Brian Ganz Plays: a Master of Chopin and Much More

Brian Ganz

By Mittie Roger

Brian Ganz makes his San Miguel debut! A unique and tremendously talented pianist, he is devoting 10 years to playing in concert every piece Chopin ever wrote: over 250 compositions. For that reason, the second half of each performance will highlight both unusual and well-known Chopin pieces. Friday’s program will also feature Beethoven’s Pathetique Sonata and Debussy’s Images. On Sunday, Beethoven’s Sonata in E Major and Debussy Preludes will be included. These two performances make San Miguel one of the musical destinations of the largest worldwide Chopin festival in history.

Pro Musica Concert Series
Piano: Brian Ganz
Fri, Mar 20 and Sun, Mar 22, 5pm
St. Paul’s Church
Cardo 6
120/250/350 pesos

Ganz has challenged himself to fuse precise and lively music with a welcoming stage presence to produce a new kind of listening experience, in which the classics come to life with true emotional power. As one of Belgium’s leading newspapers, La Libre Belgique, once put it, “We don’t have the words to speak of this fabulous musician who lives music with a generous urgency and brings his public into a state of intense joy.” Ganz is widely considered one of the greatest pianists of his generation. A laureate of the Marguerite Long Jacques Thibaud and the Queen Elisabeth of Belgium International Piano Competitions, he has appeared as soloist with such orchestras as the St. Louis Symphony, the St. Petersburg Philharmonic, the Baltimore Symphony, the National Philharmonic, and many more. In 2011, Ganz began his multi-year partnership Extreme Chopin project with the National Philharmonic.

Beethoven’s Pathetique Sonata, featured on Friday, is an impressive sonata, composed when Beethoven was only 27. The nickname originated with the publisher. It is dedicated to his patron, Prince Lichnowsky, who had taken the young composer into his home. Debussy’s Images will also be featured on Friday. The composer took a very visual approach to his music, saying “I love pictures almost as much as music,” and he created visions with his compositions, lending themselves to titles such as “Reflections in the Water” and “Engulfed Cathedral.”

Sunday will highlight Beethoven’s Sonata in E major, composed in 1820, at which point Beethoven had completely mastered his craft and was composing straight from the heart. He no longer struggled to fit musical expression into pre-existing molds; his forms followed their function. Dedicated to Maximiliane Brentano, daughter of, arguably, Beethoven’s immortal beloved; this sonata is full of emotion. Ganz will also perform Debussy’s Preludes, which mimic those of Bach and Chopin. The titles reflect their inspirations, hinting at the origins of the compositions.

Tickets for the concerts at St. Paul’s Church are 120/250/350 pesos donation each, and are on sale at La Tienda in La Biblioteca Pública; La Conexión (only at Aldama 3); the School of Arts at the Instituto Allende, Ancha de San Antonio 22; and at the concert half an hour before performance time.

In conjunction with the concerts, the film Impromptu with Hugh Grant as Chopin will be shown at the Teatro Santa Ana in La Biblioteca on Wednesday, March 18 at 4pm.

Details of all Pro Musica’s concerts and Patron Membership are on our new web site,, or contact us at


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