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Sara Davis Buechner, piano and Kontras Quartet

Program

  • Joaquín Turina (1882-1949) - La Oración del torero, Op. 34 (1925) (8’)
  • Reynaldo Hahn (1874-1947) - Piano Quintet in F-sharp minor (1920-21) (29’)
  • I. Molto agitato e con fuoco
  • II. Andante (non troppo lento)
  • III. Allegretto grazioso

Noted for her musical command, cosmopolitan artistry, and visionary independence, Sara Davis Buechner is one of the most original concert pianists of our time. Lauded for her “intelligence, integrity and all-encompassing technical prowess” (New York Times), “thoughtful artistry in the full service of music” (Washington Post), and “astounding virtuosity” (Philippine Star), Japan’s InTune magazine sums up: “Buechner has no superior.”

In her twenties Ms. Buechner earned a bouquet of top prizes at the world’s premiere international piano competitions — Queen Elisabeth (Brussels), Leeds, Mozart (Salzburg), Beethoven (Vienna), and Sydney. She was a Bronze Medalist of the 1986 Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow and the Gold Medalist of the 1984 Gina Bachauer International Piano Competition.Ms. Buechner has performed in every state and province of North America — as recitalist, chamber musician and soloist with top orchestras like the New York Philharmonic, San Francisco Symphony and Philadelphia Orchestra; and in venues such as Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center and the Hollywood Bowl. She has toured throughout Latin and South America and Europe; and she enjoys a special following in Asia, where she has been a featured soloist with the Sydney Symphony, New Zealand Philharmonic, New Japan Philharmonic and Shanghai Philharmonic, among many others.

Sara Davis Buechner joined the faculty of Temple University’s Boyer College of Music and Dance in 2016, after previously teaching at the Manhattan School of Music, New York University and the University of British Columbia. She has presented masterclasses and workshops at major pedagogic venues worldwide, adjudicated important international piano competitions, and is also a contributing editor for Dover Publications International. In 2017 Ms. Buechner marked her 30th year as a dedicated Yamaha Artist.

As a proud transgender woman, Ms. Buechner also appears as a speaker and performer at important LGBTQ events, and has contributed interviews and articles about her own experience to numerous media outlets worldwide.

The Kontras Quartet has been described as “a tightly crafted and beautiful instrument” (CVNC Arts Journal) and has been commended by Gramophone Magazine for their “scrupulous shading and control” and “enjoyable musical personality” (Fanfare Magazine). Kontras means “contrasts” in the Afrikaans language – fitting for a string ensemble whose colorful repertoire spans centuries, genres, and continents. The Quartet’s recent engagements include tours of South Africa and Switzerland; broadcasts on Performance Today and a three-month residency with Chicago’s WFMT 98.7 FM; appearances on NBC and PBS; and sold-out performances in San Diego, Chicago, Washington D.C., Telluride, Salt Lake City, Raleigh and Arizona. The Kontras Quartet records for MSR Classics and DoubleTime Music, and have released three critically acclaimed albums, including the premiere recording of Dan Visconti’s Ramshackle Songs.

About the Dame Myra Hess Concerts

The concerts are generously sponsored by the Paul M. Angell Family Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Illinois Arts Council and by individual donors.

Upcoming Performances

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