By Margaret Edwards
On Sunday, March 10, 2013, at 2 p.m., pianist Mana Tokuno will return to the Woodstock Universalist Unitarian Church to open its 2013 Classical Music Series. For this concert, she will perform an all-Schumann program: “Papillons” (Op. 2), “Arabesque” (Op. 18) and “Carnaval” (Op. 9). In addition to playing these pieces, Ms. Tokuno will discuss the interaction between the German Romantic Movement and Schumann’s life and music. Admission is free, but donations to the UU are appreciated.
Ms. Tokuno has chosen an all-Schumann program to honor the 250th anniversary of the birth of German romantic novelist Jean Paul Friedrich Richter, a writer whose novels profoundly inspired Schumann as a young man. As the eighteen-year-old composer wrote in his diary in 1828, “I wonder where I would be if I had never gotten to know Jean Paul.” Within the next few years, Schumann wrote some of the most important piano pieces of the German Romantic Era (some of which will be performed in this concert) based on Richter’s works. Ms. Tokuno will discuss the close connection between those works and Schumann’s music.
Ms. Tokuno has received wide-spread acclaim for her sensitive and insightful interpretations and her brilliant virtuosity. She has won many international piano competitions and has performed throughout the world. Ms. Tokuno received her formal training at Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and at the New England Conservatory in Boston. She has been on the faculty of Phillips Academy in Andover, and currently is on the faculty of the New EnglandConservatory Preparatory School in Boston.
Next in the UU Sundays at 2 Classical Music Series will be a performance on April 21 by a popular Upper Valley group, the Camerata New England Piano Trio. On May 19 the Aeolus String Quartet will return and perform. Their 2012 concert at the UU was highly acclaimed.