It can sometimes be a little overwhelming, deciding which live music events are worth checking out around town on a weekend. Sometimes, you just want a musical evening that is separated from the hustle of downtown and allows you to fully enjoy and contemplate the beauty of what is being played.
If that’s how you would prefer your live music this weekend, then Sergei Prokofiev should be able to provide for you.
Of course the real early 20th century Russian composer and pianist won’t actually be performing in Austin this weekend, since he’s been dead for more than half a century. Thankfully, this city is home to plenty of its own classically inclined musicians and composers who wish to pay a special one-night-only tribute to one of Russia’s most celebrated piano maestros.
At the 29th Street Ballroom this Saturday, an audience of piano aficionados will get to enjoy a special presentation that not only honors one of Prokofiev’s master arrangements but also hopes to put a new twist on the composition.
At the 29th Street Ballroom this Saturday, an audience of piano aficionados will get to enjoy a special presentation that not only honors one of Prokofiev’s master arrangements but also hopes to put a new twist on the composition. The presentation of Prokofiev’s Visions fugitives (which is simply French for “fugitive/fleeting visions”) is hosted by the Golden Hornet Project, a non-profit founded by Austin composers Graham Reynolds and Peter Stopschinski.
Since 1999, the organization has presented over 60 concerts that pay special focus to indie classical music. This evening’s presentation of Prokofiev will actually be a special sequel to one of those concerts, “Russian Masters”, which took place nearly a decade ago.
In fact, founders Reynolds and Stopschinski have noted how it was their love of early 20th century composers, such as Prokofiev, Stravinsky and Shostakovich, which helped to seal the bond that would help give birth to the Golden Hornet Project.
The event will begin with a performance by Dr. Jeff Helmer as he plays through the original set of Visions fugitives, a collection of short piano pieces which are comprised of often dissonant harmonies and sharp dynamic contrasts. After the original set, listeners can then experience a special arrangement from Reynolds and Stopschinski as played by an ensemble of seven players.
After the performance is over for the evening, you’ll hopefully be content with having expanded your classical music expertise with this special tribute to a true Russian master. And you might be thankful that Austin’s music scene hasn't forgotten about the classics.