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Miami International Piano Festival’s March Master Series takes a Fresh Look

In a bold programming move, the Piano Festival presents three consecutive days in homage to the music of Claude Debussy - celebrating his 150th anniversary of his birth.


In a bold programming move, the Piano Festival presents three consecutive days in homage to the music of Claude Debussy – celebrating of the 150th anniversary of his birth – and the composers who are frequently associated with the French Impressionist movement – Ravel, Faure and Messaien.

From Sunday through Tuesday, March 3 – 5, four unique programs will be presented at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts in Fort Lauderdale by some of the world’s most impressive masters of the keyboard.

The Master Series opens with a Sunday matinee performance by Francesco Libetta (Italy), dubbed the “pianist of the impossible” by filmmaker Bruno Monsaingeon, Libetta has earned a reputation for his brilliant and personal interpretations of the classics’ most challenging repertoire.

His 3:00 p.m. recital will include works by the true “Geniuses of Impressionism” – Godard, Debussy, Saint Saens, Fauré, and Ravel. Of his 2009 Festival performance, Alan Becker wrote, “Libetta, hands, possibly taken over by demons, took all of the tortures in stride and left the audience amazed that the unbelievable had taken place before them.”

That same evening, the Festival turns the stage over to Konstantin Lifschitz (Russia), who will focus on a “Tribute to Debussy” in honor of the 150th anniversary of the composer’s birth in August of 1862. In 2008 Lifschitz made Festival history by performing both books of Bach’s Well Tempered Clavier.“

Yet so naturally poetic and expressive was his playing that he made it seem as if the entirety of the modern piano repertory lay nascent in these 48 pieces,” wrote the NY Times. Debussy will be no less thrilling in the hands of this great Master as he presents his thoughtful interpretations of works such as L’isle joyeuse, 6 epigraphes antiques, Soiree dans Grenade and all the Preludes from Book One.

On Monday evening, Festival audiences are in for a special treat as not one, but two artists collaborate to bring works by Debussy, Ravel and Messiaen to life!

Konstantin Lifschitz (Russia) and Francesco Libetta (Italy) will showcase the amazing versatility and depth of these composers in their works specifically written for two pianos.

To conclude the 2013 Master Series, the Festival has put together a special chamber program of French Impressionist jewels featuring three collaborative geniuses: pianist, Misha Dacic (Serbia), violinist, Gilles Apap (France), and cellist Dimitri Maslennikov (Russia).

Included in their program will be Debussy’s Violin Sonata in G minor, Ravel’s Cello Sonata, and Fauré’s Piano Trio in D minor. A local favorite, Dacic was first brought to the U.S. by the Festival in 2003 and it was just a matter of time until the Festival could find the perfect opportunity to pair him with the eclectic French violinist, Gilles Apap. Joined by cellist Maslennikov, the Master Series’ grande finale will be Ravel’s Piano Trio in A minor.

Inspiration for the musical content of the Trio came from a wide variety of sources, from Basque dance to Malaysian poetry and is regarded as a technical masterpiece.

After the intermission of each performance, guest lecturer Stuart Isacoff will shed light on the repertoire’s historical context. Isacoff is an award-winning writer, pianist, composer and lecturer who performs and lectures across North America and Europe.

He is the author of A Natural History of the Piano (Knopf, 2011), as well as the highly acclaimed Temperament (Knopf/Vintage, 2003).

“As we celebrate 16 years of a truly enriching and exciting journey into the world of the piano, the Masters Series has become a vehicle for digging deeply into the profound repertoire of the composers,” noted the Miami International Piano Festival’s Artistic Director Giselle Brodsky. “During these intense explorations of a single composer or in this year’s case an entire genre, these musical jewels can enjoy new life in the hands of today’s great masters.”

WHEN:        March 3 – 5, 2013
WHERE:     Broward Center for the Performing Arts, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33180
TICKETS: $15 – $50 (1/2 price tickets available for students with I.D.)
                        $120 for a four program subscription
                        By phone: 954-462-0222; On-line:

About the Miami International Piano Festival

Established in 1998, the Miami International Piano Festival is the public outreach vehicle of Patrons of Exceptional Artists, a non-profit organization dedicated to the immediate discovery, promotion, nurturing, and professional support of extraordinary artists with the long term goal of insuring continuity with the great classical traditions of the past.

Hailed as unique, the Miami International Piano Festival has been recognized as one of the most exciting recital series in the world today. The Festival presents artists, both emerging and established, who have their own distinct voices, who are not only capable of challenging convention but who are able to demonstrate that there are important interpretive ideas still to be expressed both in mainstream and rare repertoire – artists who clearly deserve international careers.


 master series
 french impressionism
 piano festival
 classical music
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