4/08/99

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