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Classical 101

Nareh Arghamanyan's Coming to Town

A few days ago, I interviewed Jean-Marie Zeitouni, Music Director of the Columbus Symphony, onstage at Weigel Hall for the OSU School of Music Fall convocation. We were talking about upcoming concerts. Jean-Marie mentioned Ms. Arghamanyan, who will be here this weekend to play the Tchaikovsky 1st piano concerto. "I was judging a competition in Montreal (Montreal International Music competition) Nareh won. I needed a pianist for Columbus and wanted someone we wouldn't be able to afford in two or three years. Nareh will be out-of-this-world famous before much longer." So, we get this wonderful young pianist early on. You and I both know she will love it here and want to come back, even at discounted prices! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jzAS81q8kJk   So far, a Columbus interview has been elusive, but it will work out. Until then, here's part of Nareh's award-winning performance in Montreal. Come hear her in the Ohio Theater this weekend and be dazzled by her and Tchaikovsky...and the Columbus Symphony, and Jean-Marie.... Oh, and the Tchaikovsky Concerto...The opening descending line in the horns and percussion? The wonderful fat string sound taking up the first melody, one of the most famous in music? A flop. Laughed off the stage in Moscow, and reviled by Tchaikovsky's friend and adviser Anton Rubinstein. "He was like Jupiter unleashing thunder" wrote the composer after playing the score for Anton and friends. It was considered loud, noisy, and lopsided. The first movement is more than twice as long as two and three combined. No symmetry! No music! And nobody loved this concerto, except the public! Here's part of my favorite performance of Tchaikovsky's Piano concerto 1, op. 23: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HiPoXh57IAM    

Christopher Purdy is Classical 101's early morning host, 7-10 a.m. weekdays. He is host and producer of Front Row Center – Classical 101’s weekly celebration of Opera and more – as well as Music in Mid-Ohio, Concerts at Ohio State, and the Columbus Symphony broadcast series. He is the regular pre-concert speaker for Columbus Symphony performances in the Ohio Theater.