Renowned pianist Maria Yefimova will be at Sweet Briar on Sunday, April 8, to perform in the College’s Janet Lowrey Gager Community Concert Series. The event takes place at 3 p.m. in Memorial Chapel.
“The repertoire for solo piano is vast and diverse, spanning centuries and reflecting changes in musical style, as well as technological advancements in the keyboard itself,” Yefimova explains. Her program, she says, will offer a sampling of these styles and changes, highlighting “well-known masterpieces and lesser-known gems” by many of the repertoire’s most famous composers.
“The program moves chronologically through three centuries of keyboard music, beginning with a sampling of Domenico Scarlatti’s sonatas,” she continues. “Written at the height of the Italian Baroque, they explore the sonic capabilities of the newly created harpsichord, the precursor of the modern piano.”
Romantic piano masterpieces from the 19th century fill the middle of the program, ranging from “the memorable melodies and dreamlike textures of Chopin to the powerful contrasts and dynamism of Beethoven’s famed Waldstein Sonata.” Rachmaninoff’s lyrical preludes bring the audience into the 20th century, and the program ends with Debussy’s “L’Isle Joyeuse,” “a jubilant, pianistic tour de force.”
Yefimova’s concert is, in effect, a “musical journey” that “showcases the many textures and colors of the piano, the technical achievements and musicality of the performer, and the creative world of the composers who brought us these pieces,” according to the program.
Hailed by critics as “highly artistic,” “brilliant” and “truly outstanding,” Yefimova is an internationally acclaimed pianist who has toured throughout the U.S., Russia and Europe, performing in such major venues as Carnegie Hall, Moscow Tchaikovsky Conservatory Hall, Lisinsky Hall (Croatia), Teatro Puccini (Italy) and Slovak Philharmonic Hall. She has been featured on Bravo TV, Tele Monte Orlando (Italy), Paradise Radio (USVI), Slovak National Television, WCVE public radio, as well as on major TV art networks in Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Venezuela, Mexico and Chile. Yefimova is a featured artist in the film documentary “Women of Music” — a classical music series that presents performances and interviews with today’s top artists. Educated at the Moscow Conservatory and the Manhattan School of Music, Yefimova is on the faculty of the College of William & Mary.
The Janet Lowrey Gager Community Concert Series is made possible by the support of Forrest Gager, in memory of his wife, Janet, who served as Sweet Briar’s director of public relations. The series features classical music from around the world performed by Sweet Briar College faculty and students, as well as guest artists.