Weekly fall concert series kicks off with brother-sister pair


By Max Caplan

Last Monday, Oct. 6, at Memorial Chapel, we got to hear a great concert by pianists Palma and Nicolas Catravas, who are sister and brother.

Palma is Associate Professor of Electrical Engineering here at Union and Nicolas is staff accompanist at the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C.

The pair played music by Wilhelm Friedemann Bach and Sergei Rachmaninoff.

It was wonderful to see how well these two musicians, who have been playing together for many years, were able to work together and respond to each other in performance.

For example, their interactions in the playfully imitative passages of the Bach or in rapid runs of the Rachmaninoff demanded perfect synchronization.

Next Monday at 5:00 p.m., at Emerson Auditorium in Taylor Music Center, another great pianist will be featured.

Pola Baytleman will perform a program of works by Jewish composers.

Selections will include music by Felix Mendelssohn, Arnold Schoenberg, Erwin Schulhoff and Paul Schoenfield.

The concert will feature a variety of musical styles, with influences ranging from jazz piano to Jewish folk music.

Baytleman has been praised by the Times Union as “… a formidable pianist, quite the equal of performances by keyboard wizards who go by last name only: Horowitz, Pollini, Ashkenazy …”

Baytleman holds a master’s degree and an artist diploma from the New England Conservatory in Boston.

She is Distinguished Artist-in-Residence at Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs.

On Sunday, Oct. 26, at 3:00 p.m. in Memorial Chapel, an outstanding, young, Polish-born pianist will be featured. Rafał Blechacz  will perform the piano music of Bach, Beethoven and Chopin that Sunday.



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