Review of pianist Zolt Bognr |

Review of pianist Zolt Bognr

JOANNE STOLENspecial to the daily

Over the past year, I have had the privilege to spend some quality time with Zolt Bognr, virtuoso pianist who is a rising young star of international acclaim. Zolt was a concert pianist with National Repertory Orchestra last summer, and on March 6, he gave a solo performance at Breckenridge’s Colorado Mountain Colleges’ auditorium to benefit the NRO. Zolt is an extraordinary young man, gentile, polite and just delightful company. During the course of conversations we have touched on some fascinating subjects, like how he memorizes and performs lengthy, intricate pieces and how he remembers the many pieces in his repertory. Zolt uses no sheet music in his performances. He claims concert musicians store music in a partition of the brain, so if he is asked to perform that piece again, he can recall it and bring it into performance level readily. A new piece, however, takes months to memorize. We talked about the demographics of classical music lovers, worldwide. In the U.S., music education is unfortunately not a priority. Fewer children play instruments. Classical music is very popular in Europe, and Zolt mentioned that it is very popular in Japan and surprisingly in China. During the Mao regime in China, it was virtually banned as Western Bourgeois or elitist. Those attending Zolts’ concert, I am sure, were struck with the extraordinary dexterity, technicality, vigor and passion he displayed in his performance. This represents years of practicing and training with master pianists and studying in institutes of music. Zolt has a masters’ degree in music from the Cleveland Institute of Music. Over dinner one night we talked about what it takes to dedicate your life to something, whether music or sports, and the word that came to mind was “passion.” You have to have passion and love to motivate yourself to study and practice for hours on end, and perform at the highest level. Zolt mentioned before his concert, that in our small Summit County Community, there is an extraordinarily dedicated core of classical music lovers that ardently support two very fine orchestras, the NRO and the BMF. This is quoted from Zolts’ Facebook site: “I was seated in a restaurant in Colorado tonight when the waiter handed me a note and said, somebody at the bar wants you to have this message: “Mr. Bognar, Your performance created happiness for both my soul & ears. Thank You.”

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