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Piano Legacy Series
A Lecture Recital
The San Francisco International Piano Festival is proud to partner with Noontime Concerts in presenting this special lecture recital with Bobby Mitchell. Inner Voices explores many layers of musical thought, their creative impulse, and expression in performance. Bobby Mitchell brings insight and artistry together in this presentation centered around two important influences in his musical life: the music of Robert Schumann and his collaboration and friendship with the late, great American composer Frederic Rzewski (1938-2021) . Bobby will feature musical examples by Schumann throughout the presentation, including excerpts from works that will be performed in their entirety during his solo recital on August 27. Join us for this informal, engaging, and free musical conversation!
*** All guests are required to wear a mask at all times in the venue. Thank you for your understanding and cooperation.
Bobby Mitchell not only knows how to make exciting and unique music using ornamentation, sound, and tempo, but you can hear that he never just plays what is written.
NRC Handelsblad (Amsterdam)
Bobby Mitchell is an American pianist whose interests are embedded in the here and now of music as performance art, as well as the more standard classical repertory of centuries past. A frequent performer of new and rarely heard works, his interests lie mainly with the contemporary music canon and combining these works with the standard repertoire in an illuminating fashion. An instrumentalist who is not afraid to cross the traditional boundaries of programming and performance practice, he is active as a solo and collaborative concert pianist on modern and historical instruments and is also experienced in the fields of improvisation, composition, and conducting.
He has performed extensively in the Americas, Europe, Asia, South Africa, and the Middle East, and recent highlights include concerto performances with Philippe Herreweghe and the Orchestra of the Eighteenth Century. Venues include the Menuhin Festival (Gstaad, Switzerland), the Concertgebouw (Amsterdam), Gran Teatre del Liceu (Barcelona), and Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts (Washington D.C.). He has otherwise performed as concerto soloist with orchestras and new-music ensembles in Europe, the Americas, Africa, and Asia. Significant solo activities include numerous performances of Frederic Rzewski’s epic 36 Variations on The People United Will Never Be Defeated! and frequent work with composers such as Frederic Rzewski, Steve Reich, and Louis Andriessen as well as regular work with peer composers of his own generation. Rzewski recently wrote a solo piano work called Winter Nights for Bobby, who also gave the USA premiere of Rzewski’s Songs of Insurrection and was involved in the Dutch radio’s initiative to record Rzewski’s entire novel-for-piano The Road.
Bobby records for the Alpha / Outhere music label (Haydn on an original pianoforte), VDE-Gallo (Schumann live in San Francisco), and New Focus Records (Martin Scherzinger’s solo piano works). His YouTube channel has become an Internet phenomenon for classical and improvised piano music, with more than half-a-million views. Primary teachers include Nelita True, David Kuyken, Robert Hill, Rudolf Lutz, Stephen Perry, and Bart van Oort.
He is the artistic director of the piano festival En Blanc et Noir, Festival International de Piano Robert Turnbull, a five-day celebration of live piano music that takes place every July in Lagrasse, France.