Friday, March 11, 2011

Pianist Jeremy Denk Replaces Martha Argerich

Out: Argerich
THE raven-haired Argentine pianist Martha Argerich is legendary both for her impassioned playing of Chopin, Brahms and Liszt as well as for her tendency to cancel appearances. Sad to say, she's done it again, canceling next weekend's Los Angeles Philharmonic appearances with Gustavio Dudamel conducting.

The good news: She is being replaced by one of the world's most intriguing emerging pianists, Jeremy Denk, who plays Ives and Beethoven like nobody else and also runs a provocative blog, Think Denk. Here is my profile of the pianist, and here he is playing and talking about Ligeti.

In: Denk
 To put this in context: The last time I was looking forward to seeing Argerich, in 2006, she cancelled, as did Murray Perahia, who was scheduled to appear that same week. THIS piece looked, with some humor, at the issue of canceling shows. 

I don't wants to knock Argerich, by the way. "Argerich brings to bear qualities that are seldom contained in one person," Alex Ross once wrote of her. "She is a pianist of brain-teasing technical agility; she is a charismatic woman with an enigmatic reputation; she is an unaffected interpreter whose native language is music."This last may be the quality that sets her apart."

Here's the Phil's announcement:
Martha Argerich, who was scheduled to perform at Walt Disney Concert Hall, March 17 – 20, with Gustavo Dudamel and the Los Angeles Philharmonic, has cancelled. Jeremy Denk replaces Argerich in a program that includes Mozart’s Masonic Funeral Music, Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 1, and Mozart’s Symphony No. 35, “Haffner.”

For further details or questions, call 323.850.2000 from 10am – 6pm daily, or visit

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