Jeanie Dedrick Kramer: What a pianist!
Pianist, Zsolt Bognar, of Urbana, Ill., is hailed by the European press for his “overwhelmingly visceral playing” and a “phenomenal sound world realized through maximum palate.” Recently, he joined my piano students for an evening of music and dinner in Silverthorne. The students were enthralled with the extraordinary musical performance that Zsolt provided for them, as he played, “Heroic Polonaise” by Chopin and a selection by one of his favorite composers, Franz Schubert. It was interesting, as he shared his childhood experiences. Originally, he wanted to take organ lessons. However, at the age of 9, when he arrived at his first lesson, only a piano was available! His parents were very supportive of his love of music. At the age of 15, Zsolt went to Walnut Hill School for the Performing Arts near Boston. He was looking for a school that would accommodate his need to practice piano and pursue his studies. Later, he went to the Cleveland Institute of Music, where he received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees. During the National Repertory Orchestra’s 50th anniversary in 2009, Zsolt wooed the patrons of the NRO with his phenomenal piano playing ability in Colorado.
During the evening at my, our local students provided Zsolt with a Winter Recital. The following students performed: Jessica Castleberry, daughter of Larry and Becky Castleberry of Dillon; Theodore and Noah Preaus, sons of David and Susan Preaus of Silverthorne; and Madeline and Matthew Krystopa, children of Walter and Lynn Krystopa of Dillon.
Following the recital and dinner, Zsolt played songs that totally enthused the students and their families. At the end of the evening, the students told me “We could have listened to Zsolt all night!”
All of us had “sweet dreams” of this talented and most wonderful pianist, who was kind enough to share his gift of music! Zsolt is a living example of my philosophy: “Life is grand – like the piano!” As he continues to “pay it forward,” may God bless Zsolt Bognar!!
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