July 5th, 2012
I first heard NYC-based, Bulgarian-born pianist Tania Stavreva several years ago, live, opening for Amanda Palmer at Webster Hall. A diminutive woman dressed in black appeared on the stage, smiled & said very little, and in short order (& I suspect to the surprise of others in the audience aside from myself) began ferociously attacking the keyboard, precisely delivering the rapid, spiky lines and complex percussive rhythms of a Piano Sonata by Argentinian composer Alberto Ginastera (I don’t recall which Sonata or I’d cite it — too many beers that night). I love classical piano and I love it loud, fast and complicated, so I was flat-out floored (not to mention happily schooled — I had never heard any Ginastera before that night).
I have since followed with much interest Stavreva’s flourishing NYC career, live when I’ve been able, from her NY recital debut at Carnegie’s Weill Recital Hall to her intimate-venue performances around the city, always enjoying her artfully-chosen repertoire of classical piano chestnuts (pieces by Satie, Debussy, Chopin), lesser-known, sometimes even slightly avant-garde works (works by the aforementioned Ginastera, Mason Bates, Carl Vine, Alexander Vladigerov) to dynamic modernist Eastern-European warhorses (Prokofiev’s “Suggestion Diabolique”, Scriabin’s Sonata #3). Stavreva’s performances are intense and frequently electrifying, with plenty of opportunity to showcase her rhythmic prowess and athletic virtuosity. If you haven’t seen her live yet, and if you love thoughtful spirited piano playing, you’re in for a real treat.
But the big news is, aside from how awesome Stavreva is and how you should go check out her stuff right now, she’s got a new record coming out entitled “Rhythmic Movement” and she very much needs your donation support (and soon! just under 2 days left) to raise enough money to record it. Donate whatever you can spare to via her Kickstarter).
Below is some additional information on how you can help this gifted NYC pianist and proponent of new & challenging classical music fund her Kickstarter project:
And here’s a couple clips of Stavreva — in the first she’s playing the 4th movement of Ginastera’s Piano Sonata No. 1, Op.22 — in the second, Variations on a Bulgarian Folk Song “Dilmano, Dilbero”, Op.2 by Vladigerov:
And below, check out more of Tania’s music & bio: