Richard Dowling, the Man with the Golden Fingers, Returns

By Michael Pearl

Richard Dowling

Richard Dowling is not just a much loved pianist—he is an institution, packing concert halls wherever he goes with his unique blend of superb musicianship, his flair for showmanship, and his gift for drawing audiences into the music with anecdotes about the music he plays. For the first time ever, Dowling will play a fall concert for Pro Musica, Saturday, October 11, 5pm, St. Paul’s Church, calle Cardo 6.

Pro Musica Concert Series
Richard Dowling, piano
Sat, Oct 11, 5pm
St. Paul’s Church
Calle Cardo 6
120/250/350 pesos

Amore Duo, guitar & oboe
Sat, Nov 8, 5pm
St. Paul’s Church
Cardo 6

Special High Tea concert in a
private home
Details to come
Sun, Nov 9, 4pm

In the US, Richard has received nationwide attention for recitals on the PBS television program Debut and has been heard on the NPR radio program Performance Today. In New York, he performed in Central Park with an orchestra and in recitals at Lincoln Center’s Damrosch Park, the 92nd Street Y, Steinway Hall, the Kosciuszko Foundation, Trinity Church, St. Bartholomew’s Church, the Metropolitan Museum, the Metropolitan Club, the Dahesh Museum, Christie’s, the Rainbow Room at Rockefeller Center, the Brooklyn Conservatory, and Concordia College.

Dowling’s concert tomorrow will exhibit not only his virtuosity, but also the incredible range of his repertoire. I wrote in these pages in detail last week about the program he will play at St. Paul’s, so I will not repeat those remarks here. Suffice it to say, however, that the music offered will range from Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata, through Chopin to Rachmaninoff, by way of Bach, Liszt and Debussy, and end triumphantly with Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue, arranged by Dowling himself.

As many of you will know, Richard Dowling is a versatile recording artist with over a dozen CDs of classical, chamber, ragtime, jazz, and popular music to his credit. His work has received glowing reviews that praise him as “a master of creating beautiful sounds with impeccable control of colors and textures,” as “a musician with something to say, the skill to say it and the magnetic power to make you want to listen” and for giving “a superb recital that left the audience craving for more at the end.”

In 1998, he celebrated the centennial of the birth of George Gershwin by performing his complete solo and orchestral works for piano, including, of course, Rhapsody in Blue. He has recorded two classical CDs of piano works by Chopin, three CDs of cello and piano works, with cellist Evan Drachman, and a three CD set of popular easy listening songs called, A Perfect Moment. His most recent recording, Music of Old New York, features songs and piano rags inspired by The Big Apple at the turn of the century.

Richard has established himself internationally with performances in China, Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, Australia, South Africa, Mexico, Ecuador, Germany, Austria, Italy, and France. In 1994, he was one of only two Americans chosen to perform before massive audiences in stadiums in Shanghai and Nanjing, China. In 1995, he was invited to give master classes at the Academy for Performing Arts in Hong Kong. In 1997, he performed a critically acclaimed recital in Singapore at Victoria Concert Hall and presented master classes at LaSalle SIA College of the Arts and the Young Musicians’ Society in Singapore. In 1998, he performed six recitals in Singapore and Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, including a performance honoring the new American ambassador to Singapore.

Dowling has long felt a special affinity for French music, art, and culture. He studied at France at the Conservatoire in Nice, received the Grand Prix from the French Piano Institute, and made his formal recital debut in Paris at the Salle Cortot. He has performed many recitals in churches, private estates, and summer festivals. His repertoire includes the complete solo piano works of the renowned French composer Maurice Ravel. In addition to his career as a concert pianist, he works as an editor for Ludwig/Masters Music Publications and Alfred Music Publishing, for whom he has produced critical performing editions of piano and chamber works by Confrey, Debussy, Fauré, Gershwin, Hummel, Mendelssohn, the complete solo piano works of Ravel, and most recently Ravel’s  Piano Trio. In recognition of his dedication to France and French musical art, Richard was inducted as a Chevalier of the renowned Company of Musketeers of Armagnac, an honor society founded in the 17th century by D’Artagnan. He is one of only a few Americans ever granted that distinction.

Tickets for all Pro Musica concerts may be purchased at: La Tienda in the Biblioteca Pública, Insurgentes 25; Solutions, Mesones 57; La Conexión, Aldama 3; La Conexión, Libramiento a Dolores Hidalgo 11; and at the door, half an hour before each concert begins.


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