FIU Music Festival: French Classics: Franck and Ravel
November 15, 2017 @ 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm| $5 – $15
A concert to set the mood for the evening’s French chamber music program of César Franck and Maurice Ravel will be performed by FIU Artists-in-Residence, pianist Kemal Gekic and violinist Robert Davidovici.
Sonata in F Major Op. 8 (1865) by Edvard Grieg
Sonate Posthume in A (1897) by Maurice Ravel
Tzigane by Maurice Ravel
Sonata in A by Cesar Franck
ABOUT KEMAL GEKIC
Flamboyant, daring, provocative, exciting, seductive and sensitive are some of the words used to describe one of today’s most formidable pianists, Kemal Gekic, whose playing has been acclaimed worldwide by public and critics alike. Born in Split, Croatia in 1962, Gekić amazed his family by accurately picking out melodies at the piano at age one and a half. The young prodigy received all his early musical training from his aunt, Lorenza Batturina. In 1978 he entered the class pf Prof. Jokuthon Mihailovich (a graduate of Moscow Conservatory) at the Art Academy of Novi Sad, Yugoslavia. He graduated in 1982 with the highest mark ever granted a diploma exam recital, and was immediately given a faculty appointment by the piano department which he eventually directed until 1999. During his school years he won prizes at the Franz Liszt Competition in Parma (1981), the Viana da Motta in Lisbon (1983) and the Yugoslav Artists’ Competition in Zagreb (1984). He earned his Master’s degree in 1985, the same year he created a sensation at the Chopin Competition in Warsaw. Although panned by the jury he won the hearts of audience and critics alike, and began receiving many invitations to perform abroad, including several from the Chopin Society of Hannover, Germany which had awarded him a special prize for best sonata performance at the competition.
A recording of his Warsaw performances sold 60,000 copies in Germany by the end of the year, and the Victor Entertainment Corporation, Japan (JVC) sold 80,000 copies of a CD version in their home country. In the years following the 1985 Chopin Competition, in addition to extensive concert activity in Germany, Denmark, Poland, Czechoslovakia, Bulgaria, Spain, France, Italy, Canada and of course Yugoslavia, he completed tours of the USSR and Japan-Southeast Rim. Programs of his life and his performances were broadcast by RAI Italy, TV Portugal, TV Yugoslavia, NHK Japan, POLTEL Poland, RTV Lower Saxony West Germany, RTV USSR, Intervision, CBC and PBS. Kemal Gekić is Professor of Piano and Artist-in-Residence at Florida International University, a position he has held since 1999. Mr. Gekić ‘s web page can be found at http://www.kemalgekic.com.
ABOUT ROBERT DAVIDOVICI
Acclaimed on five continents, Robert Davidovici, is a virtuoso, known for his spectacular technique and wide-ranging repertoire, fused with magnificent artistry and a compelling stage presence.
Born in Transylvania, Romania, Robert Davidovici began his studies with a student of the legendary David Oistrakh, subsequently studying with Ivan Galamian at The Juilliard School, where, upon graduating, he served as a teaching assistant to the famed Juilliard String Quartet. He is the recipient of several distinguished First Prize honors, among them the Naumburg International Violin Competition and the Carnegie Hall International American Music Violin Competition.
In addition to his solo engagements, Mr. Davidovici is Artist-in-Residence and Professor of Violin at Florida International University and serves as guest professor at distinguished music schools around the world, most recently at Tokyo’s Musashino Academia Musicae, the Universities of Washington and British Columbia and the Australian National University. His multi-faceted career has included appointments as Concertmaster of the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, The Netherlands’ Residentie Orkest and Japan’s Osaka Philharmonic Orchestra and Guest Concertmaster of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, as well as the orchestras of the Chautauqua, Colorado and Grand Teton music festivals.
As an avid chamber musician, Robert Davidovici has collaborated with numerous esteemed colleagues, among them Emanuel Ax, Yefim Bronfman, Lynn Harrell, Cho Liang-Lin, Yo-Yo Ma and Isaac Stern. Carnegie Hall has featured him as part of its “American Music Masters” series, and he was the subject of a television special on Boston’s WGBH.
Robert Davidovici’s recordings appear on the labels of CALA, Centaur, JVC, Meister Music, New World, RPO. Of special note is his 2013 world premiere recording of Paul Kletzki’s Violin Concerto with Grzegorz Nowak conducting London’s Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, an album that also includes Szymanowski’s Violin Concerto #2 and Lutoslawski’s Partita.
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