Rachmaninoff White Stravinsky[CD]
~ Svetlana Belsky(Duplicated CD)
The Belsky-Maxwell Duo began in 2005, when these colleagues and friends discovered -- quite by accident -- how remarkably well matched they are at the keyboard. Their artistic partnership debuted conspicuously with a standing-room-only performance of Mozart's glorious Concerto in E-flat Major for Two Pianos with the University of Chicago Symphony Orchestra in January 2006, in celebration of Mozart's 250th birthday. Since then, the two pianists have been presenting duo concerts throughout the Chicago area and beyond, playing repertoire ranging from the great masters to newly commissioned works, even featuring their own arrangements. Performing frequently from the start, Belsky and Maxwell quickly developed a loyal following. Appearances on the PianoForte Great Pianists Series, Schubertiade Chicago, and Skokie Steinway Series were enthusiastically acclaimed, earning the Duo a reputation as a unique and exciting new ensemble with particular audience rapport. The 2007-2008 season marked more than twenty concerts throughout the greater Chicago area, including performances on the prestigious Mostly Music Series of Northeastern Illinois University, the Wheaton College Concert Series, the annual Music Institute of Chicago Duo Piano Festival, and the Southern Illinois Music Festival; and culminated in concerto appearances with the Southern Illinois Symphony, under the baton of Maestro Edward Benyas. The 2008-2009 calendar begins with a concert at the Moody Bible Institute, and takes Belsky and Maxwell throughout the Midwest for recital and master class engagements at the University of Wisconsin, University of Illinois, Winona State University, Illinois Central College, Cardinal Stritch University, Western Illinois University, and many more. Especially high-profile performances include a concert and interview on Live From WFMT of Chicago's Classical 98.7 FM, and a recital on Chicago's Music in the Loft Series, famed for hosting the region's top emerging artists. Praised for "how artistically attuned they were to each other . . . they simultaneously moved from the serene to the staccato, from the merely fast to the positively furious, always at precisely the same time" (Hyde Park Herald), Belsky and Maxwell invite audiences to see - and hear - what two women can do with one piano. This CD contains the gorgeous Rachmaninoff Suite, Op. 11, full of lush Romantic harmonies; Stravinsky's ultra-virtuosic Three Movements from Petrouchka, in a special arrangement by the performers; and William White's brand-new Desiderata, a grooving smash hit written especially for Belsky and Maxwell.
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