Father-son piano duo perform in Breckenridge
IF YOU GO
What: Concert with Simon & Son
When: Sunday, July 17; 4 p.m.
Where: Auditorium, Colorado Mountain College, Breckenridge
Cost: Tickets can be purchased at the door: $20/adults, $10/students
More information about Simon & Son: petersimonpianist.com
Father and son Peter and Saling Simon have been playing music together since Saling was 6 years old. The piano-playing pair first started their public performances together with school outreach programs, but that eventually branched out to the two traveling internationally as Simon & Son. The father-son duo has performed hundreds of concerts across the U.S., Europe and Asia, playing Classic Americana combined with tales about their travels on the concert stage.
A Denver native, Peter has been living in Frisco for a little over a year with his wife, while Saling lives right down the hill in Boulder.
“The mountains get in your blood,” Peter said.
Simon & Son will perform a concert in the auditorium of Colorado Mountain College in Breckenridge on Sunday, July 17 at 4 p.m.
Summit Daily News: Describe your music to someone who has never heard it before.
Peter Simon: It’s a unique, fun music show for all ages with piano duets — one piano, four hands — showing the joy of music played by a father and son. We play many familiar tunes from both classical and popular genres including “The Can-Can,” “Mac the Knife,” the Lone Ranger theme (“William Tell Overture”), and more, interspersed with fun stories of being on the road.
SDN: How did you first get started playing as a father/son duo?
PS: I am a trained concert pianist and my son, Saling, wanted to learn how to play the piano. I started to teach him when he was 6 years old and it was like a duck to water. When I started to give school outreach programs I included Saling, and that was essentially our start of playing piano together in public.
SDN: What are some of the favorite places you’ve visited for your shows?
PS: We have played in many different kinds of venues including concert halls, churches, cruise ships, gymnasiums and parks, but I suppose that one or our highlights was playing in Carnegie Hall in New York City. It’s a very impressive place and holds over 3,000 people with terrific acoustics. Another amazing place was an outdoor concert in South Korea with over 30,000 people.
SDN: Is it ever hard to travel and play alongside your son?
PS: One of the joys of being a father-son act is that you travel and spend time together. Real quality time. We talk about everything and are very close. We understand each other very well and get along famously. Saling has quit the act on several occasions, like getting a college degree, but always returns.
SDN: How did you first get into playing music, and what type of training do you have?
PS: I started to take piano lessons when I was 7 years old. I attended several music conservatories and obtained both a master’s and doctorate degree. I then became a university professor of music but felt rather stifled by academe. I wanted to influence thousands of people, not just dozens of people, so I left academe and have been performing publicly every since. In my school programs alone, I have played for over 200,000 kids, introducing 300 years of music history in 35 entertaining minutes.
SDN: What inspires your music?
PS: Being a trained concert pianist, I understand and appreciate the beauty and profundity of classical music. I also recognize the fun and immediate joy of classical, semi-classical and popular music. Saling and I have enjoyed arranging music for four hands that appeals to all ages in a fast-paced program. Four-hand piano music sounds wonderful. It really exploits the capacity and range of the piano. For those who remember, I would say that our show is sort of a combination of Victor Borge with Liberace arrangements.
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