Even though recitals in the Keys To The Future festival –- a three-day series devoted to contemporary piano music –- are meticulously constructed, include a striking blend of repertoire and encompass a wide range of expressive styles, one of the central draws of the festival is simply seeing this pianistic collective tear through contemporary scores that few others can. Showcasing pianists from a core roster of nine musicians in new and demanding repertoire ranging from Rakowski to Radiohead, Keys To The Future offers genre-bending recitals the embrace the imense variety found in modern piano music.
Last spring's festival was no exception. Tune into this week's Cued Up on Q2 for performances from Keys To The Future's sold out festival from May 25 – 27 at (Le) Poisson Rouge in Manhattan. Cued Up on Q2 highlights individual performances from each of these concerts, featuring eight of the festival’s pianists in works by eight different composers.
The first set presents etudes by Gyorgy Ligeti and Nikolai Kapustin, Ligeti with his African rhythmic influence and Kapustin with his flare for jazz harmony, respectively performed by Molly Morkowski and Eric Huebner; day two begins with Romance No.4 “Celestial” performed by the work’s composer and Keys To The Future curator, Joseph Rubenstein, and is followed with works by Marc Mellits and New York Philharmonic composer-in-residence Magnus Lindberg; the final concert features Karen Hakobyan, Stephen Gosling and Blair McMillen in pieces by Vuk Kulenovic, Barbara White, and Judd Greenstein, the young New York-based composer of First Ballade, a narrative collage of pianistic influeces.
Keys To The Future is the only festival of contemporary solo piano music in New York and begins its sixth season this May with an expanded roster of 10 soloists. In addition to presenting 27 recently composed works by veteran and emerging composers, including a world and New York premiere, the festival will move from last year’s LPR venue to the Abrons Arts Center.