No powdered wigs here |

No powdered wigs here

summit daily news

When pianist Zsolt Bognar performed during last summer’s National Repertory Orchestra season, “none of us could get enough of his music,” said Julie Chandler, director of development. So, he’s back for an encore.

Bognar has played throughout the world, including the Lincoln and Kennedy centers and venues in Russia, Hungary, Austria, Belgium, the Netherlands and Tokyo. But some of his fondest memories lie in Breckenridge. Last summer, he made his first trip to Summit County, and though the mountains and recreation impressed him, what touched him the most was the community appreciation.

“(My sponsors and host family) were all so kind with their time and energy,” Bognar said.

He cherishes the community’s support of classical music in general, especially in these economic times, so he sees Saturday’s concert as an opportunity to give back. He also donates time at elementary schools to promote classical music.

“At that age, if you tell them that classical music is cool, they’ll believe you,” he said, laughing.

His passion for piano, and classical music as a whole, comes through in his visceral playing.

“For me, it’s very important to communicate with the audience that the emotion in pieces are to be felt,” he said. “If I haven’t conveyed that to the audience, then I feel like my performance is not successful. My highest goal (is to help the audience) feel the power of these pieces with their emotions.”

He believes classical music is meant to be shared and describes its command in its ability to provide people with a present-moment experience. He contrasts a classical concert with today’s world of information bombardment, through the Internet and media.

“We, in our generation, have so much available to us all the time … but I always like to believe there’s something to be said for the collective experience of being in a concert hall with the audience and as a whole, experiencing time moving forward in a linear fashion with no pop-up ads, no scrolling bars, no distractions,” he said. “You just focus on these pieces.”

And the pieces he’ll present Saturday are some of his favorites. The concert begins with a Beethoven sonata that portrays the more humorous, and wider, side of classical music. He pointed out that this is not a typical classical concert that can become so “predictable and boring, you might as well be wearing a powdered wig.”

Another composer he’ll be featuring is Schubert. He describes the piece he chose as a “song without words” that “expresses so much with so few notes.”

The concert will end with dramatic, approximately 15-minute work by Liszt. The music depicts a love story, with a range from virtuosic “notes flying everywhere” to an inward and introspective tone.

“All of the themes combine for a spectacular finale,” he said.

“Zsolt plays with passion and brilliance, and his appearance will be the highlight of the National Repertory Orchestra’s winter concert season,” Chandler said. “He has a charming, charismatic and extroverted personality, and the evening’s entertainment is perfect for the entire family.”

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