Beloved pianist and master of the Steinway, Anton Nel, will make his San Miguel debut on March 11th and 12th, Saturday & Sunday at 5 pm at St. Paul’s Church on Calle Cardo. An international award-winner since the age of 12, he has toured the world for over 4 decades, playing in the most prestigious venues.
Following his auspicious debut with Beethoven’s C Major Concerto after only two years of study, the Johannesburg native captured first prizes in all the major South African competitions while still in his teens and became a well-known radio and television personality. With an active repertoire of more than 100 works for piano and orchestra, Nel is renowned as an acclaimed Beethoven interpreter. Having performed the concerto cycle several times, he has also given all-Beethoven solo recitals, complete cycles of the violin and cello sonatas, and most recently a highly successful run of the Diabelli Variations as part of Moises Kaufman’s play “33 Variations”. His recordings include four solo CDs, several chamber music recordings, and works for piano and orchestra by Franck, Faure, and Saint-Saens.
Saturday’s concert will include Debussy, Beethoven, Schumann and Kodály. Debussy’s charming masterpiece, Suite Bergamasque, was completed in 1905, inspired by the poetry of Verlaine. Schumann’s Faschingsschwank aus Wien, translated as Carnival Merriment of Vienna; Fantasy Scenes, was described by Schumann as a "romantic spectacle", while a critic described it thus “Flashes of humor appear at every turn; skyrockets of wit and unbridled merriment soar upwards into the skies from all sides”. Beethoven’s “Waldstein” Sonata opens with a searching Adagio molto that leads the listener seamlessly into the exhilarating Rondo finale. Hungarian composer Kodály was deeply connected to folk music until travels in Europe expanded his musical horizons. He then found profound inspiration in Debussy, going on to compose Meditation on a Motive of Debussy in his fellow composer's honor.
Sunday’s concert will feature Haydn, Debussy, Granados and Schubert. This is the centenary of the tragic death of pianist and composer Enrique Granados, whose ship was torpedoed by a German submarine after leaving the US in 1916. We will hear Granados’ Allegro de Concierto in C Major, which evokes flamenco dance through its rapid guitar-strumming. Schubert's artistic immortality was also achieved during a prolific, short life and the Sonata in B-flat Major was his last, and incredibly brilliant, work. Another highlighted composer, Haydn, lived the transition from Baroque to Classical; his Sonata in A-flat has many Baroque embellishments and a free form, which Neil is adept at making meaningful. Nel will also perform three of Debussy’s Preludes, inspired by Bach.
Tickets for the concerts at St. Paul’s are $150, $250 and $350 pesos donation each, and are on sale at La Tienda in the Biblioteca Pública; La Conexión; only at Aldama 3, the School of Arts at the Instituto Allende, Ancha de San Antonio 22, and at the concert half an hour before performance time.