Audrey Vardanega, piano
with special guest Robert Schwartz, piano
Franz Schubert Fantasie in F minor for piano four hands and Piano Sonata in B-flat major, D. 960
Praised as a player “with the kind of freedom, authority, and strength…that one expects from the world’s finest pianists” (Berkeley Daily Planet), 21-year-old Audrey Vardanega made her solo debut with IMG Artists’ Festival del Sole at the age of 12 and became the youngest soloist in the history of the Midsummer Mozart Festival with Maestro George Cleve at the age of 15. She has been featured as a soloist at the Hangzhou Grand Theater, the Zhejiang Conservatory of Music, Herbst Theater, and the Crowden School, among others. Her past primary instructors include Seymour Lipkin, Jeremy Siepmann, Christopher Elton, Robert Schwartz, and Victor Rosenbaum. Along with five other internationally selected pianists, Vardanega participated in the Carnegie Hall Workshops with Jonathan Biss in February 2017 and was selected as a fellow for the 2017 Ravinia Steans Music Festival. After receiving her B.A. from Columbia University in Political Science in May 2017, she plans to begin her Masters in piano performance in the Fall under the tutelage of Richard Goode at Mannes College The New School. This concert will feature an all-Schubert program. Schubert, a Viennese composer who lived in the shadow of Beethoven, wrote music that celebrates introspection and pushed the boundaries of form and structure. In this program, Vardanega explores Schubert through his D 960 Piano Sonata, the last sonata he wrote before his early death at the age of 31, and is joined by guest pianist Robert Schwartz in a performance of his Fantasie in F minor for piano four hands. Winner of numerous awards, including the 1975 Ravel Prize at the Marguerite Long International Competition in Paris, pianist Robert Schwartz has performed extensively in the U.S. and abroad, including numerous appearances at Old First Concerts.