Lexington Philharmonic concertmaster Daniel Mason calls pianist Nada Loutfi “the consummate artist” and her all-Chopin recital at Georgetown College on Thursday night (Nov. 8) a Must See/Hear event for piano-lovers.
“This is music that makes violinists like me green with envy…because we don’t have a Chopin,” Mason said. He is the husband of the College’s newest assistant professor of Music (piano) – Mami Hayashida – who lured the internationally-acclaimed Loutfi to play John Hill L. Chapel at 7:30 p.m. Admission is free.
“Nada’s playing is very exciting and this program very accessible,” said Hayashida, who heard her most recently at Kentucky State University about a month ago. Loutfi, a friend of Hayashida and Mason, agreed to play the demanding Six Great Polonaises of Frederic Chopin; the recital will last a little over an hour.
“This is an amazing athletic feat to play all of these in one concert,” said Mason, who has played recitals in Lexington and Louisville with Loutfi. “Playing rapid fire (Chopin) on the piano is obviously difficult – like the decathlon, a very physical undertaking. But with Nada you can sit back and enjoy the acrobatics.”
The polonaises have special meaning to Loutfi going back to her early teens when she was learning piano on her own. “Chopin was the only book I had when my family had to live in exile in the mountains,” said Loutfi, who grew up in war-torn Lebanon in the early ‘70s.
Originally from Beirut, Loutfi was the first woman from the Middle East to take the First Prize at the Paris Conservatory. She has performed in prestigious halls worldwide, including the Steinway Hall in New York City, Kilbourn Hall at Eastman School of Music, and at the Salzburg Festival in Austria. These days she is an adjunct professor at the University of Louisville and is artist-in-residence at WUOL – “Classical 90.5 FM.”
On her website is this accolade that will resonate with Kentuckians: Following her American orchestral debut (Beethoven with the Louisville Orchestra), conductor Lawrence Leighton Smith said, “Ms. Loutfi will be most deserving of every success that will undoubtedly come her way. I have rarely felt so satisfied in a collaboration … She is a major talent.”
- Op. 26 No.1 in C# minor
- Op.26 No.2 in Eb minor
- Op.40 No. 1 in A Major, “Military”
- Op. 40 No. 2 in C minor,
- Op.44 in F# minor
- Op.53 in Ab Major, “Heroic”