28. Flying Solo
Updated: Oct 24, 2020
In addition to getting some of my ensemble pieces performed at the Portland Conservatory, I also presented three solo piano performances.
The first was my performance of two original compositions at the annual Conservatory sponsored Back Cove Contemporary Music Festival. The two pieces I performed were Collage and Rhapsodic Variations. I had composed them while working at the conservatory and was eager to play them for an audience. The performance went well and the review which you can see part of on the homepage of this site was a positive one which stated that my music demonstrated that "the romantic spirit is alive and well at the conservatory." I subsequently started to consider myself something of a neo-romanticist.
My next solo performance was more ambitious in scope. I decided to put on a full length recital playing Ravel's Sonatine, Beethoven's Sonata Op. 13, a piano arrangement of Wagner's Prelude to Tristan and Isolde, and my Five Piano Preludes Based on Books and Movements 1 & 2 of Blue Ballet Suite. The recital went well and was fairly well attended even with the $12 - $15 ticket price. I was especially moved after the recital when a pianist friend of mine who I respect immensely presented me with a volume of Preludes by Andre Previn. My being committed to both jazz and classical music made Andre Previn's music the perfect choice.
The third solo performance I gave was at another Back Cove Contemporary Music Festival shortly before I left the Conservatory and moved to California for six years. I played my five Dreamscape Nocturnes and it was the most rewarding performance of my own piano works to date. I still treasure the review of that performance, part of which you can also read on the homepage of this site for its affirmation that "Gans is at his best when most daring."