CULTURE

Stefan Vladar piano recital at the Megaro

In the last few years he seems to have abandoned the piano and taken to the podium, embarking on a new career as a conductor. The piano, however, remains a great love. Stefan Vladar, a highly accomplished, though not broadly known Austrian musician, is scheduled to give a piano recital at the Athens Concert Hall on Friday, January 21. Besides the interest generated by the artist’s appearance per se, the upcoming concert is equally exciting with respect to the program of works selected by Vladar: Johann Sebastian Bach («Chaconne,» Partita No. 2), Ludwig van Beethoven (Sonata, Opus 57, «Appassionata»), Sergei Prokofiev («Sarcasms,» Opus 17) and Robert Schumann («Carnaval: Scenes mignonnes sur quatre notes,» Opus 9). In other words, the concert brings together a pillar of preclassical music (Bach), a titan of the classical period (Beethoven), a perennial romantic (Schumann) and a leading representative of the 20th century’s Russian school. What unites the above big names in European music is the keyboard. Besides composing great works for piano, they were themselves piano virtuosos. As for Vladar, he has the reputation of being a master in works by yet another defining composer, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. The artist has recorded some 30 albums, the majority of which include works by Mozart. Though Mozart was and Vladar is Austrian, there is an important clarification to be made: While Mozart was born in Salzburg in 1756, Vladar was born in Vienna in 1965. The city is intrinsically linked to the so-called «scholarly» music, such as the Vienna School of the early 20th century, yet only Franz Schubert and Arnold Schoenberg were actually Vienna-born. Vladar won his hometown’s VII Ludwig van Beethoven piano competition in 1985, when he was 20 years old. He has been artistic director of the Neuberg Festival since 1988 and the Upper Austrian Monastery Concerts since 1999. In that same year, he was also appointed piano professor at the University of Music and Performing Arts in Vienna. Since 2008, he has held the post of principal conductor of the Vienna Chamber Orchestra. Athens Concert Hall,1 Kokkali & Vas. Sofias, tel 210.728.2333