Preludes and Fantasies: A Music Salon at Reid Hall

Preludes and Fantasies: A Music Salon at Reid Hall

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Reid Hall

4 Rue de Chevreuse

75006 Paris

France

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Join pianist John Kamfonas for the first Salon Concert at Reid Hall

À propos de cet évènement

As an important artistic forum during the 19th century, the European salons hosted frequent performances by almost all major pianist composers of the time including Beethoven Chopin and Liszt among others. With a small audience gathered in these intimate settings, trailblazing musicians pushed the boundaries of their artform showcasing their innovative approaches through improvised preludes and fantasies while also premiering original compositions and interpreting works of the past. Providing something between public concert and private demonstration in close proximity to listeners, these salons encouraged the performers to take risks with new material and facilitated the experimental and somewhat unpredictable nature of these events. Inspired to cultivate a contemporary counterpart to this concert format that animated Parisian cultural life in centuries passed, pianist John Kamfonas will launch the first Salon Concert at Reid Hall with a program of preludes and fantasies by Beethoven, Liszt, Debussy and Rzewski in direct dialogue with his own improvised creations.

Artist Bio

Embracing his penchant for improvisation alongside his passion for the classical and contemporary repertoire, American pianist John Kamfonas has given performances around the world, from New York to India, Paris to Beijing, which have been described as possessing "a grandeur that lifted the music into the sublime...and a delicacy that took one's breath away." (National Herald, New York) Recent solo concerts include performances at Merkin Hall (New York), Benderly-Kendall Opera House (Arizona), Salle Cortot (Paris), Aspen Music Festival, Beijing International Music Festival, and Atlantic Music Festival. Residing in Paris since 2013, John has conducted performance residencies at the Cité Internationale des Arts (2018, 2021) and at the Fondation des Etats-Unis (2014-2017) as a Harriet Hale Woolley fellow where part of his 2016 solo recital was broadcast nationally on French TV channel TF1. During this residency, he also founded the ongoing biweekly concert series “Rendez-vous musicaux” which features resident musicians in performance to this day.

As a frequent collaborator, John has premiered works by world renowned composers including George Tsontakis, Eric Ewazen, and Victor Kioulaphides whose piano trio had its world premiere in 2012. Seeking projects that explore the intersection between improvisation and composition, he performed “Engrenages” by Alexandros Markeas as an improvising soloist with the Versailles conservatory saxophone quartet in 2017. The following year, John toured the US with cellist Eric Edberg presenting duo improvisations and the complete cello and piano works by American composer, Alan Hovhaness. An interest in cross-cultural projects has led to performances with several members of Yo-Yo Ma’s Silk Road Ensemble and with Indian classical singer Amit Chaudhuri through Columbia University’s Institute for Ideas and Imagination in 2019.

John received a bachelor’s degree from Columbia University (CC) in 2009, a master of music from the Manhattan School of Music in 2011 and artist diplomas from the École Normale de Musique de Paris in 2017 and 2020 respectively. He is currently pursuing a PhD in the joint doctoral performance program between the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique de Paris and the Sorbonne Université with scholarships from the Fondation Meyer and the Fondation Société Générale. His principal teachers include Jean-François Zygel, Phillip Kawin, Jean-David Coen, Marian Rybicki, and Jean Fassina.

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