Beethoven’s monumental cycle of 32 Piano Sonatas are the subject of pianist Adam Golka’s tribute to the great Viennese master on the 250th anniversary of his birth falling in December of this year. Already by the age of 18, Mr. Golka had this great repertoire challenge well under his fingers and performed them in public. After all, Golka studied with such great Beethoven pianists as Leon Fleisher, Alfred Brendel, András Schiff, or Murray Perahia.
Coming from a musical family (his brother, Tomasz Golka, is a noted conductor), the Golka brothers performed the cycle of five Beethoven Piano Concertos with Lubbock Symphony in Texas some years ago. Clearly, Beethoven is the Golka’s family favorite composer. Adam Golka’s plans for this year included recitals with all of Beethoven Sonatas in a number of cities across the United States. For now, with public concerts temporarily suspended, Mr. Golka has been producing a series of charming videos, “32@32” and releasing the first volume of Beethoven’s Sonatas on the First Hand Record label. Several of Adam Golka’s videos are available on YouTube:
Op. 2 #1 with Leon Fleisher: www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lpzq3i1w3tQ
Op. 2 #2 with Edmund Michael Frederick (at the Frederick Collection of Historic Pianos): www.youtube.com/watch?v=eXOtE3FDheE
Op. 7 with Buddhist Reverend Earl Ikeda: www.youtube.com/watch?v=nVuWh0zUciA.
Posted last week, the most recent video is, in Adam Golka’s words, “full of magic.” For this musical encounter Mr. Golka enlisted delightful assistance from Igor Lipinski, another talented young pianist who also happens to be a highly accomplished magician. Readers of this Newsletter (and attendees of the Paderewski Festival in Paso Robles) might remember Mr. Lipinski’s performances of standard piano repertoire staples interspersed with all kinds of astounding card tricks. His skills with piano keys and playing cards were also put to great use when Mr. Lipinski assisted the Paderewski Festival’s Youth Cultural Exchange Program in Kąśna Dolna in 2011.
Watch Adam Golka and Igor Lipinski “interact” with Beethoven’s Sonata Op. 14 no. 2 here: www.youtube.com/watch?v=NBcX5YdNeo8&feature=youtu.be
Currently, Adam Golka is Artist-in-Residence at the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts, where he teaches piano, chamber music, and conducts the Holy Cross Chamber Orchestra. More information can be found on his website: www.adamgolka.com
As the Buffalo News put it, “Igor Lipinski holds a special card in his hands. His performances are magical. Literally.” More information at: www.igorlipinski.com.