Gershwin Makes Her Smile

The La Mirada Symphony 2013-2014 season opens on October 20th with our first Sunday matinee at 3pm at the La Mirada Theatre of the Performing Arts. The theme of the opening concert is Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something Blue, offering a mixture of musical styles from John Adams’ innovative Short Ride on a Fast Machine to the traditional strains of Strauss’ Blue Danube Waltz.

The highlight of the program is George Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue, performed by the acclaimed pianist, Grace Fong. I recently asked Ms. Fong a few questions about herself and her life as a concert performer. ~ Dana Taylor
DT: Has piano always been a major part of your life and when did you know you would make it into a career?

GF: Music and piano were my first language. I started listening to music from the womb as my mother is a pianist and piano teacher! From early on, I would take naps under the piano while she was teaching and practicing. I’ve always known that music would forever be the love of my life, but it wasn’t until graduate school and after winning a few competitions that I understood that my career and first love could be one in the same!

DT: I know you have played for audiences throughout the world. Do you have a “most memorable” performance?
GF:I have several memorable performances, but because of my die-hard love of traveling, I am especially inspired by those that take place abroad.  Abroad, music is essentially the way I communicate with various groups of people that I can’t communicate with otherwise! I am particularly impressed by the musical culture in Europe, one in which venues are sold out months ahead of time, standing rooms full, sold out with music lovers of all ages. When performing there, I can feel the energy in the way the audiences listen from the first to last note—Classical music, especially, is such a deep part of their history and culture. I’m always awestruck to be on the stages of the majestic cathedrals and castles in Europe— the music just makes so much sense there, just as Rhapsody in Blue makes perfect sense here.

DT: You’ll be playing George Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue with us. Are there any special challenges or especially favorite features of the piece?
GF:I just want to get up and dance when I play this piece. I love the interplay between piano and orchestra–there is so much the pianist can take from the instrumentation of the piece. It’s impossible to play this piece without a smile!

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tfIKwf_7x3M]

Learn more about Grace Fong at her website www.pianistGraceFong.com

The La Mirada Symphony
Dr. Robert Frelly, Conductor
Something Old, Something New…

 October 20th at 3pm at the La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts

Free admission and parking, $5 donation suggested. For more information, please call 714-420-0262 or 562-941-5779

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