NRO alumni Bognr & Phillips perform on piano & violin in Breckenridge
Ever since pianist Zsolt Bognr took the stage with the National Repertory Orchestra in 2009, he’s been a favorite in Breckenridge, as well as worldwide.Tonight, he collaborates with 2009 and 2010 alumnus Brandie Phillips, as they present a concert for piano and violin.Though the two met in 2009 when Phillips was the assistant concertmaster, they never had a chance to play together, until now. Phillips lives in Dallas, Texas, where she teaches and is furthering her graduate work with an artist’s diploma from Southern Methodist University, and Zsolt spends about half of his time in Cleveland, when he’s not traveling the world performing as a featured soloist.”I’ve always admired Zsolt’s playing,” Phillips said. “He is just a really nice, outgoing guy, and that really comes through in his playing. To work with him is phenomenal.”Bognr seems to have a special way of connecting with, and impressing, audiences.”Zsolt’s performance at CMC in 2010 was one the finest performance I have seen in Summit,” said Alton Scales, president of CMC in Breckenridge.”I just feel so excited about what I do, and the audience tends to get excited about that too,” Bognr said.Yet, he thinks Phillips has the same talent:”Brandie’s ability to communicate the message of the music is very immediate and very powerful,” he said.Phillips chose three pieces for tonight’s concert: Mozart’s Sonata in G Major, Csar Franck’s Sonata in A Major for Violin and Piano and Edvard Grieg’s Sonata in G Minor.”The program is so beautiful,” Bognr said. “It’s full of contrasts.”The Mozart work is an elegant, understated and playful piece, which features piano as was common in his day.Phillips selected the two other pieces because she’s fascinated by the fact that though they were written in the same year (1886), they’re completely different.Franck’s composition is “work I can only describe as transformational,” Bognr said. “It uses a few themes and combines them and transforms into a journey (with) a full range of emotions.”He depicts Grieg’s sonata as a “wonderful, darker piece, but it’s very playful at the same time. It’s a journey from dark to light.”Proceeds from the concert support the NRO’s mission to provide an intensive fellowship to equip young musicians for orchestral music careers, while providing a world-class entertainment experience for audiences.”The best part of the NRO is the musical friendships you build,” Bognr said. “And here in Breckenridge, the people are really exceptionally and sincerely involved. These concerts are really a great joy.”Phillips feels the same. Even though the temperature’s high barely reached double digits in Breckenridge Wednesday afternoon, she was standing on a deck without a coat saying, “It’s just gorgeous,” and adding that the summers she spent with the NRO were two of the best of her life.
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