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Bugallo-Williams Piano Duo

Saturday, October 27, 2012 at 8:00 p.m.

PONCHO Hall, 710 East Roy Street, Seattle, WA

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The phenomenal technique and artistry of this dynamic two piano duo; Helena Bugallo and Amy Williams in a concert tribute to two American mavericks born 100 years ago: John Cage and Conlon Nancarrow.

[Bugallo and Williams]… digital and physical virtuosity was nothing short of jaw-dropping as they managed to surmount all the technical hurdles and put across a graceful communicative musical performance that stands as one of the most thrilling feats of musical virtuosity heard this year.

Lawrence A. Johnson, The Miami Herald

Photo: John Mazlish

Program
Nancarrow: Study for Player Piano #3b
Williams: Abstracted Art I and II
Ligeti: Three Pieces for Two Pianos
Nancarrow: Sonatina
Nancarrow: Studies for Player Piano #9 and #20
Bach: Contrapunctus 8b from Art of the Fugue
Kurtag: selected works
Cage: Experience No. 1 for two pianos (1948)
Nancarrow: Studies for Player Piano #4, 6, 18, 15

Hailed as “beyond brilliant” (San Francisco Classical Voice) and “simply stunning” (Gramophone), the Bugallo-Williams Piano Duo has been presenting innovative programs of contemporary music throughout Europe and the Americas since 1995. Helena Bugallo and Amy Williams perform cutting-edge new works and masterpieces of the twentieth century for piano four-hands and two pianos, including works by Cage, Feldman, Kagel, Kurtág, Ligeti, Nancarrow, Sciarrino, Stockhausen, Stravinsky and Wolpe. They have premiered dozens of works, many of which were written especially for the Duo, and they have worked directly with such renowned composers as Lukas Foss, Steve Reich, Jukka Tiensuu, Kevin Volans and Bernard Rands. The Duo has been featured at the NUMUS Festival (Aarhus), Teatro San Martin (Buenos Aires), Miller Theatre, Symphony Space and Merkin Concert Hall (New York City), CAL Performances (Berkeley), Subtropics Festival (Miami), Sound Field Festival (Chicago), Spring Festival of New Music (York, UK), UNAM (Mexico City), Cutting Edge (London), and the Ojai Festival, to name a few. As part of their mission to expand the repertoire for piano duet, the Duo has undertaken an extensive transcription project of the Studies for Player Piano by Conlon Nancarrow. This has resulted in a critically acclaimed recording of Nancarrow’s music for piano duet and solo piano, released by Wergo in 2004. Recent CD releases include the music of Erik Oña (Wergo), Jorge Liderman (Albany) and Igor Stravinsky (Wergo).

Helena Bugallo, a native of Argentina, has performed throughout the Americas, Europe, and Japan, appearing at international festivals such as Tanglewood, Warsaw Autumn, Donaueschinger Musiktage, Musica Viva Munich, Festival del Centro Histórico Mexico, and Ciclo de Música Contemporánea Buenos Aires. In addition to her work with the Bugallo-Williams Piano Duo, she has collaborated with numerous established groups, including the Meridian Arts Ensemble (New York), SWR Vokalensemble (Stuttgart), Thuermchen Ensemble (Cologne) and Ensemble Resonanz (Hamburg). Since 2006, she has been a member of the Ensemble Phoenix Basel, a contemporary music group active in Switzerland and abroad. In 2007, she was featured as a soloist with the Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rudfunks in Munich, offering the premiere of María Cecilia Villanueva’s Escenario. Ms. Bugallo holds music degrees from the Conservatorio Provincial de La Plata (Argentina) and the State University of New York at Buffalo (USA), where she obtained a Master’s degree in piano performance and a Ph.D. in musicology. She presently lives in Basel, Switzerland.

Amy Williams has appeared as a pianist and composer at renowned contemporary music venues in the United States and Europe, including the Logos Foundation and Ars Musica (Belgium), Musikhöst Festival (Denmark), Gaudeamus Musik Week (Netherlands), Tanglewood Festival, Subtropics Festival (Miami), North American New Music Festival (Buffalo), Sound Field (Chicago), LA County Museum, Mondavi Center (Davis) and Dresden New Music Days (Germany). Her compositions have been performed by leading contemporary music soloists and ensembles, including the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, Empyrean Ensemble, International Contemporary Ensemble, CUBE, California E.A.R. Unit, North/South Consonance, Monarch Brass, Ensemble Aleph, Due East, Bent Frequency, pianists Yvar Mikhashoff and Amy Dissanayake, bassist Robert Black, and a piano concerto for Ursula Oppens and the Pro Arte Chamber Orchestra. As a pianist, Ms. Williams has recorded for MODE and HAT-ART Records. She has received awards from ASCAP, the Thayer Award for the Arts, the American-Scandinavian Foundation, the American Music Center, Meet the Composer, and the 2002 Wayne Peterson Prize in Music Composition. She holds a Ph.D. in composition from the State University of New York at Buffalo, where she also received a Master’s degree in piano performance. She is currently an Assistant Professor of Composition/Theory at the University of Pittsburgh.

Location

PONCHO Hall, 710 East Roy Street, Seattle, WA

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