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    July 2009

    The Newport (R.I.) Daily News

    ... Pianist Grigorios Zamparas played a nocturne by Russia’s Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky titled “Complaint,” based on two themes from the music for Aleksandr Ostrovsky’s play “The Snow Maiden.” The tranquil work was a lovely interlude after the Tarentelle, and before the next and final selection before intermission, the “Piano Trio in D Minor, Op. 32,” by Russia’s Anton Arensky. The trio combined the talents of Sohn and Zamparas, along with that of cellist Sergey Antonov. The original work was dedicated by Arensky to the memory of Russian cellist Karl Davidoff, who was director of the Petersburg conservatory during the composer’s time there as a student. And what a treat it was!

    The Adagio moderato began with a forceful motif, a beautiful and soulful blending of sounds that were altogether exciting. It migrated into a musically light-hearted romp with exquisite coordination, the violin taking the high register and the cello providing the beautifully articulated underpinnings. Throughout, the piano framed the two instruments.

    The Scherzo featured pizzicato by the violin and cello, and crashing arpeggios by the piano. The violin and cello soared in this lush and sonorous section as waves of melody seemed to wash the room of all else save its sounds. The two strings playfully echoed each other’s refrains. Moving into the Elegia, the violin shadowed the cello’s slow expressive stride as the piano backgrounded them. Almost as though tip-toeing through the musical register, the instrumentation undulated at first gently and then with increasing intensity as the cello then shadowed the violin’s melody. The trio of players coaxed the notes to lie gently on the air at the end.

    Abruptly, the three players plunged into the finale with speed, precision and emotion — a piece de resistance for all three. Midway through the section the listener heard throwbacks to the thematic strains heard throughout the piece, which concluded vibrantly to the enthusiastic appreciation of the audience.

    Sergei Rachmaninoff ’s “Symphonic Dances, Op. 45” rounded out the program with a Russian flair and dual piano playing by Zamparas and del Pino.

    The Lento third movement’s midsection — almost a reverie — ended abruptly with the entrance of strident chording, almost louder than you would imagine two pianos could sound. As the music accelerated, keying became more agitated, and then coalesced as the two pianos and their music fused to fill the room to overflowing with Russian soul. A standing ovation of some duration left the players with certainty that the audience

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    performance kicks off with a bang

    By Sandra Matuschka, July 2009

    The Newport (R.I.) Daily News

    NEWPORT — ... The spectacular piano artistry of Grigorios Zamparas formed the entire second half of the concert as he performed the “Etudes Symphoniques en Forme de Variations, Op. 13.” Although composed by Schumann when he was 34, it was revised later when he was 42. It is popular in concert halls, which is easy to understand as you listen to Zamparas. The piece opens with “Theme — Andante,” and proceeds through 12 etudes of various emotional stripes before concluding.

    The playfulness apparent in this selection seemed to be more about variations, moving quickly from one tempo, mood or playing style to another, providing a musical portrait of a man of complexity. The changing musical directions kept the audience alert, eager to follow the next turn of a chord, whether melodious and fluid, sprightly, thunderous or peaceful. All the while, Zamparas’ fingers flew, spinning his piano magic.

    The uplifting conclusion, with its crashing chords, was energetic and fulsome. Its repeated thematic excitement provided just the ticket to end the day. The “Finale — Allegro brillante” was just that — brilliant!

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    teacher recital shows off talent

    By Barbara Routen, May 2009

    Tampa Bay Tribune

    TAMPA - The Mid-State Music Teachers Association Lois Golding Memorial Teacher Showcase Recital April 26 was "a wonderful opportunity for us, as teachers, to continue performing," said chairwoman Angela Miller.

    "The performances were stellar, and hopefully next year there will be more people in the audience to experience them," Miller said.

    The opening piece, "Reflets Dans L'Eau" by Claude Debussy, was performed by pianist Theo Boylan of Piano Distributors in Brandon while a changing presentation of impressionist water-scene paintings was projected on a screen behind her.

    Ken Hanks played a brilliant piano accompaniment of Cesar Franck's Sonata in A Major for Cello and Piano for cellist Carlos Audi of Brandon.

    Three familiar pieces were played on individual Clavinovas by an ensemble consisting of Boylan, Hanks, Miller, Betty Chester, Virginia Grissom, Mary Holmes and Sheila Shindorf. Grigorios Zamparas, concert pianist and University of Tampa assistant professor, played on a 9-foot Steinway grand piano with the ensemble.

    Greek-born Zamparas stole the show with his 23-minute, memorized rendition of Robert Schumann's Symphonic Etudes, Op. 13.

    Proceeds from the event will fund the continuing education of area music teachers.

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    local musicians to present annual teacher showcase recital

    By Barbara Routen, April 2009

    Tampa Bay Tribune

    YBOR CITY - The annual Lois Golding Memorial Benefit Concert Teacher Showcase Recital, sponsored by the Mid-State Music Teachers Association, will highlight musical genres ranging from classical to popular beginning at 4 p.m. April 26, on the main stage of the Performing Arts Building at the Hillsborough Community College Ybor Campus, 1304 11th Avenue

    Performing will be some of the area's best musicians who also teach. Among them will be Grigorios Zamparas, pianist and assistant professor of the University of Tampa, who recently performed an inspiring rendition of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's "Quintet for Piano and Winds in E-flat major" with the Swiss Wind Quintet.

    Cellist Carlos Audi of Brandon will play, accompanied by Ken Hanks, pianist. A clavinova ensemble of Virginia Grissom, Helen Morrison, Angela Miller and Theo Boylan will perform on individual Yamaha Clavinova digital pianos provided by Piano Distributors.

    Proceeds will benefit the Lois Golding Scholarship Fund "to provide ongoing teacher education scholarships," Boylan said. Golding, a former piano professor at the University of South Florida, was devoted to her students, several of whom became members of the Mid-State Music Teachers Association, Boylan said.

    The association provides professional support for music teachers and their students and helps people find qualified teachers. It includes teachers from the University of Tampa, Hillsborough Community College, Hillsborough County schools and private studios in the Tampa Bay area, including Valrico, Brandon, Seffner, Mango, Sun City Center, Wesley Chapel, Land O'Lakes and Carrollwood.

    Tickets can be purchased for $5 at the door or from any Mid-State Music Teachers Association member. The names and contact information for members is located at www.midstate

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    music, poetry, nature merge at newport music festival

    Concert shows off versatility of pair of Russian composers

    By Sandra Matuschka, July 2008

    The Newport Daily News

    NEWPORT — The aptly named “Vodka and Caviar” Newport Music Festival concert at The Elms on Thursday presented an elegant salon-style feast of romantic Russian piano music, served in fine style by three accomplished pianists.

    ... Pianist Grigorios Zamparas opened the Mussorgsky pieces that fell between the years of 1871 and 1880 with a light-hearted Scherzino. Mother Nature also decided to perform as thunder rumbled in the background, daylight dimmed theatrically, and finally the sound of heavy rain contrasted with the soft notes of the selection’s ending.

    A sprightly parade-like festive air pervaded “Hopak,” from the Opera “Sorochintsy Fair.” Somehow, the smell of wet grass and earth that wafted into the ornate room complemented the “Fair,” and the dark sky and thunder — appropriate for the romantic Russian selections — became part of the performances themselves.

    The “Cappriccio” began with march-like and repetitious musical notation, then opened to more melodic strains, softly backgrounded by the marchlike air. The piece was a good contrast to what followed — a meditation (“Meditáció”). This gentle reverie paired beautifully with the insistent heavy rain, creating a meld of nature and art to sooth the spirit.

    Zamparas’ playing did more than justice to Mussorgsky’s compositions,and the audience responded accordingly.

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    yamaha celebrates 20th anniversary as official piano of newport music festival

    Festival's 39th Season Features Complement of 22 Yamaha Concert Grand, Conservatory Grand and Digital Pianos

    November 2007


    BUENA PARK, Calif. — The venerable Newport Music Festival, unsurpassed as the crown jewel of summer destinations for chamber music performances, celebrated its 39th season July 6-22 with 58 concerts featuring 60 artists from 16 countries. This summer marked the 20th anniversary featuring Yamaha as the official piano, during which time 143 pianists from around the world have graced Newport's stages. Yamaha provided two CFIIIS concert and three C7 conservatory grand pianos from Yamaha Artist Services, Inc. (YASI) and one S4, two C3 conservatory, six upright and eight Clavinova digital pianos from Yamaha Corporation of America for a total of 22 pianos this year. Concerts were held at 13 locations including Belle Mer Island House, Belle Mer Salon, The Breakers, The Elms, The Elms Lawn Tent, The Elms Sunken Garden Tent, Emmanuel Episcopal Church, Marble House, Ochre Court Dining Room, Ochre Grand Hall, Rosecliff, Rosecliff Tent and a concert cruise aboard the motor vessel Vista Jubilee.

    The 2007 Newport Music Festival was distinguished with one North American debut, the 14-year old Italian pianist Niccolò Cantagallo, and 28 Newport debuts (including the 14 members of Newport Virtuosi). Cantagallo, a secondgeneration member of Newport's "Family of Artists," shared the stage with his uncle, Luigi Piovano, one of the Festival's favorite cellists, and pianist Kevin Fitz-Gerald.

    Each year, general director Dr. Mark P. Malkovich III travels the world and screens queries to find the most talented artists to satisfy the discriminating tastes of Newport audiences who flock to the famed Gilded Age "summer cottages" of Newport, Rhode Island. Asked about this year's "finds," Malkovich quickly mentions Adam Golka, calling him "a sensational 20-year old pianist." The son of Polish musicians who fled Communist Poland and settled in Texas, Golka was born in Houston and started piano studies with his mother.

    "Michael Endres may be the greatest living German pianist, and Craig Sheppard, who appeared in his Newport debut, offered an inventive program of Bach's two- and three-part inventions. Everyone was so superb," Malkovich states. "Daniel del Pino from Spain, Grigorios Zamparas from Greece, Yamaha artist Pedja Muźijević, Allain Jacquon and Jean-Phillippe Collard from France, all did an immense amount of work because, unfortunately, Bernadette Blaha (who is married to Kevin Fitz-Gerald) was in an auto accident and had to cancel just three weeks before the Festival. I had to re-schedule 15 concerts and offered them to those five pianists. All accepted joyfully, and learned a tremendous amount of new repertoire." Other pianists on this year's roster included Eduardus Halim (US), Stéphane Lemelin (Canada), John Lenehan (England) and Ren Zhang (China).

    Collard made his American debut in Newport 30 years ago and was recently awarded the French Legion of Honor medal. "He returned as a great master and brought his three sons with him," says Malkovich. "They are all in their 20s and 30s now, and have all worked on the Festival staff for many seasons. When Jean-Phillippe's first son came to Newport, he was five years old and would sit at the foot of the piano while his father played.

    "Newport has spawned many such relationships," Malkovich continues. "Violinists Livia Sohn and Geoff Nuttall met here and returned this year with their son, Jack. I call Newport a 'Family of Artists' because I love the idea of family and because it does feel like a family. The artists all live together in a big dormitory, have breakfast together every morning, and engage in rehearsals and performances throughout the day."

    The Newport Music Festival was one of Patricia Schultz' must-visit recommendations in her new book, "1,000 Places to See in the U.S.A. and Canada Before You Die."

    For more info, visit For more information, write Yamaha Corporation of America, Piano Division, P.O. Box 6600, Buena Park, CA 90622; telephone: (714)522-9011; or e-mail:

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    Future on stage looks bright for Zamparas

    Pianist shows poise in Mainly Mozart finale

    By Charles Greenfield, July 2006


    The 2006 Mainly Mozart Festival season ended July 9 at the Colonnade Hotel with a bang-up performance by Greek-born pianist Grigorios Zamparas in works by Mozart, Schubert, Beethoven and Liszt. Zamparas, a doctoral student at the University of Miami Frost School of Music, studies under Ivan Davis and Frank Cooper, among others, and received his masters degree in piano from Indiana University.

    In May 2005, he recorded early works by Beethoven for piano and orchestra on CD for Centaur Records (CRC2725).

    My mother, Dr. Ruth Greenfield, who was UM's first doctoral graduate in music in 1976, once told me, "When you play Mozart, there is no place to hide!" Transparency and clarity are his trademarks. Zamparas started his recital with Wolfga ng Amdadeus Mozart's (1756-91) Sonata in B-flat major, K.281. The early work from 1774-75 has a seemingly innocent charm that is belied by the occasional pathos of its relative G minor modulation. Zamparas got off to a somewhat nervous start in the Allegro beginning as the wonderful trills and ornamentation seemed rushed. In the Andante amoroso he better secured the·musicallandscape with its stately and melodic contours and broken chords. By the last movement Rondeau he nicely brought out the impish humour with its jokey trills and giggling runs.

    In the second work, Franz Schubert's (1797 -1828) Sonata in A-flat major, D. 557, the short-lived composer was only 20 when he wrote it. From the elegant pace of the beginning broken chord dotted-eights of the home key, Zamparas emphasizes the almost Mozartean sweetness of melody complemented by Schubert's stiffer harmonics. Octaves repeat the melody I ike a gay fanfare. Only 11 minutes long, musicologists have long wondered if there was a movement missing. The question is hardly idle since many of Schubert's compositions were unfinished due to his amazing fluency. Zamparas in the second movement adeptly balances the demands of alternating hands for the main melody and in the midsection brought out the more animated bass. In the final movement a darker element enters despite the almost childish briskness which the pianist handled well with descending scales, sharp modulating chords and quick exchanges of the main melody between right and left hands.

    Zamparas concluded the first half with Ludwig van Beeth oven's (1770-1827) Rondo a capriccio in G major, op. 129, known after his death as "The Rage Over the Lost Penny." From the get-go the whirling dervish of its sixteenth notes and propulsive motion make the work a real crowd pleaser. Zamparas kept at the pace with determination although I prefer a faster tempo. Beethoven's improvisatory genius comes forward aggressively and Zamparas showed panache as he dashedfrom variation to variation. Perhaps some of the sly humour could have been better accented.

    After intermission it was another Schubert sonata, this time, the unfinished Sonata in C major, D. 613/612 with only its completed middle movement. While the A-flat major harkened back to Mozart, the C major nods its head towards Beethoven. Zam paras handled the melody exchange between the two hands as well as the repetitions with competence. The final movement had a slow lullaby lilt with little runs, arpeggios and trills.

    After the early works of Mozart, Schubert and Beethoven, it was time for fullblown romanticism. No one better epitomizes the synthesis of ego and musicality than Franz Liszt (18 11-1886). Zamparas chose the Fantasia quasi Sonata "Apres une lecture de Dante" from 1849, after the extraordinary composer-pianist-cult figure had left the stage for composing and conducting, mostly out of Weimar, Germany.

    Despite the standard criticism that Liszt's music is bombastic, his influence on early 20'h century music (Debussy, Ravel, Bartok) remains undeniable. A close listening also reveals the poetry behind the surging octaves and dramatic crescendos. Starting with the descending "devil's chord" or tritones in the first few bars Zamparas refrained from rushing the "descent" into Dante's Inferno, a strategy that paid off with a consistent and coherent journey replete with towering octaves yet punctuated by softer pianissimos, especially the beautiful peeling of bells in the Andante ending in D major. Almost orchestral in effect, Liszt's tone poem hints at transformation after the torment.

    Zamparas will soon gain his doctorate in music and a fine career as a performer is inevitable.

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"Zamparas demonstrated graceful piano technique and was especially adroit in piano runs and changing tempos of the scherzo…"

The Newport Daily News