Claire Huangci, Sean Chen, Sara Daneshpour, Andrew Staupe, Eric Zuber. These comprise five of the best young pianistic talent America currently has to offer. Over the last few months we've heard them all--picked by audition jurors as the finest from about 40 audition CDs sent to the APA last year. Who is the best? I stated in the summary that Eric Zuber stood out, but then there was the unforgettable Sara Daneshpour and her expressive legato in the Saint-Saëns Second Piano Concerto, assisted by the Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra. Earlier we also heard Sean Chen's own piano arrangement of Ravel's orchestral work La Valse, miraculously rendered.
Sunday's program with Zuber did not spark with one stand-out selection. Yet his sure-fire technique -- all five players showed unsurpassed technique -- played itself out over the entire 2 hour program. As usual, the first half had Zuber playing a solo recital. Kirk Trevor and his ICO players joined him after intermission, with all performing the Chopin Piano Concerto No. 1 in E Minor, Op. 11.
Starting with Schumann's 13 Kinderscenen (Scenes from a Childhood), Op. 15, continuing with six Chopin Études and four Rachmaninoff Preludes to the Chopin Concerto, Zuber showed a consistent articulation that never strayed into being steely or muffled from overpedaling. His often leading a chord with his left hand was always done just enough to give a fluidity to his readings, not enough to make a "point" of it.
So let's pick one of these three--Chen, Daneshpour or Zuber--to be the 2013 APA Fellow, which we'll know by April 20. Feb. 24; Indiana History Center
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