Four pianos, four pianists preside at Salem concert
Four pianists will dazzle with their fingerwork at Salem United Methodist Church next week.
Piano4, the four-piano quartet that’s toured the country, will be in Doylestown for concerts at 7 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 19, and 2 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 20.
The pianists include Bucks County’s own Randall Hartman of Plumstead, with Norma Meyer, Michal Schmidt and Noam Shivan.
Piano4 programming ranges from Bach to Broadway. The core of the repertoire is the library of 400 transcriptions of the First Piano Quartet (FPQ), of early NBC Radio fame, after whom Piano4 is modeled. Programs include Bernstein's “Candide” Overture, the Valse from “Faust,” pieces by Gottschalk and Gershwin, works of Chopin and Liszt, plus orchestra, piano and pops classics and newly commissioned works.
Based in Philadelphia, Piano4 was founded by pianist and conductor John Kozar who toured with the group for their first five years.
Meyer, a founding member of Piano4 has toured with it since 2001. She works as the general manager of the group. She has performed at the Kimmel Center and the opening night of the Philadelphia Bach Festival. She is also a member of the Ranaan Meyer Band, which creates arrangements, with a distinctive 21st-century edge, in addition to new compositions.
Other collaborative pianist work includes performances with her son Ranaan, cellist Nancy Stokking and violinist Jonathan Beiler.
Born into a musical family in Bucks County, Hartman began taking piano lessons from his mother at age 5. A church organist at 14, he went on to tour with the Hartman Brothers, a duo-piano team.
Randall Hartman has been touring the U.S. as a member of Piano4 since 2002. Performances with Piano4 include opening night at the International Bach Festival in Philadelphia with Orchestra del Teatro Olimpico di Vicenza concertos for 3 and 4 keyboards. The Danboro Symphony in Illinois featured a performance with Piano4 in Gershwin's “Rhapsody in Blue” and the Danube Waltzes.
He maintains a large teaching studio just north of Doylestown. He founded Hartman Concert Artists, a nonprofit organization celebrating the arts in Bucks County.
Sivan combines piano performance, live improvisation, composition, and conducting. He has appeared as pianist and composer in around the world.
His compositions include more than 40 works in operatic, symphonic, and chamber genres. Sivan is on the faculties of the Curtis Institute in Philadelphia and Mannes College in New York.
Israeli musician Michal Schmidt is a pianist and cellist living in Philadelphia. She teaches at Haverford, Bryn Mawr and Swarthmore colleges and the University of Pennsylvania. Interested in new music, she has collaborated with composers in the United States and abroad.
Salem Church is at 186 East Court St., Doylestown. $20 and $15.
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