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Internationally Renowned Classical Pianist Anton Nel in Concert

By Mittie Roger

Renowned pianist Anton Nel will make his San Miguel debut on Saturday & Sunday, March 11 and 12, at 5 pm at St. Paul’s Church on Calle Cardo. An international award-winner since the age of 12, Nel has toured the world for over four decades, playing in the most prestigious venues.

Pro Musica Concert Series
By Anton Nel, piano
Sat and Sun, Mar 11 and 12, 5pm
St. Paul’s Church, Calle Cardo
150, 250, 350 pesos.

Following his auspicious debut with Beethoven’s C Major Concerto after only two years of study, the Johannesburg native captured first prizes in all the major South African competitions while still in his teens and became a well-known radio and television personality. With an active repertoire of more than 100 works for piano and orchestra, he is renowned as an acclaimed Beethoven interpreter. Having performed the concerto cycle several times, he has also given all-Beethoven solo recitals, complete cycles of the violin and cello sonatas and, most recently, a highly successful run of the Diabelli Variations, as part of Moises Kaufman’s play “33 Variations.” His recordings include four solo CDs, several chamber music recordings, and works for piano and orchestra by Franck, Faure, and Saint-Saens.

Saturday’s concert will include Debussy, Beethoven, Schuman, and Kodály. Debussy completed his charming masterpiece “Suite Bergamasque” in 1905, inspired by the poetry of Verlaine. Schumann’s “Faschingsschwank aus Wien,” translated as “Carnival Merriment of Vienna; Fantasy Scenes.” It was described by Schumann as a romantic spectacle, while a critic described it thusly: “Flashes of humor appear at every turn; skyrockets of wit and unbridled merriment soar upwards into the skies from all sides.” Beethoven’s “Waldstein” Sonata opens with a searching Adagio molto that leads the listener seamlessly into the exhilarating Rondo finale. Hungarian composer Kodály was deeply connected to folk music until travels in Europe expanded his musical horizons. He then found profound inspiration in Debussy, going on to compose “Meditation on a Motive of Debussy” in his fellow composer’s honor.

Sunday’s concert will feature Haydn, Debussy, Granados, and Schubert. This is the centenary of the tragic death of pianist and composer Enrique Granados, whose ship was torpedoed by a German submarine after leaving the US in 1916. We will hear his “Allegro de Concerto in C Major,” which evokes flamenco dance through its rapid, guitar strumming-type rhythms. Schubert’s artistic immortality was also achieved during a prolific, short life and the “Sonata in B-flat Major” was his last, incredibly brilliant, work. After Bach, Haydn was the grandfather of much of the following century’s music and he transformed the genre from the Baroque to the Romantic era. We will hear his Sonata in A-flat, which has many Baroque embellishments and a free form, for which Nel is brilliantly adept at bringing out the clarity and vision of the work. He will also perform three of Debussy’s Preludes, also inspired by Bach.

Tickets for the concerts at St. Paul’s are 150, 250, and 350 pesos donation each, and are on sale at the Tesoros shop in the 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.

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


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