It's rare to encounter musicians who are as devoted to teaching as they are to their performing careers -- or vise-versa. Pianist Bruce Brubaker manages to straddle the worlds of performance and pedagogy with equal measure.
At home on international stages or in his New England Conservatory studio where he's been the piano chair since 2005, Brubaker's intelligent and questing approach to the piano repertory has won high marks from audiences and students alike. In this performance at (Le) Poisson Rouge, Brubaker gives the New York premiere of a piece by Nico Muhly in addition to works by John Cage, Alvin Curran and Philip Glass.
Unlike many instrumentalists working under the classical music umberella, Brubaker is passionate about both the new music specialist camp and the traditionalist camp, shedding light on some surprising perspectives. In an interview from New York Pianist, Brubaker recalled a Taiwanese youth's account of the social implications of classical music during a tour of Asia: "If I tell my parents I'm going to hear a concert with Beethoven in it, that's very modern," said the young music fan to Brubaker.
Brubaker explains that this is "because fifty or sixty years ago in Taiwan nobody was interested in Beethoven so it really has a very different cultural meaning. There's a very different read for it there than there is for us. I think a lot of young people in Asia are interested in classical music, but it's weighted with a lot of meaning. It's a sign of social aspiration and cultural aspiration."
This Sunday, December 26th at 2p.m., listen to Bruce Brubaker's full live concert recorded on August 9, 2010. (L)PR’s Technical Director is Richie Clarke and this concert was mixed by Damon Whittemore.