April 11, 2019
Pianist Daniel Wnukowski Performs Works by Handel, Chopin, and Karol Rathaus at Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall, Friday, May 3 at 8:00 p.m.
Claudia Zadory

Program comprises Handel’s Keyboard Suite Vol. 1, No. 7 in G minor, HWV 432; Chopin’s 24 Preludes, Op. 28; and Rathaus’s Piano Sonata No. 3, Op. 20

Recital presented by The OREL Foundation in furtherance of its advocacy for composers suppressed by the Third Reich, including Karol Rathaus

NEW YORK, NEW YORK (April 11, 2019) — Polish-Canadian pianist Daniel Wnukowski (vnoo-koff’-skee) makes his New York solo recital debut at Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall performing Handel’s Keyboard Suite Vol. 1, No. 7 in G minor, HWV 432; Chopin’s 24 Preludes, Op. 28; and Karol Rathaus’s Piano Sonata No. 3, Op. 20 on Friday, May 3 at 8:00 p.m.

All three works are by émigré composers who were also virtuoso performers and improvisers at the keyboard. Least known is Jewish composer Karol Rathaus (1895–1954), whose music Mr. Wnukowski has championed in concert and on record. Recently, he performed the composer’s music with The Orchestra Now under Leon Botstein and launched a recording cycle of the composer’s complete piano works on Toccata Classics. Mr. Wnukowski said:

“While Handel and Chopin left their homelands in search of greater success, Rathaus left under much different circumstances, fleeing Berlin due to the looming specter of fascism. Unlike Handel and Chopin, who saw their popularity soar in London and Paris, respectively, Rathaus fell into obscurity after arriving New York, having left behind a successful career in Europe in which he was championed by luminaries like Furtwängler and Szell. I hope that concertgoers leave the recital curious to learn more about Rathaus and with new insights into the more familiar works on the program.”

Karol Rathaus was born in Austria-Hungary, and though little-known today, he was a precocious student and protégé of Franz Schreker. After leaving Berlin in 1932 due to the deteriorating political situation, he migrated to Paris, then to London in 1934, before settling in New York in 1938. He joined the music faculty of Queens College two years later as its first professor of composition.

Mr. Wnukowski is a devoted advocate of the composer’s music, which he has performed around the world, including in New York, Los Angeles, Vienna, and Toronto. In February 2019, he appeared at Queens College’s Karol Rathaus Festival performing the composer’s Piano Concerto, Op. 45 (with Mr. Botstein and TŌN) and the U.S. premiere of his recently rediscovered Piano Sonata No. 2, Op. 8, which appears on Volume 1 of his Rathaus recording cycle, released March 15 (click here to learn more). Piano Sonata No. 3 was composed in 1927 and premiered by Bruno Eisner. Among the pianists to subsequently take up the work was Walter Gieseking, who gave the U.S. premiere in 1929 at New York’s Town Hall.

Mr. Wnukowski’s interest in works by interwar Jewish composers overlaps with the mission of The OREL Foundation, which presents the recital and was founded by James Conlon in 2008 to encourage research on and performance of music suppressed as a result of Nazi policies from 1933 to 1945. The recital is also presented in partnership with the USC Thornton School of Music’s Polish Music Center, one of the most extensive resources outside of Poland for research in Polish music and culture; the Polish Cultural Institute in New York, a diplomatic mission of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Poland; Canada Council for the Arts, Canada’s public arts funder; and Vienna University’s exil.arte Center, dedicated to the reception, preservation, and research of Austrian musical figures who were branded as “degenerate” by the Third Reich. The exil.arte Center, which has collaborated with Mr. Wnukowski for years in his exploration of this repertoire, was responsible for introducing him to the music of Rathaus and many other composers—a key factor in his decision to return to music. (Mr. Wnukowski writes about his personal journey here.)

Daniel Wnukowski performs works by Chopin

November 30, 2018 at Zoomer Hall in Toronto, ON.

Mr. Wnukowski, winner of the 2000 Polish National Fryderyk Chopin Piano Competition, has performed at Chopin societies across the world, including in Paris, Rome, Vienna, Basel, Toronto, Tokyo, Detroit, and Singapore, as well as at the International Music Festival “Chopin and His Europe” in Warsaw and the International Piano Festival Chopiniana in Buenos Aires. Reviewing the latter, the Buenos Aires Herald wrote:

“He came into his own in the enormously variegated 24 Preludes Op. 28 by Chopin, where he displayed not only his affinity with the style but also the big guns to deal with some of the atrociously difficult ones as if they were child’s play; this was great playing and show[s] Wnukowski to be a distinguished Chopinian.”

In 2010, in commemoration of the Chopin bicentennial, Mr. Wnukowski performed the composer’s works worldwide, including in recital with soprano Aleksandra Kurzak in Poznań, Poland; in recital at the “Chopin in Autumn Colors” Festival in Antonin, Poland; at the unveiling of a new Chopin monument in Tokyo, Japan; and at the “Chopin by the Lake” monument at Singapore’s Botanic Gardens, among other celebratory engagements. He also recorded an all-Chopin solo album in 2003.

 

Daniel Wnukowski is a Polish-Canadian pianist whose insightful interpretations of the classics are complemented by projects that shed light on overlooked corners of the repertoire, particularly those that connect with his Polish and Jewish cultural heritage. He has performed throughout the Americas, Europe, and Asia in many prestigious concert halls, including at the National Philharmonic in Warsaw, the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, the Salle Pleyel in Paris, Wigmore Hall and the Barbican in London, and the Accademia di Santa Cecilia in Rome. His recordings include exiled composer Walter Arlens’s complete piano works and his chamber music with violinist Daniel Hope, soprano Rebecca Nelsen, and baritone Christian Immler; works by Chopin and Szymanowski; and a DVD release of Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue performed live on Polish television with the Warsaw National Philharmonic conducted by Jerzy Maksymiuk. His performances have been aired on radio and television stations throughout the world including CBC Radio, Polish Radio 2, Rai Uno, and WGBH Boston.

For more information, visit wnukowski.com.

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Friday, May 3 at 8:00 p.m.
Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall

Presented by The OREL Foundation in partnership with
USC Thornton School of Music’s Polish Music Center and
Vienna University’s exil.arte Center

Daniel Wnukowski, piano

HANDEL Keyboard Suite Vol. 1, No. 7 in G minor, HWV 432
RATHAUS Piano Sonata No. 3, Op. 20
CHOPIN 24 Preludes, Op. 28

Tickets priced $35 are available at the Carnegie Hall Box Office, 154 West 57th Street, or can be charged to major credit cards by calling CarnegieCharge at 212-247-7800 or by visiting the Carnegie Hall website, carnegiehall.org.

 

Presenter information updated 4/12/19

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