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A Passing Thought

GiltburgOur 32nd season opened this past Sunday with the Russian-born, Israeli-based pianist Boris Giltburg. He may be young (27 years), and he may not be a household name, but he left no doubt he is an artist to watch.

The buzz in the lobby at intermission was great: one woman described to me his ‘magic fingers’ and the beauty of the tone Boris summoned from the piano. No bashing here.

Boris’s program avoided the crowd-pleasing, bravura works that are often the mainstay of the recital stage, but his repertoire of Prokofiev, Bartok, Franck and Liszt still would have tested the mettle of any pianist. For me, what really set his playing apart were the breathtaking, gossamer pianissimos (if you attended the performance, think of the slow movement of the Prokofiev Sonata). Anyone who has played an instrument knows, it is one thing to make a loud sound, it is entirely different to produce the quietest tones and still have your instrument ‘speak’ with clarion tones.

Boris was charming and gracious in the question-and-answer session that followed his performance. It made the afternoon all that more special to have a glimpse into Boris’s life as a touring musician and his insight into his artistic choices.

Thank you Boris – it was a great way to begin the season!

We would love to hear what you have to say about our opening recital. You can leave your comments here.

Paul Gravett
Executive Director

PS  Boris graced us with two encores: the Rachmaninoff arrangement of Kreisler’s Liebesleid, and the Prelude in C sharp minor, again by Rachmaninoff.

5 thoughts on “A Passing Thought

  1. Hearing Boris Giltburg at the Playhouse yesterday was such a treat! What a GREAT way to kick-start the new season for the VRS!
    I have been a subscriber since my youth(thanks to Ann Harding) and thus have attended many a concert over the years. Boris’ was definitely one of the BEST! I can’t recall a concert that I’ve attended in which the audience was so captivated and zoned in on the artist! The applause after the Franck was thunderous and the way he handled the Liszt to end the program was simply incredible. A spell-binding, riveting emotional journey!

    Thanks Leila for bringing him to Vancouver. PLEASE book him for an encore! I DEFINITELY want to hear him perform again!

  2. More from the VRS Twitter feed (@vanrecital): Thoroughly enjoyed Boris Giltburg’s performance and accompanying post-chat.

    Thank you @vanrecital for having me and my friends at Boris Giltburg’s concert today! Amazing concert & evening.

  3. It was a richly entertaining concert from start to finish. What most impressed me were the instantaneous changes from fortissimo to pianissimo, and the incredible pedal work employed to totally silence the instrument and allow the softer passages to ripple through. I only wish my and my companion’s parking engagements were limited to 2hrs, so that we had to slope out of the hall before the Q&A.

  4. An extraordinary performance by an emerging master. One could hear every note whether fortissimo or pianissimo. This is a young artist who breathes life and emotion into the music he plays. The audience were engaged and on the edge of their seats. There is nothing to beat live performances of this quality. The VRS enables subscribers to listen to some of the best emerging and known recitalists in the world for a modest outlay. If you are new to VRS or contemplating attending a performance, don’t procrastinate, subscribe and join us on the edge of ours seats. Incidentally, anyone who excused themselves from the post performance Q&A with Boris missed a treat.

    Bring back Boris please.

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